I just finished listening to this book again this year. I cant believe how much more I got from this book the second time around. I have 10 acres in central Texas, we have a flock of chickens and a small heard of goats and of chourse cats and dogs and some other animals. We are by no means a realy Real farm. We are however working towards being a realy real farm, the kind that is self sufficient for the most part. I have looked and looked for guides on the audible web sight for helping me get started with being a real (small scale) farmer, to no avail. This book was the closest thing to having a friend and neighbor who knows the ins and outs of running a small farm as you can get. One of the reasons that I chose this book was its length, I want to have a good long book. I will likely read it again this spring, the insights are Excellent, the explinations of gardens,plantings,flock care,culling,harvesting,cooking,etc,etc are second too none. I very highly recomend this book!
This book captured my attention for its entirety! An endless supply of valuable references and recipes. Most of all the encouragement to eat local and to be local. I also love how detailed Barbara gets with certain topics, such as Asparagus and Turkeys. I feel I have a better understanding of farm life and the daily chores this lifestyle entails. I am purchasing the book as well to have as a reference but loved hearing the audiobook read by the author.
barbara does it again. read all her books b/c she is wonderful. if only we were all this disiplined and could live like her. this is a uplifting and educational book that tells a great true story. all must read.. and to their childresn.
I love this book - one of my favorites of all time in the non-fiction, food genre. Makes me want to get out into the garden no matter the time of year, and I really want to raise chickens (for the eggs). I feel like I am part of the family.
I am 19 minutes away from the end of the book and I am so sad. I want to stay in Barbara Kingsolver's world on the farm and continue learning about eating locally and more responsibly. She is so skilled at expressing her thoughts and masterful at interweaving useful information for all of us.
I highly recommend this audio book. Yes, it is long but I did not even notice.
This book was awesome. Made me want to go dig in the dirt, plant all kinds of vegetable gardens in my yard, start going to Farmer's Markets, raise chickens, make my own cheese, and never buy meat from commercial farmers again. I have always admired Barbara Kingsolver, but this book gave me insight into her family's resolve to live according to their principles and to make a positive impact on their health and the earth. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to connect with the earth and make positive changes for their families.
My daughter sent me this book for Christmas....I was a bit skeptical about whether I'd like it or not. What a work of art....and such a wealth of information! I laughed outloud while driving to work and marveled at the wonderful memories Barbara and her family gathered during this year. Makes me wish I had been there. I love listening to her read also. I will definitely be reading and/or listening to her other books.
The authors do a good job narrating this book. It's easy to listen to and the stories and real and personal. Not everyone can live the same type of life, as laid here, but the examples given in this book are something we all can learn from.
Barbara Kingsolver does know how to tell a good story. She manages to turn what can be a very boring topic and makes it relatively interesting. For anyone who hasn't grown a large garden, eaten their own food, or know why asparagus isn't available in August, then this is a good book. She talks about why, when and how food is grown.
In the vein of making a good story she also anthromorphize all animals and plants. For example, the end story turns a large part on turkeys she is raising. Having raised the exact breed of turkeys she does perhaps gave me a little more insight. Her story is cute, but they aren't people. Applying human attributes to turkeys, or any animal, is annoying and not very helpful. They will squat or want to mate with a towel on a stick.
You also have to be careful. She wants to return her turkeys to a more "natural" animal that can raise their young and help the breed survive. This desire may kill the breed. Bourbon Red Turkeys have never lived on their own, they are a commercial breed developed in the 1900 and raised for meat. If you want to save the breed you need people to buy the meat, which then encourages people to raise the breed to meet the demand. This means it has to be affordable. Having birds sit on their own eggs and raise the breed means a female may raise 6 or 7 birds a year. They can produce up to 50 eggs/year, artificially incubated that's 50 turkeys. Heritage turkeys are already expensive enough to raise and sell, you don't need to increase costs more. Over the last 100 years they almost died out since they have little economic value and are raised as a hobby. If we're not careful they will be lost forever.
Her parts of the book are mixed with commentary from her partner and daughter. She's pretty lose with the facts in the first place, but in these asides lack total balance or realism. They really do detract from the book.