A charming and radical book of an old-school nutritionist trying to live out her food ethics. I was making a difference, dammit! Fresh produce does get addictive. . This story seemed to go on and on, without any real point relating back to her life as an advocate of the local food movement. Some years she eats all of her produce out of the garden Although I did enjoy Plenty, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which are books with a similar themes, this is the book that really spoke to me about gardening and its importance to the health of our bodies and our planet.
You won't find an electric can opener in this woman's house. It might make us excited about doing things differently. Speaking of the information, it must be rated as outstanding. Then suddenly, half-way through the book, everything dissolved into a polite lecturing tirade concerning the environment and petroleum usage; without much mention of my two favorite characters in the book the husband sadly passed away and the new house is literarily abandoned. A suitable addition to gardening collections in public libraries. The most remarkable thing about this book, for me, was picturing my parents' house in Massachusetts while reading about the house that Joan and Alan bought along the Hudson River. In sharing her ponderings, she sets a delightful example for those of us who seek the healthiest, Joan Dye Gussow is an extraordinarily ordinary woman.
I don't know why it was suddenly not an option to release the animal into the woods when you might not get fined even if someone did see you. Joan Gussow does such an excellent job of drawing the reader into her world. As a gardener in the same area as Joan Dye Gussow, I related to much of what she talked about. As for confessions, there are some. This one has recipes for the produce she reaps from her garden and I was sure to bookmark those. This book most certainly inspires me to raise the bar in my organic garden and I will buy locally.
A New Place -- 3. As I said, though, that's really the book's only flaw. I've already read a number of books in this genre notably and but this one took a much more overtly environmental stance than the others, which tend to focus more on the joy of gardening while only brushing against the cultural and societal significance of producing one's own food. So I didn't yell or preach. Why, if you are as committed to sustainability, build on a plot of land along a river but below the flood line? She emphasizes the superiority of this straight-from-the-garden produce with a smattering of really delicious looking recipes. I think if I had read this book before reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver it would have had a bigger impact on me than it did today.
She seems to do an admirable job in producing fruit and vegetables on her suburban flood-prone plot, but it's a little hard to pick out the good information from the surrounding confessions! But it is a good memoir. Treat everything you put in the earth like it's going to come back to you - because it will. But so is her knowledge of nutrition, agricultural politics and organic gardening. Also, the part about gutting, demolishing, and rebuilding their newly-purchased home didn't really seem to fit in with the rest of the book. She made some interesting arguments and points about the real cost of food, the relationship between death and food production regardless of whether you're a vegetarian or meat eater! An average writer, I feel like Gussow spends too much time talking about how hard it was working on her old Victorian home, and later on the decrepit home she buys on the bank of the Hudson river. The industrial food machine doesn't want you to know how they are treating the animals, the conditions they are kept in or what they are being given to treat the e coli that is a symptom of the conditions they are forced to live in.
One chapter is all about things she's willing to do without, another is about the next-door community garden she helps establish, yet another is about the hard knocks nature deals them- like when the river floods their garden, when wireworms eat her sweet potatoes, when rats destroy her tomato plants. I was weirded out the rest of the book, but I'm not This book was ho-hum until I read the chapter about her drowning a possum, which is disgusting and unnecessary. While I enjoyed it, and can see why Joan is considered a matriarch of the local food movement, I still had many moments where I questioned certain choices she made. Like I said, though, there is some great information, and a good presentation of someone trying to make a difference through her own life for the future world. The author was mentioned by another as a kind of heroine of sustainable living, and he mentioned she's a PhD in nutritioIn so I ordered a Kindle sample.
All four of these writers are supreme dot-connectors, deeply skeptical of reductive science and far ahead not only in their grasp of the science of ecology but in their ability to think ecologically. In fact, you probably won't find many cans, as Joan has discovered ways to nourish herself, literally and spiritually, from her own backyard. Joan is a suburbanite with a green thumb, with a feisty, defiant spirit and a relentlessly positive outlook. It's the combination of the two - purpose and delight - that makes This Organic Life work so well. In the end, I enjoyed the book, but it was not what I had expected. I read it back when I worked in the miserable pre-career purgatory known as Customer Service, and my empathy for the non-empowered front-liners was boundless.
I guess because my mother has always had a garden and the house they recently bought is an old farmhouse. Key points in her writing are puncuated with simple, delicious recipes. The rest of the text is a very compelling argument for growing one's own food and eating seasonally, as well as a joyful celebration of the act of gardening. Expanding her diet in winter means experimenting with different growing and storage methods, some of which fly in the face of common sense but work out in the end. Her memoir of her garden is one that leads naturally to contemplating our own diet and what impact it has on our health and our world. I don't think this one will stay on my shelf.
Joan grew on me, though. About half of the book is comprised of anecdotes about the trials of gardening in two totally different soils one perfected over the course of 34 years, one clayey and flood-prone , into old age, against the wishes of meddlesome neighbors, and through the death of her husband. Oooooh, what a nice tip about storing sweet potatoes, I definitely need to remember this advice. The writing suffers from underinvolvement of an editor. It costs 435 fossil fuel calories to fly a 5-calorie strawberry from California to New York.
Gussow is entitled to rant on the topics that she Organic, yes. This book is part memoir, part essay collection with the central topic of growing food and local-based agriculture. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. How It All Began -- 2. That story was incorporated into this book, but many of the boring remodeling details should have been omitted. I would like to be able to provide some of the basics for my family.