Growing Roots Book Review
Oh my goodness can I share how much I love, love, loved this book! Every second of every moment of time I had in the last week, I was peeking through these amazing stories.
The author, Katherine Leiner, travels around the United States interviewing all kinds of folks involved in the current food movement. From chefs, to farmers, to activists, to business owners, she brings us into their world. Each piece highlights the journey of each individual in becoming whatever it is that involves food and sustainability practices.
You’ll remember, she highlighted Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, documentary filmmakers of King Corn. But that was way back on page 67! There are 300 pages of astute and passionate people sharing with us their dreams of quality, environmentally aware, conscientious food.
And did I mention it is loaded with recipes? All that I will copy before I bring it back to the library!
From restaurant owners like Chris Jackson of Ted and Honey in Brooklyn, Tod Murphy of The Farmers Diner, highlighted in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, to Katrina Blair of Turtle Lake Refuge in Durango, Colorado, and Blake Spalding and Jennifer Castle of award winning Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah.
From young entrepreneurs like Jamie Peterson of Peterson Winery and Vineyards, Alison Baily Vercruysse of 18 Rabbits granola, Neil Gottlieb of Three Twins Organic Ice Cream in Napa, to Joslyn Erica of Hummingbird Herbals.
There are food activist and oystermen, almond growers and vegetable oil vehicle converters! This book is chock full for anyone who is interested in sustainable farming, homesteading, urban homesteading, organic food, health, natural remedies, living simply, or my goodness anyone who needs renewed hope in our collective future.
I think the story that stood out the most, although they were ALL beautiful and inspiring, was that of Matthew Moore. A family of farmers, Matthew went off to study art in college then returned home to work his family farm. As it slowly was getting encroached by suburbia, he started to take his art to the fields. From his website:
“Welcome to urbanplough.com, my name is Matthew Moore and I am the last of four generations to farm my family’s land outside of Phoenix, AZ. Within five years, my home (this land) will transform into suburbia. In this site you can explore how I have documented and translated this development using art, in the form of earthworks, video and installation. While the loss of my family’s land is not the sole focus of my work, it certainly has initiated my greater exploration of using art to address environmental and economic sustainability issues.”
I think the most fascinating part of his story, is his art. That is what hung in my memory. His art.
In Growing Roots, there are two photos of his work on opposing pages and they are striking. Check em’ out:
In this photo, he had cut into a 20 acre barley field the building plan for a house that was built in his area:
Here, he planted one years crops in the shape of the new neighborhood that would be built on top of that land:
O.K., enough already! Go check this book out, whether you get it from the bookstore, or the library, just get it.
Spill it: What stories inspire YOU? Are they those of the sustainability movement? A CEO? An activist? Do share so we can be inspired by their stories too!