Blithe Tomato

Blithe Tomato

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by Mike Madison, Patrick McFarlin
     
 

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Cultural Writing. Biography. Across America, people are escaping fluorescent-lit grocery store aisles to rediscover the fresh, seasonal offerings of the farmers' market. A new and thriving culture has sprung up as thousands gather each weekend to pinch, poke, smell, and probe the produce-and at times each other. Who knew that buying peaches and eggplants could be

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Overview

Cultural Writing. Biography. Across America, people are escaping fluorescent-lit grocery store aisles to rediscover the fresh, seasonal offerings of the farmers' market. A new and thriving culture has sprung up as thousands gather each weekend to pinch, poke, smell, and probe the produce-and at times each other. Who knew that buying peaches and eggplants could be such fun? Mike Madison, who raises organic flowers, melons, olives, and apricots, has been setting up at these markets for over twenty years. With keen observations and sly wit, Madison presents a series of essays and vignettes that introduce us to the characters who make our food, the economy that produces it, and the spirit that has placed farmers' markets among the fastest growing movements in the country.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In a series of essays about his life as a California subsistence farmer, Madison ruminates on lessons learned during his 20-plus years in the farmers' market society. Opening with a depiction of a person he's met or a scene from agrarian life, these vignettes often blossom into expositions on larger issues and become a pulpit from which Madison preaches his sermon. His account of his experiences growing sweet corn becomes a rant against the processed food industry; the shadows of military cargo planes flying overhead launch a diatribe against what he sees as America's imperial ways. The overuse of heavy-handed analogies, a pervading tone of superiority and brash, stereotyping statements ("Like many people whose wealth is unearned, he was a rabid Republican") will alienate many readers. Redemption lies in essays about aspects inherent to the life of a small farmer: a love of nature, a sense of pleasure in one's work and an intrinsic connection to the earth and all living things. Musings on the abundance evident at farmers' markets, the nostalgic power of lilacs and the pleasure of eating a fig warmed on the tree by the afternoon sun illuminate Madison's passion for his job and add warmth to what might otherwise be a collection of denunciations of contemporary society. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597140249
Publisher:
Heyday Books
Publication date:
04/01/2006
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.66(d)

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