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Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays > 1890132942
  1. This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader
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  2. This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (40 reviews)
    Price R485.00

Product Description

  • Navy blue hardcover with gilt lettering, Jacket with scene of growing
  • food and the author 271 pages
Additional Information

Joan Dye Gussow is an extraordinarily ordinary woman. She lives in a home not unlike the average home in a neighborhood that is, more or less, typically suburban. What sets her apart from the rest of us is that she thinks more deeply--and in more eloquent detail--about food. In sharing her ponderings, she sets a delightful example for those of us who seek the healthiest, most pleasurable lifestyle within an environment determined to propel us in the opposite direction. Joan is a suburbanite with a green thumb, with a feisty, defiant spirit and a relentlessly positive outlook. At the heart of This Organic Life is the premise that locally grown food eaten in season makes sense economically, ecologically, and gastronomically. Transporting produce to New York from California--not to mention Central and South America, Australia, or Europe--consumes more energy in transit than it yields in calories. (It costs 435 fossil fuel calories to fly a 5-calorie strawberry from California to New York.) Add in the deleterious effects of agribusiness, such as the endless cycle of pesticide, herbicide, and chemical fertilizers; the loss of topsoil from erosion of over-tilled croplands; depleted aquifers and soil salinization from over-irrigation; and the arguments in favor of "this organic life" become overwhelmingly convincing. Joan's story is funny and fiery as she points out the absurdities we have unthinkingly come to accept. You won't find an electric can opener in this woman's house. In fact, you probably won't find many cans, as Joan has discovered ways to nourish herself, literally and spiritually, from her own backyard. If you are looking for a tale of courage and independence in a setting that is entirely familiar, read her story.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I enjoyed reading most of this book. The author's strong opinions that she is sure everyone should adopt are a bit much sometimes. But it is a good memoir. It isn't much help getting vicarious gardening experience, though. It's about how she adapted to gardening a piece of land that no gardener in their right mind would have bought - it floods several times a year! The whole garden! From the river her property is on. The only books I buy that I keep are those I think I'll read again or loan out to a friend. I don't think this one will stay on my shelf. But it isn't a bad read, she does write well.
This book was one I checked out at the library and then needed to own. Yes she really does meander at times, but I as a woman understand her thought process of jumping from thing to thing at times. The wealth of knowledge and the story on her life with her husband and garden are priceless.

The industrial food machine doesn't want you to know how they are treating the animals, the conditions they are kept in or what they are being given to treat the e coli that is a symptom of the conditions they are forced to live in. You need to buy local, find a farm or source of meat where the animals have been fed grass. Your vegetables should be as local and in season as you can get them and organic at the least. The run off from these industrial operations is poisoning our vegetables, and people are dying. People are dying because a few large corporations do not care, and are not regulated by the government because they are now serving on the very boards that are meant to... Read more
Interesting story of a long time organic gardner. It is NOT A HOW TO ORGANIC GARDENING BOOK. It is more a memoir of a dedicated home farmer and her life story of keeping her garden and the two homes at which she kept them. She is dedicated to eating locally. She makes her opinions forcefully as well as supplying the evidence to support them. To someone who grows what she eats, it is great that she addresses what to do about "killing pests", 4 legged and otherwise. Takes away some of the guilt we experience when we try to let everything live.
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