Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press; 50066th edition (April 1, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #391,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #83 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays #749 in Books > Science & Math > Agricultural Sciences > Food Science #996 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Ecology
Last summer I received this book as a surprise gift from my son's partner. Its author is a like an aunt to her, and she thought I might enjoy it. I was very touched by this generous gesture and certainly hoped to like it; its vivid cover looked inviting and the topic intriguing, but my expectations were modest at best. Dutifully I delved into it - lo and behold, I didn't just like it. I loved it. The writing is lyrical, the stories are powerful. Its narratives, chronicling the experience of people bringing forth food from the earth, put this book squarely on the shelf with Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle and Pollon's Omnivore's Dilemma.English lacks a word for people who grow their own food while working a day job: hence the book's dissertation-length title, The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans. "Gardener" connotes flowers more than edibles; "farmer" and "grower" suggest fulltime professionals, and "subsistence farmer" conjures up hardscrabble sharecropping. Our closest term is kitchen or cottage gardeners. The author highlights eight gardens, each created and nurtured by people whose pleasure in growing things and deep reverence for the earth are powerfully and poetically expressed - especially captivating since few of them would be comfortable writing their observations and experiences. The reader feels privileged to sit in on the dialogue between author and subject - lush descriptions jump off each page, allowing us to see, smell, taste, and feel the bounty of these gardens. Each day's sequence of harvesting, preparing, preserving, and eating, along with endless garden tasks, including saving the best seeds for the next year's planting, come to life.
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