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The Books

Posted by kurtwood on December 25th, 2013

Growing a Feast Cover
The story of a feast two years in the making, from the farmer who harvested the vegetables, raised the animals, and prepared the meal.

In Growing a Farmer, Kurt Timmermeister recounted the toil and joy of wrestling an empty plot of land on Vashon Island, Washington, into a dairy farm. Now he tells the story of a feast made from only what the farm provides. But the story of the meal begins two years earlier with the birth of a calf, Alice. When she is grown, Alice will produce the cream to be churned into butter, made into sauce Béarnaise, and served alongside poached eggs and kale gathered the morning of the feast. Along the way we meet Leda, who trades onion seedlings for Kurt’s cheese; Michiko, who forages the white chanterelles for the antipasti course; and Bill, whose large, thin-skinned tomatoes will form the basis of the tomato upside-down cake. Rich in detail, resonant in story, Growing a Feast depicts the effort behind every meal, the farm that comes before every table.

Available from W.W.Norton.

“Charming . . . . [Kurt Timmermeister] narrates his personal journey with an open, straightforward spirit.” —Wall Street Journal

When he purchased four acres of land on Vashon Island, Kurt Timmermeister was only looking for an affordable home near the restaurants he ran in Seattle. But as he slowly settled into his new property, he became awakened to the connection between what he ate and where it came from: a hive of bees provided honey, a young cow could give fresh milk, an apple orchard allowed him to make vinegar. With refreshing honesty, Timmermeister details the initial stumbles and subsequent realities he faced as he established a profitable farm for himself. Personal yet practical, Growing a Farmer will entirely recast the way we think about our relationship to the food we consume.

Growing a Farmer, How I Learned to Live Off The Land is published by W.W. Norton Co. and edited by Maria Guarnaschelli.

Available in hardcover & paperback.