Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After reading some gushy and some harsh reviews of this book I have to say I really enjoyed reading it. From the tagline I thought this book would play out to be a month-by-month guide of trials and errors in the realm of gardening and farming and could was meant to be used as a resource for adventures in urban farming/gardening. While this book did offer a few tidbits about farming, it was more of an informative book about why the slow food movement is better for you and throws at you facts after facts about how our agriculture has turned into the big monster know as agribusiness.
I read in an early review that Barbara portrayed her family as never fighting and having a perfect life after picking up and moving to an Appalachian Farm. While Barbara did not depict arguments or hard times with her family, I hardly felt that this criticism was valid. On the contrary, Barbara gave examples of her children's playmates rebuffs at family experiences as well as a funny story of a failed attempt to make pumpkin soup in a pumpkin shell that "melted" while serving her guests. Her stories were woven in through her vast knowledge of GMO's, and the ever-powerful California produce that seems to be feeding the entire US at a discounted rate. He stories of local farmers being outbid by the mass producing California farmers as well as American's appetites for "perfectly-shaped produce" and what happens to "second produce" ranging from being tossed out to rot to being donated to families that would otherwise not be able to afford fresh produce.
The book is speckled with recipes her daughter helped to create as well as an inordinate amount of information and turkey breeding (or lack there of) and turkey sex. But hey, in her defense, apparently there are not many books on the subject and I think she really wanted to share her information. As for me, I will never look at turkey the same again.
Overall, it was a good book that I could not wait to come home and read. Barbara's information was on par with the movie "Food Inc" and is becoming more and more relevant as the days go on. I am not going to go out and get my own turkeys anytime soon, but I will continue to support my local farmer's markets, buy seasonal fruits and veggies, and grow as much of my own food as I can.