I can't believe nobody here has mentioned the "Foxfire" collections. The Foxfire books represent a GREAT collection of Appalachian folklore, stories and detailed information on practical skills ranging on everything from the recognition and use of medicinal plants to how to build a butter churn and how to preserve meats and vegetables.
The whole collection started out as a high school research project back in the 70s when a teacher realized that as the last of the elderly, true "mountain folk" up in the Appalachias slowly died away, two hundred years of mountain know-how, lore and skills would die off with them unless someone recorded it. Thus, the "Foxfire" project was born and his students began interviewing these mountain folks, collecting their stories and documenting their skills.
The project wound up lasting something like 20 years and the stories and skill demonstrations by the mountain folk were documented in school articles that were later compiled into the Foxfire books. If you want a really interesting read on everything from Appalachian ghost stories to detailed instructions on how to select safe mushrooms in the forest, treat illnesses with wild plants, or trap wild game, the Foxfire books are a must.
You can even learn how to build a working musket the 18th century way. ;-)
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