Sunday, February 6, 2011
Week 54: Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver is best known for her bestsellers, including The Poisonwood Bible. She is less well-known for her family's choice to live off the land - and buy only local foods - for a full year of their lives.
Throughout their experience, the Kingsolver-Hopp family rediscovers the connection between humans and their food sources. They raise chickens and turkeys and dig up morels (yeah, they're mushrooms, I didn't know what they were either) and discover that the joy of eating seasonal heirloom vegetables.
Their dedication is inspiring, and their reasons are compelling. Kingsolver provides detailed research about the seeds and food, and the impending extinction of many different species of native fruits and vegetables. What we can't find locally or in season, we purchase from the grocery stores - not realizing that the food may have traveled hundreds of miles to get to us. And genetic modification has made things pretty freakish. Kingsolver and her family just decided they didn't want to depend on Monsanto to feed them any longer.
Although this book was long, it essentially took me through an entire year of life on a farm, so its length was somewhat appropriate. Kingsolver really made me feel as though I had experienced their challenges and victories along with them. I especially enjoyed Kingsolver's pumpkin soup-in-its-shell debaucle. It sounded like many recipes that I've attempted - delicious, but aesthetically grotesque.
Great book, it has inspired me to get my own garden going again in 2011. Thanks, S., for the recommendation!