View Along Armstrong Road, 2007, Oil on Panel, 12x16
My flight last week to New Mexico had two stops, including one plane change, so there was a lot of sitting both there and back. Before I left though, I took care to choose a good book. I thought it would be a really good distraction for me, plus I could read without any distractions. Nice, huh? I have always been a prolific reader, usually managing to finish at least a few books per week. But in the last few years with all I have going on, I am lucky if I can read a full page before I fall asleep each night. This annoys me to no end and I miss being able to breeze through books that seem so interesting. Reading this little each day makes it so difficult to follow a plot line or to really feel what the book is saying. However, despite the fact that I can hardly read one book each month I have not stopped buying books that interest me, and I am guessing I could start up my own small town bookstore with the number of books I have stacked next to my side of the bed, all patiently waiting their turn for me to get to them.
I have been itching to read a book that I have had on hand since practically the day it was released. "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. And then Bridgette mentioned the book to me awhile ago thinking I'd like it and boy was she right! It was the perfect book. While I didn't read so much on the way there, I finished the entire book on the flight back home. It's about the author's family and how they spent a year eating only local and in season foods, or food they grew or raised. The purpose was to order to cut back their reliance on the foods that use incredible amounts of fossil fuels to get to our supermarkets as well as to support local food growers. It's a fascinating book, full of research combined with their experiences and certainly has inspired me to make some changes in what we buy and when we buy it. We already do some things, we try to grow our own food (try is the key word there, heh), we have the eggs and I do buy local food especially during the summer when the farmer's market is open. I mostly cook our meals from scratch and I do a lot of baking as well. But I confess to buying too many packaged foods, mostly crackers, pasta, and cereal, and I have a tendency to buy a lot of bananas and other fruits and vegetables out of season.
So I am all charged up now, and Doug and I are going to make a more serious effort at growing a better and more productive vegetable garden next year. This year the garden got away from us and while we had great greens for awhile plus strawberries, garlic, zucchini and the tomatoes are looking good, the rest got eaten by pests or smothered by weeds. Since I want to grow so many other things, I am putting together a new plan for the garden, which will be a ton of work (um, starting next month). But good worthwhile, albeit backbreaking work.
Anyway, I highly recommend this book. It is well researched and sure highlights how messed up our food system here in America has become.