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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Sustainable Farming

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August 25, 2010

Book Roundup Wednesday: Sustainable Farming

Books about environmentalism Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we're recommending books about sustainable farming.

It's a Long Road to a Tomato: Tales of an Organic Farmer Who Quit the Big City for the (Not So) Simple Life (by Keith Stewart, $19, The Experiment, Aug. 2010): In this updated and expanded second edition, Keith Stewart has added five new essays to his tome about the pains and joys of organic farming. A great read for anyone planning a move into the field of sustainable agriculture, Stewart's book unveils specific aspects of "the hidden cost of farming" while keeping readers engaged and eager to learn more.

Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food (by Wendell Berry, $15, Counterpoint, 2009): Renowned Kentucky poet Wendell Berry brings mindful eating into focus with eloquence and authority, his contemplative essays drawing from decades of experience with farming and food. Bringing it to the Table is sure to be a classic in culinary literature.

Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat (by Temra Costa, $16, Gibbs Smith, May 2010): Farmer Jane is a celebration of women's empowerment in agriculture, food-oriented business, and community activism. It features interviews with leading activists and tips for enriching your community's edible landscape. From family life ("women control 85% of household budgets," Costa points out) to communal life, the author shows how women's voices are changing our relationship with food from the farm to the table.

Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists (by Katherine Leiner, $35, Sunrise Lane Productions, Sept. 2010): This collection of interviews with a diverse group of organic farmers, raw-food chefs, winemakers, beekeepers, and slow-food advocates forms an intimate portrait of America's growing sustainable-food movement. Candid conversations are paired with recipes and tips from these passionate foodies, leaving readers feeling enthusiastic about the future of green cuisine.

Edible Heirlooms: Heritage Vegetables for the Maritime Garden (by Bill Thorness, $19, Skipstone, 2009): Author Bill Thorness says that he buys heirloom seeds "to vote with my pocketbook." He provides tips for growing heirloom vegetables adapted to the Northwest, making this book is an excellent resource for West Coast gardeners who want to join Thorness in supporting biodiversity.

--Della Watson

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