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Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists Paperback – August 15, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Growing Roots is, simply, a book about young farmers. While seemingly simple, this concept is actually somewhat revolutionary. It's pretty easy to go buy food, assuming you have the funds. It's easy to rely on others to grow your food, make your soap, pluck and debone your chickens, and brew your beer. But there are people who actually do these things, and this book is about them. In a time of daily technological advancements, wireless everything and a large portion of the population addicted to the idea that cheaper is better, it takes courage to slow things down and do something as archaic as obtaining self-sufficiency or following your passions. There is, of course, a growing movement toward this slower and more meaningful lifestyle, a trend toward neighbor and community, health and peace. While portions of the world surge forward, racing lemming-like toward who-knows-what, a growing percentage of people are simply hopping off the racetrack. They're your neighbors, they grow good food, and they want to sell it to you. It's such a simple but profound concept in contrast to how most of the country does it."-Joe Foster, Durango Herald



Library Journal-

Writing about sustainable food by interviewing practitioners is a new direction for Leiner, who has authored novels for adults and children, among other works. Her first good decision was to frame the series of interviews within the narrative of her own routes across the country, especially between homes in New York and Colorado. This, rather than a dry organization by food type or practice, draws the reader from section to section effectively. The other significant strength of the book is how well its subjects' voices emerge. The sections are presented not as Q&A but as flowing monologs that permit bursts of personality-even eccentricity-through philosophical and practical ruminations. On the downside, some readers will tire of the earnestness that will appeal to others. The recipes in nearly every section, moreover, are not uniformly interesting and should have been better selected and edited.



Verdict Leiner presents readers with thought-provoking ideas throughout, cloaked in an eminently readable travelog. Inspirational and entertaining reading, though perhaps best suited for those who already subscribe to many of the same tenets.



The Sierra Club

The Green Life Blog-

This collection of interviews with a diverse group of organic farmers, raw-food chefs, winemakers, beekeepers, and slow-food advocates forms an intimate portrait of America's growing sustainable-food movement. Candid conversations are paired with recipes and tips from these passionate foodies, leaving readers feeling enthusiastic about the future of green cuisine.

"Growing Roots serves up generous portions of hope and mindful action. It's a book for everyone who cares about the earth and about feeding the people we love!"--Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Co-owner of New Leaf Fruit, Poet Laureate of San Miguel County, CO. author of Intimate Landscapes, Holding Three Things at Once, and Insatiable

"Growing Roots introduces us to a few dozen young food pioneers through their words and, even more usefully, their recipes. Think of it as a community cookbook for the food movement."--Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules

"It's a pleasure reading what these people have to say about what they're doing with their lives, and how they spend their days and what they make of their futures. They all have great stories. Taken together they comprise a national sampling of on-the-ground, in-the trenches food visionaries..."--Deborah Madison, from the Foreword

"Katherine Leiner has compiled a wonderful anthology of revolutionary individuals who continue to push for the holistic change we need to see in the food system."--Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food and owner of Chez Panisse

"Growing Roots celebrates the people who have chosen to reclaim our endangered farming heritage...Read it and cook some of the good, fair, food using the book's delicious recipes."--Robert Kenner, Director-Producer of the award winning documentary, Food, Inc.

"Growing Roots is a wonderful revelation..."--A.E. Hotchner, author and co-founder of Newman's Own

About the Author

Katherine Leiner has been writing since she was a child. She has published many award-winning books for children and young adults and, more recently, her first novel for adults, Digging Out, published by Penguin. She is working on another novel due out in 2012.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sunrise Lane Productions (August 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603582886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603582889
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,447,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading "Farm Futures" in the latest "Food and Wine" issue August 2014 . To quote the first sentence, "Discover the modern American farm led by a new generation of farmers ...serving terrific meals made with ultrafresh ingredients." I had read "Growing Roots" in 2011 and loved it. Wow, Katherine was years ahead when she made her cross country journey to write about the movement. Entertaining, enlightening reading, this book changed the way I shop for and prepare my food. This book is a "must have" for your library.
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After reading Katherine Leiner's Growing Roots, I am inspired to change the way I eat. I was aware of the explosion of interest in sustainability, the increase in farmers markets in my neighborhood, the expanding constellation of healthy foods and locally grown produce. The profiles in Growing Roots solidified my intention to change my diet, to commit to a whole new way of living. Many of those interviewed by Leiner address the need to have fresh food available to more populations, and are working tirelessly to make that a reality. Among my favorites: Nasha Winters whose near death experience caused her to break away from Western medicine, Matthew Moore whose loss of a beloved landscape inspired a series of art projects around salvaging farmland and the incomparable smell of tilled soil, and Ashley Lee Martin whose childhood memories of the quest for wild rice motivate her to preserve the rice seeds of her Native people. Andrew Lipton's photographs lend grace and color to these riveting stories. I am looking forward to trying out the offbeat recipes that accompany the book.
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This is a book that I know will get dog-eared and stained and will have scraps of paper sticking out from the pages. The stories of the different young farmers are funny, poignant and inspiring. The photos are lovely and help bring us on the journey across the land. I already know some of the stories I want to copy and share and recipes I will make over and over again (hence the stains). GROWING ROOTS is many things -- instructional, thought-provoking and a good read. Like the stories on the radio show "This American Life," I felt moved and connected to the stories of the young farmers in a ways more powerful than fiction. I am already thinking about people I know who will probably get this book as a gift.
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I really like this book. I like how there are several short stories about different types of people but who are all doing what they love and doing things organically. I also like how after their stories, they each give recipes. It was very interesting and I didn't put it down until I read it all! I also bought copies for Christmas presents!
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What a great book! It totally opened my eyes to the importance of natural, local foods and I am going to share this with all of my friends and family. Plus, the recipes are DELICIOUS! I made the chard pie for a dinner party last night and it was such a hit! It makes me want to move to a farm and raise my own food..sigh.
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Format: Paperback
Although I get what the author was trying to do, I was not a fan of the format of this book. Told road-trip style, it contains narration on the traveling alternated with her stops and interviews. I didn't feel that the book was going any where or was reaching any conclusions; it rather meandered and I never felt that it did justice to the themes and ideas in pays homage to. The recipes were also disappointing. Shoved into boxes on the edges of the pages, they were more an afterthought than a feature and few of them were anything I'd attempt to make.
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I received Katherine Leiner's book from my sister as a gift this past Christmas and I just love it. Reading about the passion these young people have for living close to the earth is so uplifting. Thank you, Katherine for your time and dedication to bringing us closer to the realization that how we grow and prepare food is just as important as eating itself. I also appreciate the enthusiasm and regard you convey for the places you travelled to gather your information. The book is truly an enjoyable read.
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I consider myself deeply immersed in local, sustainable agriculture. I have a garden, shop locally, cook many meals at home. So I didn't think Leiner's book would add much to my life. But I was intrigued by the premise of hope: young people around the country moving against the prevailing attitude of fast, cheap and unhealthy. The profiles are inspiring for anyone wondering about the viability of living a sustainable life. Leiner's "travelog" approach, while sometimes too winsome for my taste has moments of exquisite prose: "I feel a bittersweet tenderness as gardens across La Plata County are being put to bed." There are tips that even a seasoned cook like myself finds interesting, like cooking your bacon at a lower temperature; cooking it longer reduces the formation of nitrosamines. Of course I don't know what nitrosamines are, but it makes my bacon taste better! And while many of the recipes may seem basic to some, I've already begun to experiment with recipes like mushroom and fennel bread pudding (deelish!). So whether you are looking for a new lifestyle, inspiration or cooking ideas, this book can open new horizons. Plus the people Leiner profiles and the generous photo illustrations make the book, well, a feast.
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