Grow with DPL

Inspired by physicist and environmental leader Dr. Vandana Shiva, this collection of essays draw on the wisdom of ancient and modern traditions to remind readers of the profound sacredness of the seed--how in its purity, it is the source and renewal of all of life. For centuries the planting of the seed in the earth not only nourished humanity, but also symbolized the mystery of life and the journey of the soul. Yet, modern culture has begun to lose an appreciation of the primal meaning of the seed. Tenderly created from original writings of mystics, shamans, monastics, and priests, and featuring vibrant photos, this book bears witness that the Earth is alive, and establishes that only by working together with the earth--with its wonder and mystery--can we help in its healing and regeneration and once again bring meaning back into the world.

Allen, Will, 1949-

The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, Allen cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot a half mile away from Milwaukee's largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of local residents.

In the face of financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm--a food and educational center that now produces enough vegetables and fish year-round to feed thousands of people. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power has sought to prove that local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.

Bartholomew, Mel, author.

Since Square Foot Gardening was first introduced in 1981, the revolutionary new way to garden developed by Mel Bartholomew has helped millions of home gardeners grow more fresh produce in less space and with less work. Now, based largely on the input and experience of these millions, the system has been even further refined and improved to fully meet today's changing resources, needs, and challenges.

Baszile, Natalie, author.

In this impressive anthology, Natalie Baszile brings together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories to examine black people's connection to the American land from Emancipation to today. In the 1920s, there were over one million black farmers; today there are just 45,000. Baszile explores this crisis, through the farmers' personal experiences. In their own words, middle aged and elderly black farmers explain why they continue to farm despite systemic discrimination and land loss. The "Returning Generation"--young farmers, who are building upon the legacy of their ancestors, talk about the challenges they face as they seek to redress issues of food justice, food sovereignty, and reparations. 

Bergo, Alan, 1985- author.

"The Forager Chef's Guide to Flora explores some of the most exciting ingredients available today-but more importantly, it gives home cooks and chefs alike a whole new way of seeing and thinking about all vegetable ingredients-by looking at them through a trained forager's eyes. Over the past fifteen years, Minnesota chef Alan Bergo has become one of the nation's most exciting and resourceful chefs. Watching wild plants grow and searching for new edible parts of familiar plants transformed his culinary style, similar to how the nose-to-tail movement affected the way chefs consider animals. Now when Bergo sees squash in the garden, instead of waiting for them to ripen, he harvests some while they are still green, and the shoots, flowers, and young greens too. In The Forager Chef's Guide to Flora, Bergo shows how understanding the properties of leaves, stems, roots, and flowers can inform how you prepare something exotic-like the head of an immature sunflower-as well as more common vegetables like broccoli stems or eggplant. As a society, we've forgotten this type of old-school knowledge, including many brilliant culinary techniques that were borne of thrift and necessity. For our own sake, and that of our planet, it's time we remembered. Featuring over 200 recipes, from Seared Hosta Shoots to Raw Turnips with Acorn Oil, Friulian Sautéed Wild Greens to Crisp Fiddlehead Pickles, The Forager Chef's Guide to Flora will unlock new flavors from familiar favorites, and make familiar favorites out of the abundant landscape around you"-- Provided by publisher.

Bowens, Natasha, author.

Imagine the typical American farmer. Many people visualize sun-roughened skin, faded overalls, and calloused hands -- hands that are usually white. While there's no doubt the growing trend of organic farming and homesteading is changing how the farmer is portrayed in mainstream media, farmers of color are still largely left out of the picture. The Color of Food seeks to rectify this. By recognizing the critical issues that lie at the intersection of race and food, this collection of portraits and stories challenges the status quo of agrarian identity. Natasha Bowens's quest to explore her own roots in the soil leads her to unearth a larger story, weaving together the seemingly forgotten history of agriculture for people of color, the issues they face today, and the culture and resilience they bring to food and farming. The Color of Food teaches us that the food and farm movement is about more than buying local and protecting our soil. It is about preserving culture and community, digging deeply into the places we've overlooked, and honoring those who have come before us.

Chaskey, Scott.

Scott Chaskey-working farmer, poet, and spiritual father of the community farming movement-considers "the web of biodiversity and resilience at the heart of our cultural inheritance" by masterfully weaving history, politics, botany, literature, mythology, and memoir into a beautiful and instructive book. It's hard to think of a subject more fundamental to the sustenance of the human race than seeds. Having coevolved with the Earth's plants, insects, and animals, seeds are entwined with the core myths of ancient cultures and the development of human consciousness. Their story remains vitally important today, as the corporations that manufacture GMOs threaten our food security and the future of seed-cultivated agriculture. The stakes, for those concerned with preserving biodiversity and ecological integrity, are high. Balancing a wide view of politics and history, Chaskey alights from life on the farm he has cultivated for 25 years to conjure Gregor Mendel's breeding experiments that yielded our modern understanding of genetics; he also introduces us to several "bioneers," such as the geobotanist Nikolay Vavilov and agriculturalist Cary Fowler, who are preserving global biodiversity through seeds. Integrating scholarship with accessible storytelling, Seedtime is a celebration as well as a call to action urging us to renew our role as citizens of nature, in ecologist Aldo Leopold's phrase, not as conquerors of it. 

Ellis, Barbara W.

Barbara Ellis provides expert answers for all of your toughest vegetable-growing questions. Designed to be used as an in-the-garden reference, this sturdy little volume is packed with helpful information on everything from planning a garden and sowing seeds to battling pests and harvesting organic crops. With clever tricks to cut down on weed growth, secrets for maximizing production in confined growing spaces, and fail-safe watering guidelines, you'll have the know-how and inspiration to grow your most abundant vegetable garden ever. 

Gardner, Lindsay, author, illustrator.

"Join the conversation with more than one hundred women restaurateurs, activists, food writers, home cooks, and professional chefs, including Carla Hall, Ruth Reichl, Julia Turshen, Dorie Greenspan, Priya Krishna, Leah Penniman, Rachel Khong, Osayi Endolyn, Bonnie Tsui, and many others-all of whom are changing the world of food. Featuring essays, profiles, recipes, and more, Why We Cook is curated and illustrated by author and artist Lindsay Gardner, whose visual storytelling gifts bring nuance and insight into their words and their work, revealing the power of food to nourish, uplift, inspire curiosity, and effect change"-- Provided by publisher.

Jeffery, Josie.

An illustrated introduction to saving seeds--how to harvest seeds from your own garden, set up a seed library to share with your community, and grow plants from your own seed stash. With a directory of plants and easy-to-follow instructions, this is the perfect book for first-time gardeners.

Kimmerer, Robin Wall.

"An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science and a Native American whose previous book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation." As she explores these themes she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return"-- Provided by publisher.

Lanham, J. Drew (Joseph Drew), author.

Dating back to slavery, Edgefield County, South Carolina—a place ”easy to pass by on the way somewhere else"—has been home to generations of Lanhams. In The Home Place, readers meet these extraordinary people, including Drew himself, who over the course of the 1970s falls in love with the natural world around him. As his passion takes flight, however, he begins to ask what it means to be “the rare bird, the oddity”—to find joy and freedom in the same land his ancestors were tied to by forced labor, and then to be a black man in a profoundly white field. This book is a remarkable meditation on nature and belonging, at once a deeply moving memoir and riveting exploration of the contradictions of black identity in the rural South—and in America today.

Little, Amanda, 1974- author.

"In this fascinating look at the race to secure the global food supply, environmental journalist and professor Amanda Little tells the defining story of the sustainable food revolution as she weaves together stories from the world's most creative and controversial innovators on the front lines of food science, agriculture, and climate change"-- Provided by publisher.

Locke, Anna, author.

"This handy, accessible guide shows you how to create your own paradise plot, small or large, where you can forage throughout the year. Anna Locke guides you through designing and planting a delicious, useful, and thriving garden in both town and country. She encourages us to see our gardens as part of a bigger, local food strategy that can be abundant, healthy and wildlife-friendly too"--Back cover.

Mihesuah, Devon A., 1957- author.

"Featuring an array of tempting traditional Native recipes and no-nonsense practical advice about health and fitness, "Recovering Our Ancestors' Gardens" draws on the rich indigenous heritages of this continent to offer a helpful guide to a healthier life"-- Provided by publisher.

Neiwert, David A., 1956-

Strawberry Days tells the vivid and moving tale of the creation and destruction of a Japanese immigrant community. Before World War II, Bellevue, the now-booming "edge city" on the outskirts of Seattle, was a prosperous farm town renowned for its strawberries. Many of its farmers were recent Japanese immigrants who, despite being rejected by white society, were able to make a living cultivating the rich soil. Yet the lives they created for themselves through years of hard work vanished almost instantly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. David Neiwert combines compelling story-telling with first-hand interviews and newly uncovered documents to weave together the history of this community and the racist schemes that prevented the immigrants from reclaiming their land after the war. Ultimately,Strawberry Days represents more than one community's story, reminding us that bigotry's roots are deeply entwined in the very fiber of American society.

Obama, Michelle, 1964-

Early in her tenure as First Lady, despite being a novice gardener, Michelle Obama planted a kitchen garden on the White House's South Lawn. To her delight, she watched as fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs sprouted from the ground. Soon the White House Kitchen Garden inspired a new conversation all across the country about the food we feed our families and the impact it has on the nutrition and well-being of our children.
 
In American Grown, Mrs. Obama invites you inside the White House Kitchen Garden, from the first planting to the satisfaction of the seasonal harvest. She reveals her early worries and struggles--would the new plants even grow?--and her joy as lettuce, corn, tomatoes, collards and kale, sweet potatoes and rhubarb flourished in the freshly tilled soil. She shares the stories of other gardens that have moved and inspired her on her journey across the nation. And she offers what she learned about planting your own backyard, school, or community garden.

Pears, Pauline, author.

Grow beautiful fruits, vegetables, and flowers with rich soil you produce yourself! Whether you have experience with compost or have always wanted to learn more and see how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle, this book provides everything you need to know. From understanding what compost is and how to make it to using and storing it, this guide carefully explains this sustainable, low-cost way to produce rich soil in your backyard. With detailed chapters on composting techniques, worm composting, and even a section on frequently asked questions, Organic Book of Compost is the only one you'll ever need!

Penniman, Leah, author.

In 1920, 14 percent of all land-owning US farmers were black. Today less than 2 percent of farms are controlled by black people--a loss of over 14 million acres and the result of discrimination and dispossession. While farm management is among the whitest of professions, farm labor is predominantly brown and exploited, and people of color disproportionately live in "food apartheid" neighborhoods and suffer from diet-related illness. The system is built on stolen land and stolen labor and needs a redesign.

Farming While Black is the first comprehensive "how to" guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists and for all farmers to understand the distinct, technical contributions of African-heritage people to sustainable agriculture.

Raiford, Matthew, author.

"More than 100 heirloom recipes from a dynamic chef and farmer working the lands of his great-great-great grandfather. From Hot Buttermilk Biscuits and Sweet Potato Pie to Salmon Cakes on Pepper Rice and Gullah Fish Stew, Gullah-Geechee food is an essential cuisine of American history. It is the culinary representation of the ocean, rivers, and rich fertile loam in and around the coastal South. From the Carolinas to Georgia and Florida, this is where descendants of enslaved Africans came together to make extraordinary food, speaking the African Creole language called Gullah-Geechee. In this groundbreaking and beautiful cookbook, Matthew Raiford pays homage to this cuisine that nurtured his family for seven generations. In 2010, Raiford's Nana handed over the deed to the family farm to him and his sister, and Raiford rose to the occasion, nurturing the farm that his great-great-great grandfather, a freed slave, purchased in 1874. In this collection of heritage and updated recipes, he traces a history of community and family brought together by food"-- Provided by publisher.

Ray, Janisse, 1962-

At no time in our history have Americans been more obsessed with food. Options- including those for local, sustainable, and organic food-seem limitless. And yet, our food supply is profoundly at risk. Farmers and gardeners a century ago had five times the possibilities of what to plant than farmers and gardeners do today; we are losing untold numbers of plant varieties to genetically modified industrial monocultures. In her latest work of literary nonfiction, award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray argues that if we are to secure the future of food, we first must understand where it all begins: the seed.

Tychonievich, Joseph, author.

"Like having your own personal gardening mentor at your side, The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food is the story of Mia, an eager young professional who wants to grow her own vegetables but doesn't know where to start, and George, her retired neighbor who loves gardening and walks her through each step of the process. Throughout the book, "cheat sheets" sum up George's key facts and techniques, providing a handy quick reference for anyone starting their first vegetable garden, including how to find the best location, which vegetables are easiest to grow, how to pick out the healthiest plants at the store, when (and when not) to water, how to protect your plants from pests, and what to do with extra produce if you grow too much. If you are a visual learner, beginning gardener, looking for something new, or have struggled to grow vegetables in the past, you'll find this unique illustrated format ideal because many gardening concepts--from proper planting techniques to building raised beds--are easier to grasp when presented visually, step by step. Easy and entertaining, The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food makes homegrown vegetables fun and achievable."--Amazon

Wilson, Diane, 1954- author.

"A haunting novel spanning several generations, The Seed Keeper follows a Dakota family's struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most"-- Provided by publisher.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.