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Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 15, 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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After 20-plus years of tutelage at the feet of Vermont's climate, landscape designers and authors Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd have mastered the art of living seasonally. Fundamentally, this means eating what's ripe in the garden--there's no freezing and very little canning at North Hill--when it's ripe. The meditative, ardent Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill describes this life hitched to the wax and wane of the seasons.

Eck and Winterrowd, who also authored A Year at North Hill: Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden, go into luxurious detail on the tiniest aspects of horticultural and barnyard life. These two are passionate and effective teachers--so much so that, by page 43, the reader fully understands their characterization of pumpkin vines as "as wayward as vegetable guineas," a reference to the hen with a mind of its own. We--even those of us who've never sprouted a seed or hoed a row--get it. But some of the most rewarding passages in Living Seasonally are those that ruminate on the inevitable blending of the spiritual with the prosaic, as in this reflection on Vermont pumpkin pie, made with maple syrup from their own trees:

We begin our syruping when the buds of the maples are tight-furled, hardly more than sharp, dull-green points along the bare stems.... By the time the pumpkins have been selected and sown, the leaves of the maples will have hardened into the thick shade of summer.... When the maple leaves have turned transparent again, all into orange and tawny yellow, the pumpkins must be gathered to cure in the warmth of the house. As they lie in heaps and piles, their colors reflect the autumn garden, and are a fit emblem of the season. An emblem, too, is the pie they make, where beginning and end and all the processes in between are caught up in a perfect round.
This book will captivate both the avid gardener-cook with its recipes and techniques for planting and seed selection, and the citydweller searching for the answer to why it's impossible to find tomatoes that taste like tomatoes in January. --Stefanie Durbin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd know more about making things grow in less than ideal circumstances than almost anyone else in America. Their garden is of such quality and diversity that it rivals any in Europe. But there is nothing derivative about North Hill; it is American gardening at its best."—Roger Swain, author of The Practical Gardener

"These men live to lift gardening to a higher plane."—Charly Dorschner, The Burlington Free Press
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Example Product Manufacturer (November 15, 1999)
  • ISBN-10: 0805047867
  • ASIN: B00006JO23
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,447,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Although I enjoyed their first book, this one kindled my gardening fires. As always, their writing is top notch -- polished and seamless. I cannot detect whether it is one writing about pumpkins ("as wayward as vegetable guineas") and the other about onions ("connecting us to all that has gone on before"). It doesn't matter. What does matter is that once started I had no choice but to slow down and savor every page, every wonderful photograph. Yet for all its beauty, I also had to fight a compulsion to underline portions, to write notes in the margins. I can't recall the last time a gardening book made me feel so inclined. I appreciated their candor as well, especially about raising livestock for food (they do -- I couldn't), their diet (they confess to eating red meat) and even an "occasional smoke." I hope I have the good sense to return to "Living Seasonally" not just when I'm thinking about new tomato varieties but also when my harried pace has my priorities out of kilter. For in these calm and gentle pages I found reminders about why I garden and the affinities I share with those who delight in growing plants.
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Format: Hardcover
For a number of years, I attended gardening workshops sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and Brooklyn Botanical Garden held at the NWF Headquarters in Vienna Virginia. These workshops were always thematic, covering topics such as 'growing perennials' or 'regional gardening'. On more than one occasion I heard Joe Eck or Wayne Winterrowd speak about their home and garden at North Hill Vermont. Their talks reflected the various stages of change they experienced as they renovated their old house and developed their grounds. I particularly remember the oohs and ahs when they showed us slides of their perennial beds.
"Living Seasonally" continues the story first described in their book "A Year at North Hill: Four Seasons in a Vermont Garden." In this book they leave the perennials for the vegetable patch. Eck and Winterrowd are now working in patch number five.
"Living Seasonally" is a cross between a coffee table book and a garden guide, though for practical purposes the book is more the former than the latter. Much can be gleaned from the book as it is filled with all sorts of useful tidbits and wonderful photographs, but it is not a "how-to garden" book per se. Also, it covers life in a Vermont garden which is not like life in any other part of the U.S. The authors point this out over and over, but some will forget. For one thing, the growing season is short in Vermont (about two months before global warming) and much of the garden work is done in frozen ground or under grow lights in the green house. For another, some plants that thrive in the cool Vermont summers, don't thrive elsewhere in the U.S. and vice versa. Growing vegetables is tricky.
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Format: Hardcover
Every time I pick up a book I am about to read,I first weigh it in my hands.The feel of it is as important as the touch and sound of every page I turn.In this book I could feel the authors,as if they were right there still on that very page.They seemed so close.
It is apparent that descriptions as just and as appetizing as the ones in this beautiful work of art,could only come from very passionate gardeners.But Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd are not only gardeners.They are also gourmets in every aspect of life.
Taking time to smell a wonderfully scented flower,or staying up all night to assist their favorite cow giving birth to her offspring every single season,well I think that says it all.
Hours are long when one chooses to farm.But real happiness lays in having dirty fingernails.I say "Bravo" to Eck and Winterrowd.May there me many more books from these two very talented and gifted authors.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully written. The authors are gifted writers with a wonderful appreciation of gardening and seasonal eating. This stands as one of the finest books I've ever read about the joys of gardening and the very finest about the joys of seasonal eating. Very highly recommended.
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By Brandon on January 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quick and great book
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