Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book Review of Plenty: One Man, One Woman & A Raucous Year Of Eating Locally

I am a sucker for a gardening book. And this book, Plenty: One Man, One Woman & A Raucous Year Of Eating Locally, by Alisa Smith & J.B. Mackinnon, looked like a repeat of Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kinsolver. But when I found it lying on the discount table for 50 cents, I decided it was worth a risk. I'm so glad I did. There is no denying that the idea behind these two books is one and the same. Plenty, too, details all the reasons we should eat locally, but the emphasis is more on knowing the land and community you are part of, verses being self-sufficient.

Both books rank high on my list, but I really appreciate the idea in Plenty of knowing your community suppliers, and supporting local businesses and farms. The authors are apartment dwellers. Yet they are able to eat only foods that have come from 100 miles or less for an entire year. They learn how to can, freeze, ferment and root celler foods in order to have what they need in the winter. And they like it. They feel more alive, more responsible, and more informed. It's not a treatice on why you should do this, but merely a record of how and why they did it.

I like to think of myself as a suburban homesteader, dispite the fact that we simply keep a respectable garden in the summer. Perhaps one day we will have the bees and the chickens and the sheep that we dream of keeping. But until then, John and Alisa encourage me to keep going. And in the meantime, I'll be finding out more about our local suppliers than I already have.

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