Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

I enjoy Kingsolver’s novels so I was interested, even if this was a nonfiction work. Plus, it was about eating locally and raising much of your own food, which I’m also interested.

Subtitle: A Year of Food Life

Additional writing by: Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Published: 2007

Genre: nonfiction, gardening

Length: 370 pages

Summary: Short version: An example of eating locally and in season

Long version: We follow the Kingsolver-Hopp family through a year of their life as they try to eat primarily local food. They raise much of their own food on their farm in the vegetable garden, orchard, and poultry yard. They also have an excellent farmer’s market to supplement their own food. The follow the seasons in what they eat and preserve much of the extras. A trip to Italy demonstrates a whole culture of eating locally. Hopp wrote sidebars about the negative impact of the industrialization and commercialization of our farms. Camille Kingsolver wrote endnotes at the end of each chapter about how the seasonal food was incorporated into meals, including recipes and weekly menus.

Final thoughts: I very inspiring and thought-provoking book. I seriously reconsidered raising chickens. Perhaps when the kids are older. I decided to start with a dog, and my mom has chickens so I have a source of local eggs and meat. While they took their “eating local” much farther than I ever would (making their own cheese and pasta; no crackers or nuts?), the book provided some inspiration to use local whenever possible. I ordered milk from a local dairy, and I by from farmer’s markets in season as much as possible.

One important point raised was about the price for local, likely organic products. They may be more expensive, but it’s better for the environment and actually provide a living wage for a local farmer. Besides, we pay too little, in terms of what it actually costs to produce, for our food.

Title comes from: The miracle of raising your own food, and a play on the phrase “animal, vegetable, mineral.”

Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was a review of a book read in a previous year

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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