Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

with one comment

One of the great treats of Christmas break is the time and space to read a non-work related book or two.   This week I’ve read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

It’s the story of a year when she and her family of four live off only food either they grow and raise on their one acre garden or buy from local producers (milk, flour and hard cheese mostly).  Each family member had one exception.  In my opinion they choose very wisely: coffee, spices, dried fruits, and hot chocolate.

Kingsolver is a wonderful writer.  Her she is describing the land, food and family she loves and her warm for them love shines through.  It helps that she lives in a part of Virginia very much like my hometown.  Plus, having gardened a little bit over the last few years, I can identify with her adventures with asparagus, squash, and other fruits from various seasons.  It was also interesting to read about her adventures with chickens and turkeys, something I have no experience with.

I really resonated with much of her way of growing great food, cooking it, and eating it as a family in a tight community.  At the end of they year she totaled up her receipts and compared to the previous year saved over $5,000 in groceries (wow!).  Plus, the quality and variety of what she ate was pretty spectacular.

I’d loved her emphasis on bio-diversity, both for taste and food security reasons.  She grew lots of “heritage breed” plants and animals that were colorful, tasty and unique.  I’m thankful that people are growing breeds of squash and turkey for their taste rather than their transportability and ability to survive in a factory farm setting.  Give me some taste!

I felt lectured in a few parts (especially about “food miles”) but overall I really enjoyed this fun, lusty, modern story of a year of growing.  It inspired me want to grow and make more food and gave me a few concrete ideas (cheese making anyone?).  When we end up in a new home that has more sun I think we just might plant a bigger garden and a lot of fruit bearing trees.


Written by furthermusings

December 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Reviews

One Response

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  1. I got her latest novel for Christmas and hope to read it soon. I really liked Bean Trees and Poisonwood Bible. As one interested in the politics of food it’s been on my list of “should read” books.


    December 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm

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