My bookclub is meeting to discuss this book tonight. It was a life changer for me. You've read my blog as I talked about going local and this book just spurred me on.
Barbara Kingsolver wrote this book as her family attempted live for one year from local products. They made a few exceptions; coffee, olive oil, pasta and flour but other than that all their meals were made from food raised on their small farm, local farmers markets and local purveyors.
I loved everything about this book and what it taught me. Above all I appreciated that it was not preachy. This family is like any other family. They aren't hippies living in hemp made clothing and casting disparaging remarks about other people. Before the book was written they tried to do things 'green' and ate mostly organic food and did not eat meat from CAFO's (concentrated animal feeding operations). We had a lot in common and honestly, we still have about the same things in common.
This book changed the way I think about how and where our food comes from but...it did not make run out and dig up my yard for a big old garden. It just isn't practical for us. I did however get all my produce with few exceptions from local farm stands and farm markets. I didn't go out and buy a hybrid car, we still have payments left on my Pilot (which I love) but I did think about how far I was driving to get my food and making sure I was being efficient with my gas consumption. I didn't buy chickens and turkeys and build a hen house but I did seek out local farms that could provide poultry and eggs. I already bought organic milk but again, I tried to look for more local brands.
So far I have found that what I am consuming is so much better than what I was eating before. All the summer produce has been delicious. The local meats, pasture raised, have been far and above the quality that I was getting just picking them up at the grocery store. I am excited about seasonal eating. I'll miss the tomatoes when they are all gone but I am looking forward to making soups and stews with the fall and early winter veggies. Also, I have a stash of frozen green beans, corn, pesto and tomato sauce in case I have a craving.
Tonight, in the spirit of the book, we are having a potluck dinner at my home. I am making roast chicken, green beans and potatoes...all local. I am also providing cheese from local dairies and apples as an HDO. My fellow bookclub members are bringing the rest.
I highly encourage you to check out this book.