05 August 2008
If you're remotely into food (where it comes from and how it's grown) the way I am, then you need to check out this book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. I'm 70 pages into it and really looking forward to reading some more, if only my damned work day didn't have to get in the way.
In brief, Kingsolver and her family move from Tuscon, AZ back east to live on a small farm in Appalachia, VA and for one year they would only buy and eat food "raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it." Interspersed in the main story are sidebars written by Kingslover's husband Steven L. Hopp and their eldest daughter Camille. Their youngest daughter Lilly also contributes, but as Kingsolver notes, "is too young to sign a book contract."
In concert with "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" I would highly recommend reading "It's a Long Road to a Tomato: Tales of an Organic Farmer Who Quit the Big City for the (Not So) Simple Life" by Keith Stewart.
The title kind of says it all, however to be kind I'll summarize... Keith Stewart, who worked in corporate America for many years quit his job and bought a farm in Orange County, NY. The book is a bunch of essays detailing what it takes to be a small organic farmer, also selling his goods in an urban market, in this day and age. The book also has beautiful illustrations by his wife Flavia Bacarella.
An interesting side note: Keith Stewart has one of the longest running stands at the Union Square Green Market and grows some of the area's best garlic.
I know it's not quite your breezy summer book list, but given that in this particular part of the country it is the best time of year for local, fresh fruits and veggies, I thought I'd try to inspire you (all three of you that read my blog that is) to loftier aspirations. Plus, how wrong can you go in supporting your local, family farm? It can surely only win you good karma points.
UPDATE: I meant to say you can purchase these fine tomes from this independent book seller in Portland, OR called Powells Books.