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Recommended Reading

Page history last edited by LJCohen 12 years, 8 months ago

Add information to books relevant to community farming, organic gardening, eating sustainably, etc.



Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening

By Maria Rodale, et al. Published by DK ADULT (April 18, 2005).


Everything you ever needed to know about gardening organically! This book is a basic, introductory guide to all things organic. From vegetable gardens to landscaping with stone and flowers, this book provides a light introduction to just about everything. It covers soil, watering, weeding, organic lawn care, mulching, and even as a plant-by-plant growing guide in the appendices. A very useful book!



From a CSA member who loved participating last year.


Chesman, A. 2005. The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook. North Adams, MA, Storey.

Last summer I was gifted this cookbook by my partner who wanted me to cook for her. It is organzied to follow the harvest season and it helped me to more fully appreciate the CSA. It was written by an author who describes herself as a "cook who gardens". It is available through interlibrary loan in the Minuteman system.





Pollan, Michael The Omnivore's Dilemma

This book blew me away. Pollan traces the history of 4 meals, backwards from food on the table through the food chain, contrasting a fast food meal, a meal cooked from ingredients purchased at Whole Foods, a meal made from locally obtained sustainably farmed food, and a meal from foods hunters and/or gathered. This book transformed the way I think about food and its relationship to the natural world and to agribusiness. A must read. ~ Lisa Cohen


Add'l information:  If there is one book that has inspired people in North America to take a long hard look at what they're eating this is it. The author has become the popular voice of the sustainable agriculture movement. This book is his signature work. It's the first concise investigation into the health of the contemporary U.S. food system. He traces the origins of four meals, from a fast-food dinner to a "hunter-gatherer" feast, and makes us see, with remarkable clarity, exactly how what we eat affects both our bodies and the planet. Pollan is the perfect tour guide: his prose is incisive and alive, and pointed without being tendentious.



The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food by Ben Hewitt


Through the last decade the Northern Vermont town of Hardwick, population 3200, gradually evolved into a nationally respected source of local food and began to reap benefits. Hewitt, an area resident and family farmer, previously wrote about the area as a potential example of localized agriculture and economics, especially for a population whose residents' median income was below state average. But curiosity and healthy skepticism, along with his own investment, spurred him to this deeper investigation into the local personalities driving the movement, and to observe, participate and reflect upon such odiferous activities as pig slaughtering. The resulting blend of analysis and reflection highlights the possibilities and perils of what Hewitt argues will impact the agricultural and economic future for better or worse.


In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan

This book is Michael Pollan's follow-up to The Omnivore's Dilemma. This time around Pollan takes a closer look at who tells us what to eat and why. In so doing he, well, tells us what to eat and why. His succinct advice at the beginning of the book serves as a comfortable fallback to anyone confused about making the best food choice for themselves and good ol' Mother Earth. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." (By "food" Pollan means real food, whole food, minimally processed food, you know, "food".)



The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

This book includes eye-opening case studies of the history of our relationships to four specific plants.


Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe


This is the book that started it all. It's a classic and still worth reading, so definitely check it out. This is a 1971 best-selling book; the first major book to critique grain-fed meat production as wasteful and a contributor to global food scarcity. Eating a planet-centered diet, she argued, means choosing what is best for the earth and our bodies—a daily action that reminds us of our power to create a saner world.



Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé:

Mind-opening, paradigm-shifting, and wise, while at the same time very personal. A look at food issues in several places in the world; their inseparability from economic and social justice issues; and how the keys to resolving these issues lie in how we each look at the world and at our lives.


Diet For a Hot Planet by Anna Lappe

Anna Lappe brings us the book that we've all been waiting for -- one that compiles all the ways that our food choices and our food system impact global warming. Lappe reflects on why food is so important in solving the climate crisis. Packed with facts and figures, Lappe's book does a good job of laying out the issues in an accessible way. The conclusion, consisting of seven commonsense principles of a climate-friendly diet, suggests that we select unpackaged, 'real food,' including lots of veggies; go organic and local when possible; and choose food that we prepare, and maybe even grow, ourselves.


Food Matters by Mark Bittman

Bittman takes a look at all the ways our food choices can have an impact, but doesn't get caught up in food being the golden arrow that will solve the climate crisis. This book is great for people who are concerned about making positive food choices but want to skip the serving of guilt.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

A thoughtful and lyrical journal of the author's year of eating locally, including what worked and what didn't, interwoven with a turkey love story (sort of!).



Empires of Food by Evan Fraser and Andrew Rimas

The writing duo takes us from the accumulation of wealth by Benedictines through agricultural land, to the fall of the Roman Empire, to the contemporary rice research labs in China. One of the most interesting conclusions coming out of this book is that "Global food and local food offset each other's failings."


Agricultural Urbanism by Janine de la Salle and Mark Holland

In this first comprehensive view at city planning around food, de la Salle and Holland examine the best practices and case studies that demonstrate what our cities could look like if food and agriculture became one of the pillars of planning. They have dubbed this new planning "ism" Agricultural Urbanism (AU). The idea caused a minor stir in Metro Vancouver when the developer of a proposed controversial development used concepts of AU to justify using prime farmland.


Farm City by Novella Carpenter

Michael Pollan says, "If you think the local food movement is getting a tad precious, then you'll relish Farm City. Novella Carpenter's captivating account of the funky little farm she created on an abandoned lot in a rough section of Oakland puts a whole new twist on the Agrarian tradition in America: she's going for a mind-meld of Fifty Cent and Wendell Berry, or an inner-city version of The Egg and I -- if you can conceive of such a thing without your head exploding."


Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffran Foer

This is an excellent book that treats the question of eating animals in a nuanced manner, going beyond previous books on the subject. Foer's lovely writing makes it a great read.



Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages by Anne Mendelson

(from sleeve) "Part cookbook—with more than 120 enticing recipes—part culinary history, part inquiry into the evolution of an industry…" The book is part history of milk, part how-to manual for everything you might want to do with milk. And you won't know that you want to do most of these things until you read the book! Mendelson is erudite, thorough, and amusing.



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