Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

by Barbara Kingsolver
started 8/21/07 finished 9/2/07

I am not a country girl. I have lived in 3 major cities (Washington, DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles) and 1 minor city (Tallahassee) in my lifetime. Because of that, most of my meals have come from a grocery store or restaurant. However, my mother was from the country and brought a little of Staunton, Virginia with her to Washington, DC. In the huge backyard of our rented house in the inner city she kept a garden. Because of that I know what real tomatoes, greens, cucumbers, etc. taste like – and it ain’t like that stuff in the grocery store or most restaurants.

After leaving the arid desert of Tucson to move to a farm in Virginia, Barbara Kingsolver and her family decided to eat locally for a year. That meant only consuming items that were grown or produced within a few hundred miles of their home. We are all aware of the importance of eating organically and energy conservation, but what we don’t always think about is the energy (fuel) used to truck all of this healthy organic food to us.

This book chronicles month by month how the Kingsolver-Hopp family fared in their fairly new lifestyle. You will learn alot about eating seasonally, growing your own food (veggies, fruits, & animals), and also about small town life. Steven L. Hopp (Kingsolver’s husband) contributes essays about the industrial food complex and ways to eat more responsibly. Her daughter Camille contributes recipes and meal plans using the family’s harvest.

Informative and eye-opening for us urbanistas. It is worth a read if only for learning about the mating habits of turkeys.

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