A few weeks ago, while at a good friend’s house I noticed a book on her coffee table titled Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She told me that she originally read a copy from the library, but that it was such a good book and she raved about it so much that her sister had gotten her a copy for Christmas and she was now re-reading it. Anytime a book gets that kind of endorsement, one really ought to listen and pick up a copy of the book. Which I did, once it was available from the library. (They have 18 copies and I was wait listed on my hold!)
This truly is one of those books that will make you think about your life and how you are living it. It is the story of a family of four eating locally (mostly) for a year. They grow their own crops, raise their own poultry, collect eggs from their chickens, and purchase the bulk of the food that they cannot produce from local farmer’s markets. The book is really entertaining. It is far from preachy, and it really has made me think.
Last year, I began trying to grow some of my own tomatoes in the back yard in a 2 foot by 4 foot plot. I was relatively happy with the harvest, but I know I made some mistakes. (Like planting 4 tomato plants within a 4 square foot plot of land.) I also grew basil, oregano, and thyme. I’m still using my own basil that I dried in the fall. After reading this book, I’m excited about the idea of expanding the garden to include some larger plots of land and some other veggies that I really like. I believe I will try my hand at the following:
- Summer Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Green Beans
Of course, I will also plant a few tomato plants but they are going to be further apart this year.