Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

Before I give my big review I have some old business to take care of. I completely and totally flaked and forgot to announce the winner of my Thankful Things Swap book. Shame on me. And the winner is .... Jannza! Washington's Lady will soon be continuing her journey! I hope you enjoy.

And now on to the regular scheduled programing ...




I read this book almost a year ago and I plowed through it (pun intended). I was so inspired I wanted to immediately start our own garden, raise chickens, and live off the land entirely. No more big super stores for me. Well. The past year hasn't quite been like the fantasy that evolved while reading AMV but I sure did learn a lot from this book and have made some significant changes to our household.


Barbara Kingsolver documents (along with her husband and their daughters) one year of their life ~ living off of the land ~ buying as much locally (I think it was 100 or 150 mile radius) ~ raising poultry ~ and much much more. They share recipes, talk about their struggles in giving up foods that are not 'in season', and their journey to self sufficiency. They are funny, real, and incredibly resourceful while acknowledging a bit of monotony (there's a chapter on a squash conspiracy ... it will make you LOL).


Realistically, my family is not in the same place as they are. Her schedule is flexible: she is a writer and does have deadlines but it's mostly of her making. We are city dwellers with minimal land to plant, small children, and a few generations out from 'real gardening' ~ but that doesn't mean we can't still make some changes. They do an excellent job of helping the reader to become aware of the not only the financial cost of trucking produce across state lines but the environmental cost too. Kingsolver recognized that we all can't keep up at her pace - she encourages us to start right were we are; baby steps. Truth be told ... I still buy bananas but grow my own herbs and belong to a local food co-op. We are taking steps to have a garden ready for next spring; however, I am quite certain that the only turkeys we are ever gonna raise are my two boys!


We all can't be farmers, whether it be time or lack of a green thumb; but we all can begin to think locally. I think the back of the book says it best "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat."


Before you clean out your fridge and head to your farmers market ... don't forget to visit these ladies for their Turn the Page ... Tuesday post (if I left anyone out just let me know) ~ happy reading!









8 comments:

Paula said...

We should all start living with a small piece of that concept. I DID grow up on a farm, but am not there now. We have a small garden and buy as much as we can from our Farmers Market and our local seafood. (we catch that too!)
Good review, Adrienne! I've seen that book around alot, but have yet to read it. You've just put it on my list.

Paige said...

I've had that book on my radar for such a long time now - your review makes me wanna read it even more. (Love what you said about raising turkeys, heehee!)

Carol said...

Waw, i will really like to read this one! The squirrels just discovered where I planted my potatoes... Have an awesome Cinco de Mayo!!!

Stacey's Treasures said...

I've been trying to be more consevative. We do raise our own eggs & beef, but I still spend gobs at the grocery store, uhg, it's a never ending cycle!

Michelle said...

I loved that book as well! It really inspired me to think more about where my food was coming from. I'm no where near where I want to be, but I have found a good local fresh egg source and am working on getting to where I want to be.

jannza said...

I'll be reading this book. We are in the process becoming more self-sufficient. I've been doing Square Foot Gardening (SFG) for three years now and really enjoy it.

I'm so excited to be the winner too! I'm going to look forward to reading Washington's Lady. I LOVE history!

Heather Jane said...

That book changed my life. No joke. It's on my top 5 list. Last year my blog readers and I started a once a week local meal challenge. We had over 20 people eating a local meal every week and then I did a round up of what everyone experienced. It was so much fun that we decided to do it again this year. I hope you'll join us...Go Local 2009 will be kicking off soon!!

Yolanda said...

I read this about a year ago and liked it a lot.Although I can't do everything it it I am trying to do a few of these things.