Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Novelist Barbara Kingsolver has a background in science and she knows how to tell a story so when she writes about the year her family only ate foods--both plant and animal--that were grown and produced locally it’s fascinating, informative, inspiring, and surprisingly gripping, right down to the last few suspenseful sentences of the book when we learn the outcome of her turkey breeding project. Told month to month, from March to March, Kingsolver explains the kinds of planning and preparation that were needed for her family’s experiment, and which foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, were available for their meals as the year progressed.
Because everything is eaten when it is in season, or prepared for storage when it is at its peak of flavor, reading about their meals can be a mouthwatering experience. Plus, since some of their food supply came from their own gardens, Kingsolver and her family were able to choose plant and even livestock varieties for taste rather than portability, rapid growth, or shelf life.
Though I’m a 35+ year vegetarian and long interested in food issues I learned a lot while reading this book, from fascinating facts, like asparagus left to its own devices grows into feathery bushes and domestic turkeys bred for food have largely lost the ability to reproduce on their own, to a deeper understanding of how the natural world works. There are a lot of good reasons to eat locally produced food, including vastly reducing your carbon footprint, supporting smaller scale farming practices that don’t poison the environment, rejecting the cruelty of the industrial meat industry, and improving the quality of the food on your table. In this book Kingsolver and her family show how it can be done.