The Just 20 Weekly Booklist contains 20 recommendations on a topic or genre for patrons of all ages. The list, curated by Lisa & Beth, is designed to proceed in level from older audiences to younger.
"Gardening is not a rational act. " – Margaret Atwood
In this challenging year, we are constantly reminded of our good fortune in living where we do and being so close to the natural world and its rhythms. One of the greatest opportunities we have is the chance to nurture a piece of earth, no matter how big or small, or to honor another's labor to bring forth food and sustenance. Gardening and preserving are acts of hope and provide us with a forward-looking anticipation to a time of bounty. We can all use a little bit of that hope right now, and we hope that you find inspiration in some of these titles.
"Green Thoughts" is an original collection of seventy-two essays, alphabetically arranged, on topics ranging from "Annuals" and "Artichokes" to "Weeds" and "Wildflowers." An amateur gardener, Perényi draws upon her wide-ranging knowledge of gardening lore to create a delightful blend of how-to advice, informed opinion, historical insight, and philosophical musing. There are entries in praise of earthworms and in protest of rock gardens, a treatise on the sexual politics of tending plants, and a paean to the salubrious effect of gardening.
By recognizing the critical issues that lie at the intersection of race and food, this collection of portraits and stories challenges the status quo of agrarian identity. Author, photographer and farmer Natasha Bowens' quest to explore her own roots in the soil leads her to unearth a larger story, weaving together the forgotten history of agriculture for people of color and the culture and resilience they bring to food and farming.
"The bible of home canning, preserving, freezing, and drying."
—The New York Times
"Putting Food By" shares step-by-step directions to help you preserve your bounty safely and deliciously with by providing detailed instructions instructions for canning, freezing, salting, smoking, drying, and root cellaring, suggested recipes, information on preserving with less sugar and salt, and tips on equipment, ingredients, and health and safety issues.
Transform leaves, grass, and kitchen scraps into gardener's gold! This easy-to-use guide shows you how to turn household scraps and backyard refuse into nutrient-filled compost that can nourish your soil and promote a thriving garden. You'll soon be saving money, minimizing waste, and enjoying bountiful harvests and . . . complying with Vermont's new Universal Recycling Law. A win-win!
This book provides essential information for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself. If you want to devote some of your harvest to the wonders of preserving through fermentation - this is the book for you!
Coleman was one of the early advocates for the revival of small-scale sustainable farming, doing much of this early work at the Mountain School in Vershire. In The WInter Harvest Handbook" he provides a practical model for supplying fresh, locally grown produce during the winter season, even in climates such as ours where conventional wisdom says it "just can't be done."
There is a fantastic array of vegetables you can grow in your garden, and not all of them are annuals. In "Perennial Vegetables" the adventurous gardener will find information, tips, and sound advice on less common edibles that will make any garden a perpetual, low-maintenance source of food. Less work, more home-grown food!
Magical encapsulations of the future, seeds also are tiny worlds of their own. If you have ever wondered how seeds are formed and dispersed, why they look the way they do, and how they fit into the environment, this is the book for you. The photographs are sublime and a reminder of the intense beauty and the incredible organization of the natural world.
In "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" Kingsolver details her family's attempt to eat only locally grown food for an entire year after moving to their Appalachian homestead. The beauty of this book lies in her premise that in the 21st century the world is a a complicated place and there is no morally or aesthetically pure way to eat, simply a series of trade-offs that each of us must muddle through until we find something that allows us to sleep at night.
In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. This is the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it; and while it is not quite apple season yet - the impending arrival of that delightful and delicious time always reminds me of this novel.
Told through multiple points of view, this story centers around a community garden plot and all the people who contribute to it. Through each narration, we see the continual transformation of the lot, which mirrors the change of the people tending to it. This slim novel illustrates that growth is never easy, but the rewards to be sown are great and bountiful. The diversity of the characters can be further appreciated in the multi-cast production if the audiobook, geared toward ages 12 and up.
Cesar Chavez was a boy who loved his life on the farm. When times got tough and he and his family had to leave their home to become migrant workers, Cesar found ways to work towards better conditions for everyone. Turning the attention from the food being harvested, to the mistreatment of the workers doing the collecting, brought thousands of people together for peaceful protests that enacted real change. Yuyi Morales’s sumptuous artwork captures the vibrant feel of the landscape and the passions of the people inspired to take action.
Did you know that corn comes in a variety of colors, like green, purple, blue, and red? Or that the world’s oldest popcorn was from New Mexico in 2300 B.C. and that corn is an intentional crop, which means you can’t find it growing in the wild. So many fun and interesting facts about this vegetable that has come to have a myriad of uses-- from food to fuel to household items. Even the stalks provide entertainment, like the corn mazes found here in Vermont. Don’ t miss the other books in this series, like The Life and Times of the Apple.
There are festivals around the that take place at different times of the year, many that coincide with the full moon. One of these is the Harvest Moon that signifies a time to eat and be thankful for all that has been grown and collected. Marilyn Singer’s poetry, accompanied by Julia Cairn’s artwork, takes us on a journey around the globe. Some lunar celebrations are large, some quiet and intimate. There’s information provided in the back of the book that explains more about the background of each setting.
A picturebook biography about a man who wanted to recreate the joy of his childhood through growing vegetables and making good food. His persistence and problem solving skills have helped him to turn a dilapidated city plot into a vibrant farm he named Growing Power. Twenty thousand visitors come each year to tour the grounds and learn how to grow their own produce. It’s amazing what can sprout from one person’s fruitful vision, and the hard work that it takes to make it flourish. Farmer Will says his secret is--- worms!
Ever wonder about the people you see at the Farmers' Market? G. Brian Karas takes us behind the scenes as a variety of farmers and makers get ready to bring their produce to their stands to sell. Divided into two parts, the story shows the interconnectedness of community and the ways in which we come together and celebrate food-- which includes harvesting, cooking and eating. Reading this book is sure to inspire you to go out and visit a market, and maybe make a new (yummy!) discovery.
Told through a series of letters, this story chronicles a young girl’s journey from her farm to her uncle’s place in the big city. Set during the Depression-era, David Small’s color palette changes over the course of the book, as Lydia Grace begins a secret garden of her very own. As she gains some independence and learns the joy of baking, she also discovers that flowers have the power to open minds and hearts.
When Miss Rumphius was a little girl her grandfather inspired her to travel, but also to make the world a more beautiful place. As she grows older, she discovers the joy of seeing the world, as well as the beauty of the lupine flowers she returns home to. Spreading those seeds from place to place and town to town she is able to bring happiness to others through her efforts. These flowers instill a sense of wonder, as people start to notice something growing that wasn’t there before. A classic picturebook that might inspire you to order some seeds this fall to make next spring more colorful in your little corner of the world.
A love letter to all the people who helped bring the food to your table as you sit down to eat. From farmers and fisherman, to delivery drivers and grocery store workers, Pat Brisson thanks them all, and Mary Azarian lovingly depicts them in her signature woodblock style. A wonderful reminder to appreciate all that we cannot see, and the people who help make our meals possible. Eagle eyes may spot the shout out to local Thetford Creamery.
This classic story is for the youngest harvesters. A boy and his bear ramble and scramble through many a berry bramble. The lilting cadence and the vibrant, nonsensical pictures make this a perfect read-aloud. Years from now, you may find yourself revisiting some of the lines when picking your own berries. “Quickberry! Quackberry! Pick me a blackberry.”