Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


Although I had heard of Barbara Kingsolver’s novels, it wasn’t until Robin Mather referred to her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in The Feast Nearby that I sought her writing from my local library.

Like Robin, Barbara wrote about a year spent on a farm living as a locavore, buying only food raised in their own neighborhood or grown themselves. Some things they simply learned to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

The family’s year long experience leads them through a season of planting, pulling weeds, expanding their kitchen skills, harvesting their own animals, joining the effort to save heritage crops from extinction, and learning the time-honored rural art of unloading excess zucchini. Barbara Kingsolver’s engaging narrative is enriched by husband Steven Hopp’s in-depth reports on the science and industry of food, and daughter Camille’s youthful perspective on cooking and food culture.

Chock full of recipes and references to locavore sources, this is a great read, even if you don’t go to the extent Barbara and her family did to eat locally for a year. I learned a lot about ways to preserve and cook food, and I was inspired by this family’s enthusiasm, creativity, and persistence to live as locavores.

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7 responses to “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

  1. A Table in the Sun

    Thank you for this recommendation. I have read other works by her, and am due for another fix.

    • You’re welcome! I really like her voice, writing style, and the knowledge that she incorporates into this book. It’s truly inspiring to read!

  2. I loved this book. Now I try to bake bread nearly every day

  3. Sounds like, Eat, Pray Love. Haha!

  4. I have read others of her books – I’ll have to search this one out! Thanks, Marcia . . .

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