Depletion and Abundance
I’m in my Sharon Astyk period. She’s a former academic turned Northeast farmer, who in addition to raising vegetables and goats, is a mother rearing a batch of kids, and a farm teacher. She also spent a couple of years pounding out three really good books.
I urged all my friends to read her first book, Depletion and Abundance, Life on the New Home Front. Most of the people writing about the effect of the industrial complex on the natural world are men, and they tend to be gloomily apocalyptic. Astyk is calm, sensible, and writing on the side of life. It’s important for us all to understand what is happening; this book will get you the main points as gently as possible.
Astyk wrote A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil with Aaron Newton.
A Nation of Farmers
In this book Astyk calls for one-third of our population to pick up farming. She and Newton call for the other two-thirds to learn to cook. If you’re interested in eating, it’s getting to be more and more critical to pick up one or both of these skills.
I’m still reading her third book, Independence Days, A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation
. If you’re reading this blog you’ve got at least a nominal interest in growing and storing food. Astyk not only steps through the details of how to can, dry, ferment, and set up a pantry, she has a really good sense of how to build systems which become a lifestyle which sustains life.
Astyk frequently posts to her blog, The Chatelaine’s Keys. At the moment she’s my role model and inspiration. I think she’s awfully brave to take on the subjects she has in such a personal way and I owe her a debt of gratitude.
The Chatelaine’s Keys