This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader

By: Gussow, Joan Dye

Price: $12.00

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Book Condition: Used: Very Good


1st edition. Hardcover with dust jacket, very good condition, light wear to corners and edges, clean text, satisfaction guaranteed. Last Word Books & Press is an Infamous Independent Bookstore and Print Shop located in Olympia, Washington.


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Joan Dye Gussow is an extraordinarily ordinary woman. She lives in a home not unlike the average home in a neighborhood that is, more or less, typically suburban. What sets her apart from the rest of us is that she thinks more deeply -- and in more eloquent detail -- about food. In sharing her ponderings, she sets a delightful example for those of us who seek the healthiest, most pleasurable lifestyle within an environment determined to propel us in the opposite direct. Joan is a suburbanite with a green thumb, but also a feisty, defiant spirit with a relentlessly positive outlook.

This Organic Life begins with Joan and her husband Alan's trials and tribulations growing vegetables for their own table while coping with careers and a sprawling Victorian house in Congers, New York. Motivated to go "off -the-grid" of the global food system in their later years, the Gussows find and fall in love with a dilapidated Odd Fellows Hall on the banks of the Hudson River. Joan's often hilarious accounts of the "renovation" of the "dream" (some would say "nightmare") house and the creation of their new gardens are spiced by extracts from her own journal, and over thirty wonderful recipes using fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

There is also an occasion pontification about a food distribution system run amok At the heart of This Organic Life is the premise that locally grown food eaten in season makes sense economically, ecologically, and gastronomically. Transporting produce to New York from California -- not to mention Central and South America, Australia, or Europe -- consumes more energy in transit than it yields in calories. (It costs 435 fossil fuel calories to fly a 5-caloriestrawberry from California to New York.) Add in the deleterious effects of agribusiness, such as the endless cycle of pesticide, herbicide, and chemical fertilizers; the loss of topsoil from erosion of over-tilled croplands; depleted aquifers and soil salinization from over-irrigation; and the arguments in favor of "this organic life" become overwhelmingly convincing.

Title: This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader

Author Name: Gussow, Joan Dye

Categories: Homesteading,

Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co: 2001-05-01

ISBN Number: 1890132942

ISBN Number 13: 9781890132941

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Used: Very Good

Type: Hardcover

Seller ID: SKU20150814