by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a non-fiction account of the author and her family eating locally for one full year, growing as much of their own food as possible. Including growing their own poultry. (There’s a whole subplot about turkeys – I loved it.) She has a lighthearted and very real writing tone while still being very informative. I listened to the audiobook read by the authors, which perhaps makes the book more interesting as you can hear the laughter in Kingsolver’s voice, but I have a feeling the book would read nicely as well.
This book was… good. A good, solid, good. Having grown up in a gardening household and being raised by children of farmers (aka, my grandparents are/were farmers), this book wasn’t necessarily eye opening for me. BUT – it was definitely worth reading. (technically, I listened to it on CD, but you know what I mean) If you weren’t raised by farmers, but are interested in growing food, read this book. Even if you were raised by farmers, read this book.
While eating locally for a year may seem like a super trendy concept, really, it’s not. It’s how things were done for ever, up until a hundred years or so ago (unless you were super fracking rich). She really delves in to how in these last few decades we, as a populace, have become so very distanced from our food and where it comes from. That part was eye opening for me, not so much in the where-our-food-comes-from way, but in the people-don’t-know-that? way. Apparently there are people who think that tomatoes grow on trees, or have no idea that carrots grow in the ground. While that may make you chuckle at their ignorance, it should also scare you that these people are not an exception. They’re a whole section of the populace.
Kingsolver gives an honest account of how and why they did their experiment with lightheartedness and lots of facts. I really enjoyed listening to this book, and highly recommend it. Even if you think you know it all about eating locally and farming, I bet you’ll learn at least one thing and the rest serves as an excellent reminder and inspiration to do more.