STATUS QUOtes — 20210322

“Platitudes? Yes, there are platitudes.
Platitudes are there because they are true.”

— Margaret Thatcher —

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Today’s STATUS QUOtes

 

“If you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.” — John Candy

“Their cup is not empty; you can’t just pour your ideas into it. Their cup is already full, so you have to understand what is in their cup.” — Melinda Gates

“What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive.” — Barbara Kingsolver

“It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.” — Paul Graham

 

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I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
— Marlene Dietrich —

 
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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2021 — JBRish.com


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life – Book Review

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
by Barbara Kingsolver, 2007
Pages: 384, ISBN: 9780060852559

Reviewed by Jeff Ross, Master Gardener, Maricopa County, AZ – 2007



“Our highest shopping goal was to get our food from so close to home, we’d know the person who grew it. Often that turned out to be ourselves as we learned to produce what we needed, starting with dirt, seeds, and enough knowledge to muddle through. Or starting with baby animals, and enough sense to refrain from naming them.” — Barbara Kingsolver

Master Gardeners have a diverse set of interests and concerns some of which may be directly connected to gardening. I have always had a respect for nature and science and how they relate to the various methods involved with successful gardening, i.e. composting, vermiculture, pest management, etc.

It was because of these attractions that I read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver first got my attention because she lived in Tucson and did her fair share of desert gardening. This book, however discusses her journey from the desert southwest to “a place that could feed us”; Virginia. Not only did she and her family change their geographic location, they took this opportunity to revise their lifestyle to adapt their lives to creating as small an environmental footprint as possible as a one-year experiment which could be extended.

She readily admits that what she and her family embarked upon is not practical for some and may be difficult for others. The book, however, is an attempt to encourage most of us to think about how we obtain our food and water and whether we can do so in a way that is better for our health and the health of our planet.

Barbara Kingsolver does not attempt to force this lifestyle on the reader. Throughout the book she simply says this is what I am doing and you can do it too. There is no preaching, just an explanation of her methodology and environmental philosophy. The author makes note of the trade-offs. Naturally some of the adjustments will not work in other geographic areas or meld well with certain lifestyles. The main takeaway is that most of us can probably do better and work smarter to help ourselves and our environs.

The reader follows along as Kingsolver and her family raise their plants for both immediate consumption and preserving for out-of-season use. The sections related to raising animals for family meals may prove a bit more difficult for some to appreciate. Even turkeys are cute when they are chicks, but this does not shield them being served on a dinner platter in Kingsolver’s household once they become adults.

This book does not portray the family’s adventure as a panacea and we suffer along with Kingsolver and her family as they deal with a variety of pests, blights and animal infertility. Through it all she exhibits her witty take on the entire situation as only she can do. Injecting humor into serious topics proves to be one of her fortes and makes the book immensely enjoyable even as she refers to the slaughtering of animals using the euphemism of “harvesting.”

Not only do we read the thoughts of Barbara Kingsolver herself, but also those of her husband Steven Hopp and her daughter Camille. Camille focuses on the nutrition aspects of the family’s locavore inclination and contributes recipes for us to consider. Steven offers a deeper dive into the science and business-related aspects of their new lifestyle and how it contributes to their goals.

One of the last chapters of the book discusses her ordeal with trying to raise turkeys who are generally artificially inseminated for this process, but she is determined to encourage her charges to do it the old fashioned way. We follow her trials and tribulations thorough this ordeal. It is perhaps the most poignant and satisfactory section of the book.

To make the book and subsequent message more enriching for readers, the author(s) have created a website to add to and enhance their story in hopes of helping all readers to consider some of their suggested lifestyles modifications.

NOTE – The website, http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/, is divided into several sections: The Book (a few brief excerpts), Farm Tour (seasonal happenings), Recipes (downloadable format), Harvest Table Restaurant and more.

STATUS QUOtes — 20190413

Today’s STATUS QUOtes

 

“No sin is small. No grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch.” — Jeremy Taylor

“My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.” — Henry Rollins

“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” — Barbara Kingsolver

“I went to a fancy French restaurant called Deja Vu, and the headwaiter said, ‘Don’t I know you?’ ” — Rod Schmidt

 

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 — JBRish.com


STATUS QUOtes — 20181109

Today’s STATUS QUOtes

 

“Reverie is not a mind vacuum. It is rather the gift of an hour which knows the plenitude of the soul.” — Gaston Bachelard

“The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations.” — Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

“Today I will stop trying to control my relationships. I will participate at a reasonable level and let the other person do the same. I can let go, knowing that the relationship will find its own life-or not-and that I don’t have to do all the work, only my share.” — Melody Beattie

“Childhood is that wonderful time of life when all you need to do to lose weight
is take a bath.” — Grenville Kleiser, Dictionary of Proverbs

 
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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 — JBRish.com


STATUS QUOtes — 20170626

Today’s STATUS QUOtes

 

“One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you’re perceived to be by others.” — Edward L. Flom

“The truth needs so little rehearsal.” — Barbara Kingsolver

“Some live in a dream world, and some face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” — Douglas H. Everett

“Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.” — Marston Bates

 

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STATUS QUOtes — 20160614

“Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin.” — Barbara Kingsolver

“It is the bold man who every time does best, at home or abroad.” — Homer

“Sunsets are proof that endings can often be beautiful too.” — Beau Taplin

“Living up to ideals is like doing everyday work with your Sunday clothes on.” — Edgar Watson Howe

 

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STATUS QUOtes — 20150825

“Hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning. — Barbara Kingsolver

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” — Leonard Bernstein

“If there is one thing worse than being an ugly duckling in a house of swans, it’s having the swans pretend there’s no difference.” — Teena Booth

“Never relinquish clothing to a hotel valet without first specifically telling him that you want it back.” — Fran Lebowitz

 

JBRish.com originally published this post

STATUS QUOtes — 20150518

“The evidence is in, and you are the verdict.” — Anne Lamott

“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.” — Barbara Kingsolver

“Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“We seldom report of having eaten too little.” — Thomas Jefferson