A garden book and a cook book that I think you'll enjoy too

May 19 2014 0 Comments Tags: book, garden, real food

When you start thinking about how to live sustainability and self-sufficiently, you realise that it changes everything.  Instead of just buying things, I think about whether we really need the item, whether we could use something else, or make something, and then if we do NEED it, can we get it second-hand or locally made?  Instead of thinking of what I want to eat for dinner and going shopping for the ingredients, I now look in the garden, the freezer and the pantry and decide (usually in consultation with Pete) what to cook over the next few days.  This means that I don't tend to use cook books.  I also find many vegetable gardening books just don't quite get into the detail I need about how much to plant and how to use the produce.  Here are two books that I have enjoyed recently, that I think you will like too, both of them are about how to eat sustainably, whether you grow your own or buy from farmers.


(Both books were supplied to me as ebooks to review through Netgalley, if you are a blogger who likes to read and review books, you should check it out)

Grow a Sustainable Diet: Planning and Growing to Feed Ourselves and the Earth
By Cindy Connor of Home Place Earth blog

Cindy covers so many important topics in this book, starting with what we eat (this may have to change if you want to grow everything you eat!), how to decide what to plant and how much you will need and when it will be ready to harvest, how to improve the soil using cover crops and compost, companion planting, seed saving, storing and preserving food, and even thinking about how to grow enough to feed animals too.  This book is the culmination of years of gardening and teaching a sustainable gardening course, as well as writing her blog.  I really enjoyed reading Cindy's thoughts and her approach.  Not everything is directly useful to me, as she lives in a different climate, but the philosophy certainly applies.  If you are interested in growing enough to feed your family, this book will get you started thinking in the right direction.


The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy, and Kombuchas
By Jennifer McGruther of Nourished Kitchen blog

Even though I don't usually refer to cook books, I enjoyed this one.  The recipes feature real foods, like grass fed meat, free-range eggs, raw and fermented dairy, fermented vegetables, stocks made from real bones, lots of vegetables and everything made from scratch from fresh or preserved ingredients.  Each chapter has a lengthy introduction explaining the foods in the chapter.  Jennifer explains more than just how to cook, she goes into great detail about her philosophy for sourcing locally grown ethical food, even explaining how vealer calves are an integral part of a small dairy business.  I was really impressed.  As we grow so much of our own food and know farmers to buy the rest from, I don't need this information myself, but its exactly what I would like all my city friends to know about sourcing their food.  Like the first book, even though Jennifer lives in a rather unique location (a small mountain town), her approach to making food decisions is widely applicable.  The funny thing is that I didn't see many recipes that I want to use exactly as written, because I have access to different foods and wouldn't use the same combinations, but I do want to try her mayonnaise recipe next time I have excess eggs, maybe I will finally get it to work!  And I got plenty of other ideas to try with different ingredients.



Have you read any good books lately?  What's your biggest challenge to eating sustainable food? (Ours is feeding the chickens from our property, I have lots of ideas, but not time to implement them!)

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