This is a wonderfully inspiring book about Barbara Kingsolver's family attempt to eat locally for a year. They have a plot of land on which to grow vegetables and raise chickens and turkeys and they invest a lot of time into sourcing other locally raised food. Kingsolver's narrative is broken up by thoughts from her older daughter Camille who also shares wonderful sounding recipes (which can be found also on the website: http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/).
Kingsolver weaves musings about broader food issues into her narrative of their year. Which is more important organic or locally produced? Why is international agriculture so dependent on so few varieties of so few species and how can we revive heritage breeds?
We are given fascinating and scary facts about conventional agriculture, eg: In 1948 when pesticides were first introduced, farmers used roughly 50 million pounds of them and suffered about a 7% loss of all their food crops. In 2000 they used nearly a billion pounds of pesticide and lost 13% of their crops. Which seems like an excellent advert for organic agriculture to me!).
The most valuable aspect of this book though is the enthusiasm with which Kingsolver documents her family's year and her humour in sharing so many of the stories along the way, her younger daughter's unexpected entrepreneurial skills as she plans an egg business, the saga of the turkeys learning how to brood their eggs (because turkeys are bred artificially and designed to last only one year, the ability to breed has effectively been bred out of them).
After reading this book, you should find yourself looking more carefully at the labels on the food you buy, and searching for a spot where you can grow your own food even if your windowledges all face north and your neighbours have locked you out of the communal garden.
For Organic Fortnight
What Other Bloggers are Saying About Organic Fortnight:
Eating Organic Carrot Gnocchi on Allotment to Kitchen.