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Slice of Organic Life Hardcover – June 4, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This smorgasbord of organic recipes, tips and suggestions has something for everyone, but like a Jack-of-all-trades, it's a master of none. With an emphasis on food, from gardening and buying to preserving and preparing, it also covers household hints on such subjects as conservation (turn down the thermostat), safe cleaning products (baking soda) and the three R's of green living: reduce, reuse and recycle, with recipes for such products as baby food, sauerkraut and exfoliating skin scrub. Some of these slices of organic living are appealing and accessible, like instructions for growing potted herbs, making compost and drying tomatoes. Others, like the information on renewable energy and keeping honey bees, are too sketchy to be of real use. The six pages devoted to raising pigs (with one entire page on selecting your breeds) borders on the absurd for most people. The selections are randomly ordered, with churning butter next to Make Organic Drinks. Profusely illustrated, the book may make an inspiring gift for those wishing to make their lives greener, but it's apt to frustrate and confuse novices trying out organic, and those seeking in-depth information will have to look elsewhere. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Sheherazade Goldsmith is a wife, mother, and environmental activist. She is the editor-in-chief of DK's A Greener Christmas. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: DK; First Edition edition (June 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756628733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756628734
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Not only is this book a completely shallow coffee table book, it gives actively bad advice. For example, taking a cruise is in no way an environmentally-friendly alternative to flying (pg. 74). Furthermore, I wouldn't be surprised if a few people get botulism or other kinds of food poisoning after following her lackadaisical advice about canning - jar sterilization gets half a sentence in a sidebar. The author cheerfully offers 2-4 page guides on buying chickens, bees, ducks, geese, and goats when any livestock purchase requires significantly more research - not a fact she mentions; it all sounds very easy and pleasant.

I guess it's pretty, though. Just make sure you actually get some proper instruction on things that are a bit more serious than "buying natural fabrics".
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Format: Hardcover
This book does exactly what it sets out to do, bring the reader a slice of organic life. While I did wish that some of the sections had been a bit more detailed, the point of the book isn't to provide an exhaustive thoroughly-detailed resource on all facets of an organic natural green lifestyle. And there's a nice appendix in the back providing websites, phone numbers, and addresses of businesses and organisations that can give the reader more information on the areas s/he's most interested in, such as growing herbs, raising livestock, or starting a hobby farm. Divided into the sections "No Need for a Yard," "Roof Terrace, Patio, or Tiny Yard," and "Yard, Community Garden, or Field," it presents numerous projects and lifestyle changes the reader can implement based on the amount of personal space s/he's got. For example, someone with only an apartment can be more selective about one's food products, make fruit cordials, and grow salad leaves, someone with a small yard can make compost, grow tomatoes in a pot, or make one's own barbeque, and someone with a large yard or field can become a beekeeper, keep geese, or plant a vine. There's also a bit of overlap with some of the suggestions; for example, anyone can use cloth diapers, buy natural bath products, use reclaimed furniture, make jam, or make berry popsicles. It gives the reader a lot of ideas, some of them things which most people are already aware of, such as raising a garden, and some which one might not have known about before, such as having a truly green Xmas tree.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I was a bit disappointed in this book, as I thought it would be a more in-depth discussion of living and farming in a sustainable way. We live on a farm and are just starting an organic beef operation, and I was just looking for something more detailed. Instead, this book includes snippets of ways that people in more urban areas can live the organic life, such as making your own soap, growing plants in pots, using earth-friendly cleaning products, even keeping bees.

The information that is in the book is mostly helpful, although some important safety details are omitted from certain sections. For example, in the section on making jam, the instructions tell you to boil the fruit mixture, then "spoon it into jars and seal." There is no discussion of sterilizing the jars first or of how to tell if your seal is good on a jar - these things are the difference between safe and unsafe food. The section on woodstoves says nothing about the need for education on safely operating a woodstove or the expertise needed to properly install one so that it isn't a fire hazard. So - I would recommend that if you are new to the farming/country life and you want to try anything other than the most basic projects listed in this book, research it using other sources first so that you know what you're getting into.
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Format: Hardcover
"A slice of organic life" is yet another book of the back to basics movement. The author gives you a broad overview on what you can do to become part of the organic life. Along with that the book has tons of beautiful pictures which makes it very nice to look at and will probably have you wanting to start your own farm today. Nevertheless the author assures you that you don't have to live in the country to put at least some of her ideas into practice.
Some of the topics covered include:

Energy Saving

Natural Cosmetics

Support local businesses

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Bake Bread


Grow your own herbs, fruit & vegetables

Raise pigs, chicken, ducks and cows

Although it's a bigger book with 352 pages, the author only touches briefly on every topic. For the beginner this would make a great introduction into what's possible in the organic world. If you are, however, looking for more in depth and How-To information you should look for a different book.
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Format: Hardcover
"A Slice of Organic Life" introduces readers to the various ways they can incorporate organic living into their routines, regardless of where they live or how much time they have on their hands. Chapter one, titled "No Need for a Yard," has a variety of easy tips that can be adopted by someone living in a small apartment, from shopping ethically and growing strawberries in a hanging basket, to growing herbs indoors and then drying those herbs for storage. Each topic is 2 to 4 pages long and gives the reader a brief, yet helpful, introduction to the subject. Recipes are included where appropriate, for instance, in the section about how to make & freeze baby foods, where the authors share recipes for baby meals like herb mash, carrot soup, and fruit smoothies. The second chapter of this book is meant, as the title indicates, for people who live in an apartment or house with a "Roof terrace, Patio, or Tiny Yard." Here how-to topics include growing an apple tree in a pot, gardening without pesticides and collecting rainwater to water your plants. The third chapter, titled "Yard, Community Garden, or Field," takes organic living to its utmost manifestation and includes sections such as how to preserve fruit, create a wildlife pond, make apple juice, milk a cow and make freshly churned butter. Every page includes eye-catching color photographs and much food for thought. Indeed, if I had a large yard the section on keeping chickens would have left me seriously considering building a coop.

In general the chapters in this book are well-conceived and enjoyable, but on a couple occasions the authors took their enthusiasm for organic living a bit too far.
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