"Finally, a book about local eating that doesn't make me feel bad about myself! Warren entirely avoids the genre's stinky mire of holier than thou preaching, and instead tells the honest and informative story of her edible experiment. The recipes following each chapter are tasty, and the illustrations are stunningly beautiful."
—Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
“Reading Spring Warren’s book is like chatting with a good friend over coffee as she relates her garden adventures (some hilarious) and muses on the meaning of almost everything. This is an instructive, useful book, based on sound garden experience and in-depth research, and it’s an intimate tale of one woman’s relationship to food and family.”
—Georgeanne Brennan, author of Potager: Fresh Garden Cooking in the French Style and A Pig in Provence
“Spring Warren’s memoir of a year feeding her family from her suburban garden resonates with the American dream of self-sufficiencywhat she comes to know of growing food is impressive, the recipes superband it is beautifully written, enlightening, and very funny.”
—John Lescroart, New York Times best-selling author
"A wise and tender-hearted book that will teach you as much about life as it will about gardening."
—Thrity Umrigar, best-selling author of The Space Between Us and The Weight of Heaven
The story of a farming experiment that reaped far more than fruits and vegetables.
Skepticism is the first seed planted when Warren (Turpentine, 2007), a novice gardener and self-proclaimed slacker, sought to transform her yard into a farm, in which she intended to produce 75 percent of her family's consumable food. The author readily admits, "I hate weeding. I forget to water. My garden is a testing ground for plants able to withstand abuse." This humility and honesty sets the tone for not only the project, but the book as well. Warren's enthusiasm gained her family's gradual compliance, and each member and even a few friends contributed to the experiment in their own way. Son Sam was an enthusiast in the kitchen, his brother Jesse an avid mushroomer, and Warren's husband's patience and support cultivated not only a harvest, but family harmony as well. The author roots beneath the surface, revealing a candid account of what does and doesn't work whether in the garden, the kitchen or her life. She provides gardening tips in a witty, approachable manner, most obvious in the chapter "Sadism in the Garden." Her advice is properly seasoned with a blend of recipes that range from the simple to the downright eccentric—while trying to rid the farm of snails, a bit of culinary research confirmed her suspicion that the pests were closely related to the delicacy escargot. No matter the undertaking or the outcome, Warren demonstrates how determination and a willingness to learn can yield more than crops.
Perfect balance of tips, recipes and anecdotes for continual referencing.