5 books worth reading (or re-reading) in 2024 ...plus one for the garden
At Fresh Food Connect, we believe all people have a right to nutritious food, and we envision a local food system that brings healthy, homegrown food within reach of all. This belief comes to life in our Core Values: Community, Collaboration, Collective Action, and Food Justice. We’re inspired by these books which offer insights into reshaping our food system around justice and community.
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Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
A New York Times & Washington Post Bestseller
Named a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub
Embark on a transformative journey with Robin Wall Kimmerer as she intertwines indigenous wisdom, scientific insights, and the teachings of plants in Braiding Sweetgrass. This illuminating book not only explores our connection to the natural world but also delves into the importance of reciprocity, urging readers to reconsider their relationship with the land and its resources.
Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land by Leah Penniman
Discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to their decline from 14 percent of all growers in 1920 to less than 2 percent today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land. Further, Black communities suffer disproportionately from illnesses related to lack of access to fresh food and healthy natural ecosystems. Soul Fire Farm, cofounded by author, activist, and farmer Leah Penniman, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through innovative programs such as the Black-Latinx Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare CSA, and Youth Food Justice leadership training, Penniman is part of a global network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid.
With Farming While Black, Penniman extends that work by offering the first comprehensive manual for African-heritage people ready to reclaim their rightful place of dignified agency in the food system. This one-of-a-kind guide provides readers with a concise “how-to” for all aspects of small-scale farming.
Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture by Gabe Brown
Gabe Brown's Dirt to Soil is a testament to the transformative power of regenerative agriculture. Brown, a pioneer in the field, shares his family's journey of restoring health to their land and revitalizing their farming practices. This book serves as an inspiring guide for those seeking sustainable and regenerative approaches to agriculture.
Gabe's story is also featured in the documentary "Kiss the Ground" and its follow-up film, "Common Ground."
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
A classic in the genre, Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma remains a must-read. Pollan takes readers on a journey through the modern food chain, exploring the ethical, environmental, and health implications of our food choices. This book challenges readers to think critically about the origins of their meals.
We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy by Natalie Baszile
As Baszile reveals, black farming informs crucial aspects of American culture--the family, the way our national identity is bound up with the land, the pull of memory, the healing power of food, and race relations. She reminds us that the land, well-earned and fiercely protected, transcends history and signifies a home that can be tended, tilled, and passed to succeeding generations with pride. We Are Each Other's Harvest elevates the voices and stories of black farmers and people of color, celebrating their perseverance and resilience, while spotlighting the challenges they continue to face. Luminous and eye-opening, this eclectic collection helps people and communities of color today reimagine what it means to be dedicated to the soil.
…and we’ll “Plant One Extra” - a practical guide for gardeners:
Grow More Food - A Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Getting the Biggest Harvest Possible from a Space of Any Size by Colin McCrate and Brad Halm
Just how productive can one small vegetable garden be? More productive than one might think! In Grow More Food, Colin McCrate and Brad Halm, former CSA growers and current owners of the Seattle Urban Farm Company, help readers boost their garden productivity by teaching them how to plan carefully, maximize production in every bed, get the most out of every plant, scale up systems to maximize efficiency, and expand the harvest season with succession planting, intercropping, and season extension.
We hope you’ll enjoy these great reads throughout the year, and join us in supporting a more just, equitable food system. Happy reading!
Have a favorite we missed? Send us a note at email@example.com so we can spread the word!
* Book descriptions provided by Amazon.com and ChatGPT
What if every gardener planted just one extra plant to share?
One small donation can have a tremendous impact. Just imagine, if every gardener planted one extra plant to share, collectively, we would have an abundant source of fresh, healthy produce available to be distributed to families experiencing food insecurity in our own communities! The free Fresh Food Connect mobile app connects you to a local hunger relief program, then manages and tracks your donations of homegrown produce throughout the season. Download the app today!