Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan.
There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day -- all on $40 a week.
With insight and humor, Mather explores the confusion and needful compromises in eating locally. She examines why local often trumps organic, and wonders why the USDA recommends white bread, powdered milk and instant orange drinks as part of its “low-cost” food budget program.
Through local eating, Mather forges connections with the farmers, vendors and growers who provide her with sustenance. She becomes more closely attuned to the nuances of each season, inhabiting her little corner of the world more fully, and building a life richer than she imagined it could be.
The Feast Nearby celebrates small pleasures: home-roasted coffee, a pantry stocked with home-canned green beans and homemade preserves, and the contented clucking of laying hens in the backyard. Mather also draws on her rich culinary knowledge to present nearly 100 seasonal recipes that are inspiring, enticing and economical -- cooking goals that don’t always overlap -- such as Pickled Asparagus with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic; Cider-Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Onions; and Cardamom-Coffee Toffee Bars.
Mather’s poignant, reflective narrative shares encouraging advice for aspiring locavores everywhere, and combines the virtues of kitchen thrift with the pleasures of cooking -- and eating -- well.
Robin is the senior associate editor of Mother Earth News.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
All gardeners are at the whim of Mother Nature, and most are obsessed with weather. When is the last frost? What is the chance for rain? Will late-spring hail affect my flower beds? The answers to questions like these play a significant role in a gardener’s success.
The Gardener’s Guide to Weather and Climate gives home gardeners an accessible yet comprehensive overview of how the weather works, and offers tips on how to use the information to create better gardens. The book begins with a primer on climate and moves on to cover climate change, weather, microclimates, and how plants are affected by the climate and their environment. Throughout, the reader will find hundreds of helpful color photographs and illustrations that bring the concepts to life.
Though climate change is a serious threat, this useful book remains positive and upbeat in its approach. It shows that instead of gardening at the mercy of the weather, knowledgeable gardeners can make the weather work for them.
As the movement to eat what is grown locally gains momentum, there is an increasing awareness of how best to incorporate this philosophy into our everyday lives. We can grow our own food and buy food grown locally at food cooperatives and markets, but what happens when we eat out? There are a number of chefs around the country dedicated to using only the freshest, locally grown ingredients in all the dishes they prepare and serve. This book takes the reader on a private tour of outstanding chefs of the Long Island area and their gardens. Each profile reflects the chef's personal style, cultural background, desire for healthy, just-picked ingredients, and gardening philosophy. Recipes, plant lists, garden layouts, and color photos are included.
To grow produce of the highest nutritional quality the essential minerals lacking in our soil must be replaced, but this re-mineralization calls for far more attention to detail than the simple addition of composted manure or NPK fertilizers. The Intelligent Gardener demystifies the process while simultaneously debunking much of the false and misleading information perpetuated by both the conventional and organic agricultural movements. In doing so, it conclusively establishes the link between healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people.
This practical step-by-step guide and the accompanying customizable web-based spreadsheets go beyond organic and are essential tools for any serious gardener who cares about the quality of the produce they grow.
Lawns now blanket thirty million acres of the United States, but until the late nineteenth century few Americans had any desire for a front lawn, much less access to seeds for growing one. In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
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The Montana Gardener's Companion explains how to identify and address common shortcomings of Montana soils, including alkaline soils (the most common soil in Montana), acidic soils (found in some soils in the mountains and near Great Falls), and salty soils (found especially in eastern Montana and in areas west and northwest of Great Falls east of the Divide and in the far northeastern portions of Sheridan County). This book explains the different climates of eastern and western Montana, the effect of elevation on growing seasons, and how Montana gardeners can lengthen their growing seasons through careful plant selection, choosing the correct exposure, planting properly on slopes and using season-extending products.
André Leu challenges conventional farming methods by refuting the myths that surround the use and understanding of pesticides. He exposes the dangers of these chemicals and advocates organic practices as the most viable for farming in the 21st century.
Coleman updates practical information on marketing the harvest, on small-scale equipment, and on farming and gardening for the long-term health of the soil. Written for a serious gardener or small market farmer, The New Organic Grower proves that, in terms of both efficiency and profitability, smaller can be better. As seen in High Mowing Organic Seeds catalog.
Essential steps to a healthy, sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture: what it means, why it is needed, and how it can transform the planet.
The Organic Seed Grower is a comprehensive manual for the serious vegetable grower who is interested in growing high-quality seeds using organic farming practices. It is written for both home seed savers and diversified small-scale farmers who want to learn the necessary steps involved in successfully producing a commercial seed crop organically.
Detailed profiles for each of the major vegetables provide users with practical, in-depth knowledge about growing, harvesting and processing seed for a wide range of common and specialty vegetable crops, from Asian greens to zucchini.
In addition, readers will find extensive and critical information on topics including: o The reproductive biology of crop plants o Annual vs. biennial seed crops o Isolation distances needed to ensure varietal purity o Maintaining adequate population size for genetic integrity o Seed crop climates o Seed-borne diseases o Seed cleaning basics o Seed storage for farmers o And more ...
This book can serve as a bridge to lead skilled gardeners, who are already saving their own seed, into the idea of growing seed commercially. And for diversified vegetable farmers who are growing a seed crop for sale for the first time, it will provide details on many of the tricks of the trade that are used by professional seed growers. This manual will help the budding seed farmer become more knowledgeable, efficient and effective in producing a commercially viable seed crop.
With the strong demand for certified organic produce, many regional seed companies are increasingly seeking out dedicated seed growers to ensure a reliable source of organically grown seeds for their farmer and gardener customers. This trend represents a great business opportunity for small-scale commercial growers who wish to raise and sell vegetable seeds as a profitable part of their diversified small-farm operation. Written by well-known plant breeder and organic seed expert John Navazio, The Organic Seed Grower is the most up-to-date and useful guide to best practices in this exciting and important field.
The resurgence in home food production has generated a dramatic increase in interest about growing under cover. The season is far longer (year-round for salads and some vegetables) and you can grow exciting fruit and vegetables that aren't viable outdoors. Thanks to the polytunnel, covered growing is now available to all. And sales of polytunnels are burgeoning, as gardeners and allotment-holders realize that they could be growing more food (and more exotic food) on a smaller plot, whatever the weather outside is doing. The Polytunnel Book is the first comprehensive, practical illustrated guide to polytunnel gardening, for both beginners and experienced gardeners.
Will Allen is an organic farming visionary. A true activist, entrepreneur and expert, he understands the complexities of farming firsthand and the impact that commercialization has had. In the early 19th century, as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profit-sucking, output-wrecking, archnemesis of the average American farmer: bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a "shock and awe" media campaign that can only be compared to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream - and there was a cure available to every farmer available in spray, granule, dust or systemic form that could be applied to your crops. Will Allen's War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large-scale farmers, government agencies and even Dr. Seuss colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Utilizing dozens of original advertisements and promotions to illustrate the story, Allen details how consumers and activists have struggled against toxic food. Echoing the warnings of seminal works on the topic such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink, and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air and ourselves is now!