Sunday, January 28, 2007

Book Excerpt #1

My co-author, Aaron Newton and I have decided to post occasional excerpts from the book drafts as they stand. You can see his over at his blog Here's the first of mine. Remember, these are early drafts, so be gentle in your comments ;-).

This one is from my section that argues everyone should be a farmer because the food is better. As you'll see, that ain't all that's better:

"The food is sensuous, luxurious, beautiful, lush. It will make you happy, feed every sense as well as your hunger. Growing it and picking it with your family will give you a sense of warmth, security, happiness and joy. It will improve your health, improve your diet, improve your sex life.

Wait a minute. Did she just say "sex life?" Yup. Food is sensuous. We all know that. Ever read _Like Water for Chocolate_ or see the movie _Tampopo_? Ever feed each other strawberries or enjoy the taste of coffee on a lover's lips? Well growing food is the ultimate sensual experience. The range of tastes and textures, the pleasure of the sun on your shoulders, or the warm rain on your back, the smells of herbs, flowers and warm earth, the rich colors and silky textures... Whether you fall down and take one another in the garden or wait until bedtime, the taste of ratatouille or blueberry pie still on your tongues, gardening together improves your sex life. It awakens your awareness of one another, warms up your muscles and gets your juices flowing. You are talking to a woman with four kids here. Trust me.

It is also an excellent family activity, if, by some chance, you should be so swept away that you lie down among the eggplants and forget your diaphragm. If, in the pleasure of generation you decide to do some generatin' yourself, rest assured that gardening is one of the best things you can do for your family. It gets you all outside. When children help grow food, they are more likely to eat it. They can play in the garden and learn to help at an early age, pulling weeds and planting seeds. Children are naturally attracted to the garden, and it nurtures them, helps them develop a sense of place and an appreciation for their environment. It is good for their bodies and good for their souls to be out in the garden, especially with Mommy and Daddy, working and playing together, watching the sky and the butterflies and nibbling at the strawberries. This is what childhood should be."




Cheryl said...

You should have no trouble convincing people with an argument like that! :D

CeltiaSkye said...

I grew up in the country. We had a large garden every summer and I absolutely hated it. I'd much rather be off somewhere with my nose in a book instead of picking row after endless row of green beans.

Now I'm an adult, and a few years ago I chose to move from the city to the country. I have my own garden now. I'll never be a passionate gardener but I try to at least view it as something healthy and necessary, like brushing my teeth every day, rather than the drudgery I felt as a child. Hopefully I can convey some of your joyful spirit to my own child.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read your book. I read your blog religiously and have found that the things of which you write really resonate with me. I've recently started a very small garden myself, which I'm quite proud of even in its infancy. My question to you is, how many people do you estimate, say in your community, that are small farmers or gardeners? When I look around my community, I know of two local farmers that supply produce to the health food store, and a few other folks like myself that grow a bit, though where I'm located we are certainly a stark minority. I suppose what I'm getting at is, do you see more people taking to heart the call to grow their own food?

Looking for signs of hope...

Anna Haynes said...

Typo, there's no dash in Aaron's URL.

Anonymous said...

i meant, there's not supposed to be a dash; sorry for the ambiguity

jewishfarmer said...

Thanks for the correction about Aaron's blog - my screw up.

Sherri, Nathan Griffith talks about this in his book _Husbandry_ about how we have to be careful how we present the labor of domestic work to kids, because we risk making them hate it. And that's a real issue.

Elitrope - I do see some changes, but they are small. My Mom and Step-Mom are getting their chickens. My best friend is getting a cookstove. One of my neighbors is starting a small business helping people "green" their homes, including helping them put in small gardens. Another neighbor is storing food and collecting rainwater. Some of that probably has to do with their having to listen to me endlessly
;-), but some of it is coming from outside.

We're fortunate - our small community is very close to its farming roots. Half the people on my street have gardens of some sort, including a couple of very large ones. There are small farmers right around me. In places where there aren't, however, there's a double urgency. I see some signs of hope - but they are slow growing, and it is hard to be the first one. But someone has to go first, I guess.


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