Nothing better than when something good comes out of a bad situation. A couple months ago I hurt my back (working out I think) and was out of commission for a few weeks. I pretty much just lied around all day and answered cooking questions from the couch as Jasen made the dinners I had planned. Once I was finally pain-free enough to be useful, I decided to make walking my workout of choice until I was sure things had healed up (still not there by the way). I decided these walks would be a good time to get into some audio books I purchased a while back. My first pick was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbra Kingsolver. Simply put, it has become one of my favorite books ever.
The basic premise of the book is this: Barbara and her family move from Arizona to a farm property in south western Virginia. Here, they challenge themselves to live for an entire year eating only foods that they grow themselves or obtain from local sources. Barbara’s writing ability (she’s an author in real life) makes a huge difference as she takes you through a year of this way of living. Not only does she provide great information, but she weaves it all into a great story. Being able to learn from their experience and go through each season with the family shows the reader how a life like this can still work in today’s world. There are also small sections written by her husband on food system issues and her daughter provides recipe and menu planning ideas along the way. This is an excellent starting place for anyone interested in producing their own food, whether you’re just starting out or are looking to expand your gardening efforts. For me, it also brought back memories of helping my grandma plant her garden, being sure to place the seeds however deep and far apart she instructed, and sitting at her dining room table shelling peas.
Do you plan to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? What book should I read next? Let me know in the comments below!