The story of a farming experiment that reaped far more than fruits and vegetables.
Skepticism is the first seed planted when Warren (Turpentine, 2007), a novice gardener and self-proclaimed slacker, sought to transform her yard into a farm, in which she intended to produce 75 percent of her family’s consumable food. The author readily admits, “I hate weeding. I forget to water. My garden is a testing ground for plants able to withstand abuse.” This humility and honesty sets the tone for not only the project, but the book as well. Warren’s enthusiasm gained her family’s gradual compliance, and each member and even a few friends contributed to the experiment in their own way. Son Sam was an enthusiast in the kitchen, his brother Jesse an avid mushroomer, and Warren’s husband’s patience and support cultivated not only a harvest, but family harmony as well. The author roots beneath the surface, revealing a candid account of what does and doesn’t work whether in the garden, the kitchen or her life. She provides gardening tips in a witty, approachable manner, most obvious in the chapter “Sadism in the Garden.” Her advice is properly seasoned with a blend of recipes that range from the simple to the downright eccentric—while trying to rid the farm of snails, a bit of culinary research confirmed her suspicion that the pests were closely related to the delicacy escargot. No matter the undertaking or the outcome, Warren demonstrates how determination and a willingness to learn can yield more than crops.
Perfect balance of tips, recipes and anecdotes for continual referencing.