Book club: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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#91 of 107 Old 07-07-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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I've just cracked this book open and am on chapter 3, I think. I just finished with a lot of information about asparagus (which I hate ) but now I'm thinking I simply need to plant some to understand what she's talking about.

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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#92 of 107 Old 07-19-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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I have a chapter or two left and I'm loving this book. We (dh and I) read OD first and I heard about this book and wanted to read how a family took Poulin's ideas and put them into action.
We've discussed this for the last 4-5 years but after reading these books we've decided to tell dh's family that we are seriously considering taking over their dairy farm. There are a lot of changes we need to make and we're hoping that his parents are open to it. We won't be moving to the farm for 3 years (dh is working on his PhD). In the meantime we have a lot to hash out with his family.

As for the thoughts on buying clothes locally- I am an avid sewer but am unsure where you could by local sewing materials (fabric, notions). I guess as an alternative you could commit to wear less and when you do want/need new clothing only buy consignment, or similar.

I had already ordered "nourishing traditions" and started making things from scratch. I now hope to preserve everything possible in our garden. I've already made nasturtium pesto and frozen some:
We would love to have eggs/chickens but it's is evidently illegal to have chickens in our town: The other tricky thing is that we are on WIC and while dh agrees that we should be eating locally he also has a hard time passing up a good deal- never mind free milk/eggs/cereal. One step at a time.

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#93 of 107 Old 08-26-2008, 01:57 PM
 
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I just finished this yesterday. I had been wanting to read it for a long time. I loved it! And am sharing it with others, even though so many people I know have already read it. I know, too, this thread was starting a long time ago.

DH and I had already been doing some of these things, but now we are going to make even more of an effort to eat locally. Especially from Farmer's Markets, of which there are many in our area. We are also going to look for a source of local meat and dairy products. We don't eat that much meat, but we want to make sure that we know where it is coming from when we do eat it.

I'm also going to try my hand at cheese making! Can't wait!

We have our own vegetable garden in the backyard. But what I realized is that I'm good at planting things, but not always so certain about how to care for the plants when they come up. Weeding is pretty obvious, but thinning, pruning, harvesting, pest control -- these are all areas I need to learn more about. Anyone have a favorite organic gardening book to recommend? I wish there would have been more detail or a reference in the book about where to get more info when you are growing vegetables yourself.

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#94 of 107 Old 08-26-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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I have and enjoy Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch but am by no means an expert. I have the same problems as you but this is the book I reference when I think of it.

Happy cheesemaking!

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#95 of 107 Old 08-28-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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I ordered the kit and made some motzarella using raw whole milk from a local dairy. It was gooooood! I then used it to make home made ravioli's. I was very impressed with myself!
I was just about to post the same thing. We made the mozzarella with the kids and my lord it was messy but it was SO much fun and we all loved it. I mean, it's not going to win any awards at the cheese show, lol, but it was an entirely edible mozzarella, and worked well on our pizza.
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#96 of 107 Old 10-28-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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I hope ya'll don't mind me bumping this thread!

I'm reading this book... unlike some of ya'll, I only just recently found out about potatoes having leaf part.

As a suburban-dwelling daughter of urban dwelling parents, it's been facinating trying to garden a bit this year. This book is incredibly enlightening so far... although I have been forwarding past the husband and daughter portions.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#97 of 107 Old 10-29-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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thank you for bumping this, I would have never seen it otherwise!
I am about halfway through the book-- not sure what chapter? But just got past the whole cheesemaking thing and it made me want to make cheese too!! I had a VERY small garden this past year, and reading this book REALLY got me fired up about expanding it next year. ALOT. It also motivated me to find a local source of eggs (which, by the way, I buy for $2.50/doz, same price I pd for "Egglands Best"--which happens to be the brand I suspect she dogs as flat out lying....)
I have the same concern, that now that the "frost is on the punkin" (a Hoosier saying apparently) --growing season is pretty much up, what to eat locally?? I also have the worlds least picky eater--who fancies herself some freeze dried Rambutan (from TJs....imported from somewhere in SE Asia)...

I'd be interested in hearing about other resources for "seasonal eating" plans/recipes....

Kelly, mama to DD energy.gif : (3-30-06) and DS bouncy.gif 7/28/09) ....and gummi, due 3-30-13! (large sch....praying.gif)

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#98 of 107 Old 10-29-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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I just started reading this book, & really am enjoying it! I read Omnivore's Dilemma earlier this year, & also read a lot of Gene Logsdon's books (ie The Contrary Farmer & others), plus am just real interested in the whole local food movement. Other books of interest in this category include This Organic Life (Gussow), Fields of Plenty (Ableman), and Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal (Salatin).
Here's a guide for growing vegetables year round (in Maine, no less!) The Four Season Harvest http://www.amazon.com/Four-Season-Ha...5252816&sr=1-1

I also agree about the appreciating stuff more when you've had a hand in producing it - no wonder people used to have few clothes, of fine quality, that lasted forever - I took up raising sheep & fiber goats 10 years ago, & by the time I've raised the beastie, sheared it, picked the hay & dirt out of the fleece, washed the fleece, grown the plant to dye it, harvested the plant, dyed the fleece, carded it, spun it, & then crocheted the result into something - whee!

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#99 of 107 Old 11-01-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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HAven't read any of the other posts but I just finished this book.

It was like vegetable porn. I had to have some local veggies RIGHT NOW!

So inspiring. Helped me decide against buying a yardless townhouse.
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#100 of 107 Old 11-02-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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I also agree about the appreciating stuff more when you've had a hand in producing it - no wonder people used to have few clothes, of fine quality, that lasted forever - I took up raising sheep & fiber goats 10 years ago, & by the time I've raised the beastie, sheared it, picked the hay & dirt out of the fleece, washed the fleece, grown the plant to dye it, harvested the plant, dyed the fleece, carded it, spun it, & then crocheted the result into something - whee!
! this is true! We are so used to havign stuff so cheap, we have no idea of the work that went into producing it.

The thing that gets me in the book is how far removed we are from the thigns we use... I don't know how to make the couch I'm sitting or the laptop I'm typing this on.... or how my food is grown or how my clothes are made. Or how to start a fire to heat myself in the winter.

I know I probably won't learn all of these things, but this book has at least got me thinking

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#101 of 107 Old 11-05-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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I'm currently about halfway through the book and am really enjoying it. Much of the information I have known for awhile, but some of it is new. Other parts just make sense the way she describes them, whereas before they did not to me.
I have to say that while we will not be taking a year-long local food only pledge, we have for sure changed what we buy based on this book. We bought a CSA share this summer and I was busy preserving fruits and veggies until about two weeks ago :
I was really interested (and saddened) to read that the "free range" chickens really are not.

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Any other vegetarians read the book and find Kingsolver's argument against vegetarianism interesting? I'm veg (I do eat eggs and dairy) and found it thought-provoking...the argument is one I've heard before, and it doesn't make me want to start eating meat or anything, but at the same time I do see the value in, say, preserving heritage livestock breeds (I raise breeds of chickens found on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy's rare/endangered lists).
Yes, this is where I am with this aspect of the book as well.

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It is hard to eat totally local if you're a vegetarian - at least for me. There are no local sources for dried beans, soy, and grains - so it's hard to get protein. We do have our own hens so we get eggs.
Yup.

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What are some of the things you guys just couldn't manage without?
Bananas. We could *manage* without avocado and chocolate, but who would want to?

Mommy to a wonderfully passionate little one
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#102 of 107 Old 11-10-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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I'm so happy to see this thread! I've read it and love it! I've got my dh convinced on local foods as well.

We're doing really good so far, but some stuff I just can't give up. Yet!
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#103 of 107 Old 03-04-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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What an excellent book, I'm so excited for gardening season to start!

I’m nearing the end of AVM and trying to delay finishing it as I’ve loved reading it. I’ve read similar books (all of Michael Pollan) and was hoping someone could suggest some similar reads. Many thanks!

Also, I was wondering which recipes from the book are peoples favorites?
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#104 of 107 Old 03-05-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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I'm such a late-comer... but I have to say, I both understood and was critical of the meat-eating justifications in A V M.

I became a vegetarian because I was tired of feeling like a hypocrite. If someone else can raise, (or hunt), slaughter, and butcher their own meat, good for them. But I can't. It's not in me to do. And I think it's morally wrong to let other people do the dirty work for me.

I also think it's morally wrong to support factory farming, for meat, eggs, or dairy. (Also for grain, but that, sadly, is d@mn hard to avoid.)

So would I prefer that people be veg, or that they make good decisions about what meat they buy? I don't care. Whatever works for you. I don't expect all people to give up all meat- cripe, there are people who must have it to live. I do think people should acknowledge that most Americans eat too much meat/dairy, and I do want everyone to vote with their dollars and their feet and buy ethically produced meat.

So I cannot criticize BK for putting her money where her mouth is.

I also comprehend the pragmatic aspects of animal-sourced food production and rare breeds- are we willing to see rare breeds eliminated? Are we willing to eat the individuals to save the breeds? And if we all stop drinking milk and eating eggs, what would happen to all those dairy cows and hens? Chances are, they'd just die out. Is that what we want? I have no answers, but these are fair questions.

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#105 of 107 Old 03-06-2009, 02:04 PM
 
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Wow! How cool! I'm in the middle of reading this book and just happened across this thread. How exciting. I too have read similar books (Omnivore's dilemma) but nothing comes close to B.K.'s way with words. I love her writing. I think the things that I find most interesting is how a person can think they are being ethical in one respect (raw, vegan, vegetarian, organic) but how that ethical decision is actually leaving a larger carbon footprint than we could ever imagine. I'd love to chat more about this book!
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#106 of 107 Old 03-07-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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I think the things that I find most interesting is how a person can think they are being ethical in one respect (raw, vegan, vegetarian, organic) but how that ethical decision is actually leaving a larger carbon footprint than we could ever imagine.
This is what I LOVE about books like AVM. It challenges common assumptions. Just because something 'seems' better doesn't mean it is. I feel that shattering myths is as good thing, especially if it causes people to think deeper about solutions to complex problems. It's easy to say 'be veg to save the environment/animals', it's much harder to say 'in areas of rich farmland it makes more sense to be primarily veg, etc' kwim? It also challenges people to be less picky about food. It's hard to be picky eating seasonally. During the winter, it's root veggies or nothing. No strawberries or asparagus in December. lol

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#107 of 107 Old 03-13-2009, 10:10 PM
 
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What an excellent book, I'm so excited for gardening season to start!

I’m nearing the end of AVM and trying to delay finishing it as I’ve loved reading it. I’ve read similar books (all of Michael Pollan) and was hoping someone could suggest some similar reads. Many thanks!

Also, I was wondering which recipes from the book are peoples favorites?
For similar books- I liked The $64 Tomato, Still Life With Chickens, The Have-More Plan, Heirloom, Better Off, Never Kiss a Goat on the Lips and depending on your political views Crunchy Cons.

I'm former librarian, or maybe just a book addict.

I loved this book and I led a book club on it. I also had my husband listen to it on CD during a long trip and he loved it too! We're planning on buying a ton of stuff at our farmer's market once it gets started. Craigslist is a good idea for finding local egg producers, or get in on a co-op. I found local eggs for $1.50 a dozen (if I bring my own carton) and local raw milk for $3 a gallon.... (shhh, I feed it to my... cat).

Doula and SAHM to Xander (4) and Lorelei (1.5). EC gave me courage to CD! Our children are intact. Our surprise 1st bio baby due Dec 2010!
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