Like I said in one of my previous blogs, farmers and the general public have opposite schedules. We get to do some relaxing in the winter months while the majority of folks have their break in the summer months.
Most winters we are able to get some good reading in and we hope that you will take some time to read some of our favorite, thought provoking, and mostly food or animal related reads this summer. I've listed them in no particular order and there are a few that have been around for a while and that we read some time ago but are such eye opening reads that I included them.
1. Animals in Translation by Dr. Temple Grandin. By now you must know how much we respect Dr. Grandin's works and this book is a wonderful look into how Grandin herself has been able to use her Autism to unlock the mysteries of animal behavior. A great read for anyone who loves animals.
2. Diet for a Hot Planet by Anna Lappe. This book really hits home when it comes to the climate change discussion. Instead of scaring people or dismissing human impact as a cause of climate change, Lappe takes an educated look at how we produce food and how we eat. The best part...she does not shun an animal-based diet but sees animals as an integral part of healing the earth when managed correctly.
3. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Written in 1906, Sinclair's epic novel on many a high school reading list exposed the meat-packing industry of the time and the deplorable working conditions that people endured. Even though we have come a long way since 1906, today's meat industry has its own problems that we must be aware of if we are to make positive changes. A great read.
4. Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes. For me this book means so much since Shannon interviewed us for this book. In the book she talks of the role of women in the household today. She explores why many women across the country are choosing to live simply in spite of having achieved a college diploma, and the changing face of homemaking and motherhood.
5. Holy Cows and Hog Heaven by Joel Salatin. This book is a consumer's guide to sourcing and buying locally raised food. Joel goes into detail about what questions consumers should ask when visiting farms and how to spot a good one.
6. American Terroir by Rowan Jacobsen. In this interesting book Jacobsen discusses terroir or "taste of place" meaning that each region has specific qualities in the soil or certain weather conditions that produce superior agricultural products. The term was originally used to classify wines but now is used to classify everything from berries to fish.
7. Farmer Jane by Temra Costa. In this profile of female farmers, Costa illustrates what femininity has brought to farming and celebrates women who are making a difference in sustainable agriculture.
8. The Omnivore's Dilemma Young Reader's Edition by Michael Pollan. Having been the driving force behind our decision to farm, Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma can now be easily shared and discussed with youngsters with the young reader's edition. What's more important than teaching children about the food system? This would be a great summer read for a family combined with visits to local farms.
9. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. In this cookbook rich with historical stories of food, you will find traditional recipes from around the world many of which focus on pasture-raised meats and offal. A must for any healthy cook.
10. Folks, this ain't normal by Joel Salatin. Last but not least, in his latest book we are entertained and swayed by Salatin's views on the way things are these days. From farming to education Salatin wakes up readers to the unnecessary complications of daily life and lends ideas to what he believes life should be like in America today.