Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works

Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works

4.7 7
by Atina Diffley
     
 

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A master class in organic farming, a lesson in entrepreneurship, a love story, and a legal thrillerSee more details below

Overview

A master class in organic farming, a lesson in entrepreneurship, a love story, and a legal thriller

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In addition to being a charming memoir of love and living off the land, Diffley's debut is a timely tale of modern farming, the growing organic movement, and the problems that arise when urban development runs up against fertile fields. Diffley met her husband Martin when she visited the roadside vegetable stand at his farm, Gardens of Eagan in Minnesota, which had been in his family for five generations. For years, the couple grew organic crops and sold them to food co-ops, until suburban developers encroached upon their land. They soon became "nomadic farmers," working fields around town while they searched for a new plot on which to settle. Once they found a new home for Gardens of Eagan, business thrived, but when a letter arrives from notorious Koch Industries explaining their intentions to build a crude oil pipeline through the farm, the Diffleys are more determined than ever to save their livelihood. What ensued was a remarkable legal battle, whose outcome prompted the Diffleys to start Organic Farming Works LLC, an agricultural consulting business. Equal parts anecdote and practical organic farming guide, this book is a powerful testament to the Diffleys' passion for their work and a terrific guide to the trials and tribulations of sticking to the land, sticking to the Man, and going organic. Color & b/w photos. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
One family's quest to build, maintain and protect their organic farm. "When people ask what I most cherish about farming, what comes is the depth of intimacy--with plants and nature, with coworkers in the field and at the stand, with produce buyers and customers," writes Diffley, an organic vegetable farmer who founded, with her husband, the consulting business Organic Farming Works. Beginning with her work on her family's farm, the author expresses a love for the soil and all that grows in it; she knows in her heart she is, and always will be, a farmer. She did a stint as a migrant farmer before settling down with her husband, raising children and creating an organic farm of their own. The journey has been rewarding but rarely easy or without complications. Diffley expresses the heartbreak and anguish of losing land to development and fighting to keep her Minnesota farm, Gardens of Eagan, from being overrun by a pipeline. She explains the importance of seeds, their roots and cultivating the soil to best nurture them. "I still think God can be in the form of raindrops, and it is fascinating to me that I can pray for or curse the same drops," she writes, expressing the terror and benefits of a single storm. Through it all, the support of other organic farmers, neighbors and the people and co-ops that relied on her harvests kept Diffley and her family going and growing. An education on organic farming and its importance, as well as a heartfelt love letter to the land.
From the Publisher
Turn Here Sweet Corn is an unexpected page-turner. Atina Diffley’s compelling account of her life as a Minnesota organic farmer is deeply moving not only from a personal standpoint but also from the political. Diffley reveals the evident difficulties of small-scale organic farming but is inspirational about its value to people and the planet.

—Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat

This book is wonderful on so many levels: the swift moving and dramatic story of Atina and Martin Diffley, the farmers of Gardens of Eagan, as they confront wild weather, development pressure, and pipelines. The transformation of Tina into Atina, from confused teenager to strong, passionate, and committed leader in organic agriculture. A powerful argument for organic farming and a must read for anyone thinking of farming—a vivid and realistic picture of the beauties, satisfactions, and stresses of farming as a way of life. And finally, a vision of hope for the future: blending intuitive faith in our oneness with Nature, the most advanced biological science, and the power of community.

—Elizabeth Henderson, author of Sharing The Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture

What strikes me most about this amazing memoir is that for those of us who aren’t farmers but who are versant in such issues as organics, soil building, diversity, GMOs, certification and more—it is utterly different to hear how the farmer herself grapples with them in her daily life. Unlike reading about the same issues in an article, it’s immediate, powerful, tender, heartbreaking and above all, encouraging.

—Deborah Madison,

author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets

"An education on organic farming and its importance, as well as a heartfelt love letter to the land." —Kirkus Reviews

"Like her own farm, this book offers an abundant crop: practical-minded readers will appreciate the how-to’s of soil building and crop rotation as well as information on the rigors of meeting FDA organic standards. Those seeking inspiration will enjoy the story of a single mother’s dogged effort to follow her bliss. All readers will enjoy the organic ethic beautifully demonstrated in the author’s close observation of and deep deference to nature. . . . a satisfying, instructive book." —Library Journal

"In addition to being a charming memoir of love and living off the land, Diffley's debut is a timely tale of modern farming, the growing organic movement, and the problems that arise when urban development runs up against fertile fields. Equal parts anecdote and practical organic farming guide, this book is a powerful testament to the Diffleys' passion for their work and a terrific guide to the trials and tribulations of sticking to the land, sticking to the Man, and going organic." —Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816677719
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
03/30/2012
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.04(h) x 1.16(d)

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