Thursday, July 23, 2009

Applying the lessons of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle recently. It is an amazing book, fitting my sensibilities and interests well. Kingsolver and her family dedicated a full year to feeding their family on local foods. The backstories describing her reasoning and the supplemental stories describing her disasters and successes make this a great story. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an easy and fascinating read.


Implementing her advice is more challenging. Kingsolver addresses this, facing the fact that not everyone has a large garden space like hers or the opportunity to raise chickens, turkeys, or other meat animals. She spends a significant amount of space on suggestions for folks like me, people who would like to move toward a more locavore philosophy but face stumbling blocks on the way.

My garden is coming into its season now. I've been gathering spinach and lettuce already, and I found the first handful of beans when we came home from vacation. Pea pods look good, too. This is the first year I've successfully grown peas, so I'll have to look them over carefully to make sure I only pick those that are truly ripe! There are at least three zucchini appearing from the blossoms, and I see flowers on the tomato plants at last.

Here in the Northern zones, we don't get as much food for as long as Kingsolver does on her small Virginia farm. I can use what I have, though, and pick up more local goodies at the farmers' market every Saturday until October. For now, at least, I'll put delicious and local foods on the table. Next year's goal: learn to can. Maybe. We'll see.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Meg said...

I read Kingsolver's book a year or so ago and have been trying to eat locally here in northern Ohio. Although I am not 100% successful (the kids still need fresh fruit in January!)I feel I have become a more thoughtful consumer overall as a result of having read it. I planted my first "big" garden this year - we'll see how it goes.

7/23/2009 8:13 AM  
Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You can can!
Ah, Kingsolver and Alice Waters set the bar mighty high for us mortals with jobs and kids and what-all, but if we all adopt a tiny change it's a darn big impact.

7/23/2009 12:37 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I learned a lot from this book. I checked it out from the library and now actually want my own copy for the recipes. Someone told me I should be able to find some of the recipes online.

7/25/2009 10:17 PM  

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