Friday, March 6, 2009

Animal Vegetable Miracle



I first read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver when it came out, as I was already a huge fan of her previous books. With her latest book, she surpassed Carl Hiassen and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings as my favorite authors. As I was looking for some audio cds to listen to on my long work drives, I saw this book and snatched it up. I currently have interns riding along with me. One of them doesn't seem interested in the subject and the other intern and I are listening to Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen.

So I decided to listen to it in my own car during the 10 minute drive to and from work each day. I found myself deciding to drive across town to a store I didn't care that much to go to just so I had a reason to continue listening to the book.

I highly recommend this book, in print or audio, to anyone who enjoys gardening, cooking, eating, learning more about where your food comes from and wants inspiration to make better food and living choices.

A few years ago a friend and I had a plot in the UF cooperative organic gardens. It was only our second gardening experience after taking Vegetable Gardening as a class at UF. Since then my interest in the subject has taken off, but now I live too far from the gardens to keep a plot. I've become obsessed with the idea of heirloom plants and even tried to visit Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co while driving through Missouri last summer. Sadly it was closed that day but I still get their catalog in the mail and dream of the day I can grow Queen Anne's Pocket Melon. They used to have this description, but dont' anymore. I found it on another website:
"an unusual historical variety that was grown principally for its intensely fragrant small fruits, which Victorian women would carry in their pockets as a form of perfume!" How fun is that? Apparently the melons have a bland taste though. I can't wait until the day I have enough land to grow all the different types of melons and tomatoes.

It's now spring in North Florida and the my daily work drives through the country reveal beautiful scenes. Here is a picture of sheep that I passed on my way through Mayo, FL recently. All the lambs were out, I guess birthing season is in the winter here.




This is a picture off the coast of Yankeetown, FL. The road was surrounded by views of this mixed with salt marshes as it's on the Gulf Coast. Not too many people live out there so it's extremely quiet, breezy and peaceful. I found a nice place to pull off the side of the road, eat my lunch, listen to Skinny Dip and stare at this scene.