Category: Reviews

Book Review: “We Are Each Other’s Harvest”

When you imagine a farmer, what comes to mind? For many, it’s a white man in plaid and jeans in an expansive field with a tractor. Author Natalie Baszile begins “We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy” with a similar image, describing a mural meant to be a tribute to

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Book Review: “Woodsqueer”

Gretchen Legler says some people may describe her as “woodsqueer,” a somewhat obscure term for those “who’d been in the woods too long.” Her latest book, “Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life,” embraces the moniker wholeheartedly, with an emphasis on both “woods” and “queer.” Part memoir and part natural history, this place-based collection of essays

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Book Review: “The Home-Scale Forest Garden”

Somehow, I naively thought that forest gardening involved growing crops in the forest. While people do harvest nuts, fruits and herbs from the woods, “forest gardening” has come to mean gardening “like a forest.” In “The Home-Scale Forest Garden,” Dani Baker shows how to design a multi-layered garden of edible plants that mimics the ecology

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Book Review: “Energetic Herbalism”

Kat Maier has been a practicing herbalist for over 30 years and it is clear from her writing in “Energetic Herbalism: A Guide to Sacred Plant Traditions Integrating Elements of Vitalism, Ayurveda, and Chinese Medicine” that she is well versed in her craft. This new book explores the underlying energetic connection with nature that many

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Book Review: “Natural Palettes” and “The Wild Dyer”

Gather ‘round, friends! Today only! Two reviews for the price of one! And what a lovely duo we have to delve into. On the surface, “The Wild Dyer” by Abigail Booth and “Natural Palettes: Inspiration from Plant-Based Color” by Sasha Duerr seem in obvious competition with one another. Both books being born and written from

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Book Review: “Bite Back”

Years ago as a graduate student navigating a faculty-student social mixer, I asked a respected professor about his subject of expertise. After a moment’s reflection, he patiently explained that my question was misleading, that all subjects are interconnected portals to understanding collective experience. Reading “Bite Back: People Taking on Corporate Food and Winning,”edited by Saru

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Book Review: “A Small Farm Future”

Whether you’re a gardener, a farmer, or just an eater of food, the production of food is going to change as the climate changes. We’re seeing it already — droughts, fires, extreme heat, torrential rains, changes in habitats, catastrophic weather events that happen regularly. There are depleting soils, more poisons like PFAS in the environment,

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Book Review: “Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts”

It was only by accident that artists Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano created Hortus Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Stone Ridge, New York, just two hours north of the city. In 1999 they moved to the 3-acre property and immediately began acquiring plants that could be used for their botanically inspired artwork. In their quest

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Book Review: “The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora”

Alan Bergo’s relationship with food and foraging is influenced by both his background in the culinary arts (he’s worked in high-end kitchens across the Twin Cities) and his insatiable curiosity about the world around him. In “The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora” — which, according to Bergo’s well-known blog, is set to be the first

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