April 2020 Book Review “The Food Explorer”

Review of the 2018 book, The Food Explorer, by Daniel Stone

If I had known there was a job called “agriculture explorer” when I was a kid, that’s exactly what I’d have told everyone I was going to be when I grew up. David Fairchild was the first of a select group that had that title with the now defunct Office of Seed and Plant Introduction at the US Department of Agriculture. They introduced over 200,000 species and varieties of plants to the US from 1898 to about 1930.

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February 2020 Book Review “Freedom Farmers”

Review of the 2018 book, Freedom Farmers, by Dr. Monica M. White

“Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement” is the subtitle to the book and if the concept of agriculture as a resistance movement doesn’t pique your interest, you should read it to learn more about the history of the intersection of agriculture and Black freedom in the United States. She gives depth to important historical figures, particularly the work of Fannie Lou Hamer, George Washington Carver, W.E.B. DuBois, and Booker T. Washington as well as to the much-underappreciated Black cooperative movement, which continues today.

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November 2019 Book Review “Eating on the Wild Side”

Review of the 2013 book, Eating on the Wild Side, by Jo Robinson.

This book is not about foraging. It’s also not about eating only heirlooms. What it IS about is selecting fruits and vegetables to eat and grow that are highest in nutrients and flavor, plus tips and tricks for maximizing nutritional value.

The book explains the basics and some of the issues of genetic engineering and organic farming. The book is written by a wife and husband team, an organic farmer and plant geneticist, both of whom work at the University of California, Davis.

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