Friday, July 16, 2010

Gremlin Book Review: Farmer Jane

The Frugal Hostess has a HUGE stack of books that need to be reviewed.  Like Gremlins sprinkled with water, as soon as she finishes one, two more pop up to take its place!  Thus, a new semi-regular column is born.

Subject/Synapsis: Subtitled "Women Changing the Way We Eat," this book is about women who run farms and are participants in the sustainable food movement.  It profiles 30 different women in the industry, describing their agricultural business models. Topics include how to start a CSA, how to get involved in food policy-making, and how to finance renewable energy initiatives.  Costa worked for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers in California on the Farm to School and Buy Fresh Buy Local programs.

Gizmo moments: The cover is really cool, and there are some awesome people featured in the book. This book fits right in with TFH's beliefs about food: that it should be good, clean, and fair.  It also gels with her feminist side.   Costa does a great job of explaining that cheap food is cheap because of the hidden costs: illegal labor gets paid poorly; government subsidies are expensive; and shortcuts to drive profits result in food scares and recalls.

Stripe moments: This is a well-written, well-researched book, which occasionally results in an academic tone.  In other words, it's a little dry.  But sustainable food is a serious issue, so maybe that's to be expected.  There's also a tinge of the brand of feminism (used to be called eco-feminism, but FruHo is old so don't hold her to that) that claims women are somehow more connected to the earth and thus better-suited than men to be its steward.  That is crap, according to The Frugal Hostess, who is far more connected to her couch than she is the earth, truth be told.

Minnie Rose Lovgreen's Recipe for Raising Chickens: The Main Thing Is to Keep Them Happy (English countrywoman's wisdom--hens/eggs/laying/food/setting/chicks/bantams/roosters--in ... ... ... ... ... backyard/country/city)Giveaway instructions: To win the review copy of this book, tell us about a time when you felt close to, or far away from, the earth.  Just kidding; say whatever you want - it's a random drawing.  As a bonus, TFH will throw in a copy of Minnie Rose Lovgreen's Recipe for Raising Chickens, which would be perfect to use with kids if you have a backyard coop.

Whew, that's a lot of pictures in one post!

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  1. I felt really close to the earth the other night when my truck flew off the road and smashed through the bushes in the median.

  2. I once had a truck load of manure delivered to my back yard. I live in a small city. My entire neighborhood felt close to the earth, until my wife made me cover it with a tarp.

  3. I felt close to the earth when I saw an inchworm crawling on my dinner plate. I guess he was a stowaway on the home-grown lettuce.

  4. I am enjoying my first season of a CSA share

  5. Close to the earth??? When I fell on my face tripping over the hose in the garden yesterday!
    lol thanks


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