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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...

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...

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...

Students slice and dice for a better future in ‘Pressure Cooker’ documentary

With a supervisor who doesn't mince words and likes to yell, men and women battling over hot stoves for their big chance, and a ticking clock and other on-camera conventions, Pressure Cooker could be mistaken for a prime-time reality show. But it's actually a "real" story about students in the Culinary Arts...

Michael Pollan on the rise of the food movement(s)

Pollan nation: In what is ostensibly a five-book review for the June 10 New York Review of Books, journalist Michael Pollan has an epic essay charting the emergence and character of the food movement. Or, as he puts it, "'movements,' since it is unified as yet by little more than the recognition that...

Bringing everyone to the table: A review of “PolyCultures”

A handful of recent movies - most notably "Food, Inc." and "Fresh" - have undoubtedly boosted the number of people with something to say about national food policy. And just as the local foods movement emphasizes supporting local farms and producers, filmmakers are beginning to take a closer look at the...

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