I first started listening to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver upon it being recommended to me. I’m an avid reader, but was encouraged to listen to the book on CD, and I did just that. Here’s where an immense and sincere thank you goes out to said recommender.
As its summary says, the book speaks to myriad food-related topics: “Welcome to the secret hideaway of a long-forgotten goat, the flowers of a peanut plant nosing their way into the dirt, the lost art of turkey sex: In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (HarperCollins Publishers, May 2007), our family documented our year of procuring as much of our food as possible from neighboring farms and our own backyard …
Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this book tells the story of how our family was changed by one year of deliberately eating food produced in the place where we live. Barbara wrote the central narrative; Steven’s sidebars dig deeper into various aspects of food-production science and industry; Camille’s brief essays offer a nineteen-year-old’s perspective on the local-food project, plus nutritional information, meal plans and recipes.”
Honestly, at first I thought it might be too hippy, even for liberal/hipster/twenty-something me. And then I listened to chapter one, chapter two, chapter—well, you get the idea. I wasn’t only engrossed with Kingsolver’s maternal, kind and educated voice, but with the amount of intentional research that matched the passion of Kingsolver and her family.
And it was Kingsolver herself who inspired my (hopefully) miraculous blog!
For my video introductions to this project: A Barbara Kingsolver-inspired Spring/Summer/Fall in gardening adventures. If you’re an experienced gardener and you have suggestions, please know I welcome them! I know I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing; that’s sort of the wicked beauty of it. Thank you for joining me in my journey, it’ll likely be a mixed bag of success, disaster and some oddities; I’m glad you’re along for the ride.
The book is exceptional, one that I will forever thank for reshaping food and earth both, in my mind. After reading, I now think thoroughly about every bit of food I’m putting in my mouth; less as the result of paranoia, and more as a thankful pause for having both access and means to eat good, local food.
My blog will document my journey throughout this Spring/Summer/Fall, highlighting my efforts, successes and flops. Today, I’m just edging toward gardening, hoping to see both vegetables and miracles along the way.