To slam vegetarians apparently we do not get the concept of family farming because if we did we would eat locally raised animals She also looks down her nose at those who shop at supermarkets for food apparently people who think we are doing good by purchasing organic items are really not Ditto for those who use recycled paper towels I guess her family makes their own She gets on a high horse about of
All Things Canning Shethings canning She that us city folk could feed ourselves off the land year round if we would only can the fruits and vegetables we buy at the farmer s market in the summer and store them in our pantry Perhaps if Barbara went to a real NYC apartment and not ust those of her publisher and editor she would realize that most of us if we are lucky have a broom closet and 2 cabinets "If only I would be selfless enough to keep my clothes on my "only I would be selfless enough to keep my clothes on my escape I guess what made me the maddest about this reading experience is that I really like Kingsolver as an author and was looking forward to her take on living off the land I also liked the premise of this particular book It reminded me of a book my father in law wrote years and years ago only this one is a hell of a lot less funny We all have a responsibility to conserve and be aware of our impact But her assumption that we re all bumbling idiots ust threw me over the edge Too bad I hope her next piece is fiction I do not want to have lunch with Barbara Kingsolver I do not want to sit across the table from this self satisfied woman and have her gently scold me for eating imported world traveler foods like bananas I also do not want to hear any of her stories about how awesome she and her family are and how they were able to eat primarily off what they could grow in their backyard plenty of fresh vegetables or buy from local farmers who are all personal friends anyway Aren t we cool I don t want to hear any about how her family is doing their part to stop global warming by reducing food processing and transportation costs and now they all managed to do it without fighting Who are these people Everybody gets home from work or school and has to go garden until dark every freaking day and there s no fighting There s no salmon or packaged cookies or Cheetos and there s still no fighting Even though some members of the family are 17 and like 10 What I wanted most of all was to hear the stories about how she caught her daughter hiding Little Debbie under the bed or how her teenager was too embarrassed to bring her friends over without soda to offer them But nooooo No such humanizing details Some small bumps in the road such as when the teenager craves fresh fruit in early spring but none is in season But a ha easily solved with rhubarb from the farmer s market Give me a break This is cheating the readers It had to have been interesting than this But that aside it actually was pretty interesting She s a wonderful writer and much of the information and storytelling was totally fascinating I will be thinking about this book for a long time and it really has inspired me to pay attention to local growing seasons although in California I guess we re a little spoiled and do shopping at farmer s markets and cook and perhaps even grow my own tomatoesheirloom of course I ust don t want to hang out with Barbara Kingsolver Ever Unless she s prepared to talk about what really went down. Animal Vegetable Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth You are what you .
Over and you dream of escaping trouble and woe for a better way of living but I m probably ust projecting my own state of mind here Certainly though I can sympathise with the position that Barbara Kingsolver found herself in that starts this book offShe was living in some part of the USA where the population was way in excess of local water resources so the municipality had water brought in by canal which it advised the local population was safe to drink but not Safe To Put Into to put into This experience put the seal on Kingsolver s concerns over food miles and the unease that comes from living in an arid environment with food and water brought into what was a desert ecosystem rather than the population living in a sustainable environment in the first place This starting point of which I m reminded whenever I see asparagus air freighted into the UK that was grown in arid semi desert regions of Peru of realising that the logic of capitalism produces illogical and environmentally unsustainable outcomes is something that many readers can recognise but Kingsolver s response while interesting is one that few will be able to emulateWhat Barbara Kingsolver did was to undertake a uest to live for a year on food either produced by herself or sourced very locally Here we are on what could be for many common ground
However What This Meanswhat this means practise for her is moving her family to another state where she has a large house with extensive grounds These she has landscaped using digging machines to carve out a system of terraces This provides land enough not only to grow vegetables but also to raise turkeys and money enough to pay for this as well as basic vegetables from Farmers Markets So this is a very personal response not "A Manifesto It Is "manifesto it is suitable to become a call to arms While I like what she and her family did the lifestyle they adopt reflects their circumstances including an independent income as well as a nearby Farmers market that supplies basic foodstuffsThis book provides no model for the good life but nor does it aspire to do so As laid out here only the aspiration of living off your own and local produce is scalable for those without her means What saves the book is its humour best demonstrated in her account of the upbringing and the sexual lives of turkeys Wellnormally I am a Kingsolver fan I like the way she writes simple and straight forward Her stories both long an short are well done But this book ust really pissed me off It s a non fiction account of her back to the land movement with her family The book starts off well and good She describes their reasoning for leaving Tuscon and moving to a farm they inherited She talks about the trials and tribulations of trying to live off of what they can either produce themselves through farming or buy locally Each family member is only allowed one luxury item This consists of foodstuffs that can t be produced at home or bought locally It s a bit over the top if you ask me but I suppose an interesting addition to their overall movement Kingsolver makes a lot of good points about eating what s in season and offers some handy recipes However about mid way through the book her passion and reflections take an unfortunate turn to absolute preachiness She writes as if our understanding of the food chain stops at our understanding of how to open a bag of Doritos She proceeds. Ly buy food raised in their own neighborhood grow it themselves or learn to live without it Part memoir part ournalistic investigation. This books is not AT ALL in my normal wheelhouse and I m still scratching my head as to why I suddenly felt impelled to order it on and read it It s non fiction which nothing against non fiction but again not a genre I normally go out and buy I might read non fiction if it s a gift or
Library Bookfreebie Or Itbookfreebie or it our book club monthly read but otherwise not very likelyAlso it s a whole book about the author s family s year long culinary adventure of eating exclusively natural and organic foods and eating ONLY locally grown or raised foods eschewing the imported the canned and preserved unless done by the family itself or some local business anything shipped long distance all those fossil fuels Which yay for that but do I really want to read a whole book about thatBut someone I think in the aforementioned book club thought this book was fantastic and highly recommended it and I really loved Barbara Kingsolver s novels The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees so in a moment of madness I clicked over to and bought this book a used copy I m not that madSo here was my takeaway I applaud this family s determination to stick exclusively with local organic foodstuffs only for a year They did allow themselves a few exceptions as well like coffee dried fruit grains etc on the condition we d learn how to purchase it through a channel most beneficial to the grower and the land where it grows Even though I m not remotely tempted to try it myself it did encourage me to be aware of what s healthy and what s not and to try to eat fresh fruit and veggies even if they re imported from distant lands like California or Florida My favorite parts were some of Kingsolver s charming stories of their culinary adventures especially those involving goats and chicks and turkeys Also turkey sex or lack thereof hah There are some interesting organic recipes interspersed throughout the book though I found them somewhat daunting andor dubious from the standpoint of would my family really eat this or would there be an uprising against Mom Maybe I ll try some of them sometimeThere s also a lot of scary discussion of GM foods lack of genetic diversity hybridization and other worrisome trends and potential ecological disasters For some readers this will be fascinating stuff I lost interest in the book about halfway through I did get a chuckle out of the defensive tone of the part where Kingsolver was explaining why their family isn t vegetarian Eating meat is okay as long as it s organic and doesn t come from stockyards or other inhumane conditions Here again I have to applaud her family s commitment they slaughter and prepare their own chickens and turkeys for the dinner tableI think 350 plus pages was a bit much for this story at least for my interest "LEVEL IN IT THERE S A PREACHY DIDACTIC TONE "in it There s a preachy didactic tone the writing that infuses too much of the book and got really tiresome after a while Still it has a worthwhile message and we could of the book and got really tiresome after a while Still it has a worthwhile message and we could benefit from doing a little better in this department And now I think I need to go find a local food stand and buy some fresh peaches and corn on the cob I read this Then I gave it my sister then she gave it to a friend Where it went from then I don t know but I am reasonably confident that this book was of no practical use to any of usI m tempted to say that everybody is haunted by the dream of the good life when your eyes glaze. Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial food pipeline to live a rural life vowing that for one year they'd on.