Kingsolver and family undertook a year-long experiment to eat only locally-grown, organic food. They moved from their long-time home in Tucson to a small farm in appalachia. The farm belongs to Kingsolver’s husband Steven Hopp, and they had spent some time there previously.

They planted about 4000 square feet of garden, and raised chickens and turkeys. They sought out suppliers of locally grown food, primarily the local farmers’ market. They did make some exceptions to the locally-grown rule: coffee and olive oil, mostly. And they were unable to find locally grown wheat. But overall they were successful in their efforts.

I found this to be a very informative and inspiring book. Not that I would ever want to cultivate a large garden, but it did reinforce my desire to move away from long-distance and factory-farmed food. The pesticides and herbicides, the high fructose corn syrup, soybean derivatives, gas-ripened tomatoes, and on and on - enough, already! And the huge amount of diesel and jet fuel that is consumed in transporting food around the globe is not only a major expense but a major contributor to pollution and greenhouse gases. We can do better. We must do better.

Living in the Pacific northwest it is relatively easy to find a wide variety of locally-grown produce, dairy, and meat. My wife and I were already moving in that direction prior to reading this book, but now I hope we can accelerate our efforts.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle : A Year of Food Life
  • Author: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 0060852569
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars