The Turmoil of Soil and Oil

Browsing the thickly laden shelves of a Northampton bookstore, I sucked in the aroma of freshly printed works by people who could be my friends. My pal Lara had shared one of her favorites with me the day before at her Lincoln, MA home. It was there that I recalled the treasured moments of sitting in the sun, reading, uninterrupted and carefree. Other than vacation, I rarely read a book just because. And I remembered how good it felt.

“There it is!” I nearly shouted, drawing my voice to a theaterical whisper. It was the same book my friend had loaned me for the day. I promptly bought it, then devoured its pages, morsel by morsel.

Barbara Kingsolver, best known for her novels, penned a book entitled Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life in which she and her family took on a year-long experiment to eat only locally produced food products. Other than olive oil and a few select items, they lived off the land…and long enough to tell us about it.

I’m only part way through (life and its pressing demands have since taken over), but I wanted to share the importance of the Earth, its soil and the oil we use unwittingly, nay passively, when consuming goods grown halfway around the globe.

Barbara goes into a lot of detail in the beginning, capturing the reader’s interest with statistics and sustaining it with sultry writing. I can read anything, if written well.

Barbara’s is one for the bookshelves in my own home. It shares recipes anyone can try out (even for a disabled cook as myself!) as well as the trials and tribulations of an Appalachian family that embraced Slow food, one root, fruit and lettuce leaf at a time. I highly recommend it!

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  1. Willow

    May 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I will never forget seeing Barbara Kingsolver in person on the Paramount Stage in Charlottesville, VA with John McCutcheon playing guitar. She read from her works, but more than that, commented on her life. With her husband, they have a restaurant they support in southwestern Virginia near their home that features foods grown in their area. We read this book in our bookclub, and invited her to our group…oh how naive we were! Her husband responded kindly, “If Barbara appeared at every venue who invited her, I would never see her.” His email had an apologetic tone, and we totally understood. What a person of integrity she is.

    1. powerofslow

      May 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Wonderful! Yes, I remember you telling me about her. So wonderful that she walks her talk – slow-style!

      Hugs and love to you!

  2. Jeremy Stocks

    December 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Hi there, I blog sometimes about self sufficiency, growing food, Peak Oil, and making juice from my apple tree. I also make wine!

    Have you read Michael Pollan? I found his books transformed the way I approach food.

    It urgently needs updating. will do this soon.

    1. powerofslow

      December 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      Hey Jeremy ~ thanks for your thoughts. I’ve not read anything from Michael Pollan, though I’ve heard good things. It’s on the list!

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