Friday, April 17, 2009


I LOVE this book. Barbara Kingsolver has written a lot of fiction--I've only read Animal Dreams and don't remember much. This book looked intriguing so I picked it up at The Poisoned Pen--an independent bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona I try to support from time to time.

Kingsolver lived in Tucson for 25 years. A few years ago she moved with her family to a farm in the Appalachians committing to live off food they produced or was produced reasonably close to home for one year. Her husband and two daughters contribute to the story.

While I have no plans to live the same way as Kingsolver, she has made me think a bit differently about food production. For a while now I have been buying organic milk and organic eggs. More often I stop by the Farmer's Market across the street from my office to buy from local organic farms. I also have been paying more attention to eating fruits and vegetables in the appropriate season. But looking at the distance food travels from its production area to our homes is adding a new dimension. Barbara points out the cost and use of fuel to bring in that bag of spinach from California growers when we could either grow it ourselves or at least buy from local producers.

So last week when I was buying groceries I opted to buy an Arizona brand of corn tortillas, cottage cheese, milk, and eggs. Sometimes local is a better price sometimes it isn't. But the price difference isn't much.

I'm now trying to locate grass-finished beef, chicken, and pork and its not easy. I have no idea what the cost difference will be but I know it will be more expensive. Just don't know how much more expensive.

There are a number of recipes throughout the book that look good. I'm hoping to try a few in the next couple of weeks and will let you know how they turn out. Her daughter shares a recipe for an asparagus and morel bread pudding that sounds heavenly.

Kingsolver's writing is lovely. Her choice of words and her descriptions had me reading some lines more than once. Her message interested me and has caused me to make a few changes. I won't be raising my own turkeys and chickens to slaughter and it is unlikely I will make my own cheese but the ideas aren't so overwhelming as to be useless. I recommend this book.


  1. I've heard such good things about this one and still haven't read it. My favorite Kingsolver was Prodigal Summer.

  2. I am reading this book now. Just reminds me of all the changes we are all making in our lives. It is amazing to see it happening before our eyes! Thankyou for the b-day gift.