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Shedding light on a permaculture farm: Review of “Bioshelter Market Garden”

As small farmers look for ways to cut costs and increase their profit margins, they focus more attention on the energy used on the farm. Whether they implement energy efficiency measures or find ways to produce home-grown energy (through wind, solar, biofuel, and more), farmers who examine the energy...

Slow what?: Review of “Slow Gardening”

By now, I’m sure that all good Ethicurean readers are familiar with Slow Food and the tenets of this movement: the pleasure of good, clean, fair food and celebrating our many food traditions. The idea of “Slow” has shown up in other organizations and ideas, such as Slow Cities and Slow Money, both of which...

Bounty hunters: A review of two new local-foods cookbooks

As the local food movement expands and the numbers of small farms, CSA programs, and farmers markets increase, so grows the crop of cookbooks aimed at helping people make the best use of that seasonal bounty. Following in the path of Deborah Madison’s excellent overview of America’s farmers markets, Local...

Getting plowed: Kristin Kimball’s captivating “Dirty Life”

The first time I heard of Essex Farm, I was working a kitchen/garden internship at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. The school sent me to the Northeast Organic Farming Association’s 2009 conference, where I carefully chose workshops I thought would help me plan and plant a garden that would...

Book review: Appreciating Elizabeth Andoh’s “Kansha”

Elizabeth Andoh is a prominent figure in my cooking consciousness. Her 2005 book, Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen, opened a new frontier to me: the deceptively simple and elegant world of home-style Japanese cuisine. By following the recipes and techniques in Washoku, the food I cooked was...

Tipping sacred cows: Reviewing “Meat: A Benign Extravagance”

Mainstream culture and news abound with broad statements about our food system and the choices we make about what we put on the dinner table. Surely you’ve heard that if you want to save the planet, you should eat a vegan diet, since raising livestock contributes significantly to carbon emissions and thus...

Two cookbooks give winter vegetables a starring role

The temperatures have plunged below the freezing point, the first major snow of the season has blanketed the ground, and winter is officially here. Baby, it’s cold outside, and there’s not a cute fresh tomato in sight -- to which I can only say, thank goodness. After a superabundance of August heat and lush...

I am woman, hear me store: Review of “The Complete Root Cellar Book”

Now that the farming season is winding down along with my energy levels, I find that I’m really grateful that the food preservation method I lean on most for the produce harvested at this time of year is the simple task of root cellaring. Not that I have a root cellar: I keep my living space temperatures on...

Russ Parsons on ‘Four Fish’ — the one food-politics book to read

Net prophet: "There are few things in life more complicated than sorting through the various ethical implications of which fish you should be eating," writes Russ Parsons in this review of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, a hotly awaited new book by Paul Greenberg. "These days it seems like...

Contain your enthusiasm: Review of “From Container To Kitchen”

As an apartment-dweller, I know the frustration of not having enough soil to call my own for a garden. (Why do you think I garden in other people's yards?) For many years, I've had a small assembly of various-sized pots to keep some of my favorite herbs close at hand, and I've even tried growing the...

Growing with the grain: Review of “Homegrown Whole Grains”

As you may have guessed by now, I love to bake. And since part of my self-employment now entails baking goods to sell at Local Roots, I'm keenly interested both in sourcing what grains and flours I can find locally — as well as growing what I can. Thanks to the inspiration offered by Gene Logsdon in his...

Two recipes – and lots of opinions – from ‘Farmers Market Desserts’ author Jennie Schacht

Summer fruits from the farmers market are the supermodels of the produce world. Just like Heidi Klum doesn't need makeup to be beautiful, a super-fresh White Lady peach or Seascape strawberry doesn't need extra sweetening or seasoning to shine. But given the right recipe—one designed expressly for fruit and...

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