Growing Food as a Way of Life

Kristina’s Bookshelf

Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life
by Emily Murphy
(Firefly Books, 2018)

Emily Murphy’s new book is a simple guide to finding success as a gardener by growing vegetables and herbs that you love to eat. The “12 Food Plant Families” refer to the following: tender herbs; perennial herbs; tomatoes; summer greens; winter greens; hardy greens; root vegetables; cucumbers and summer squash; pods and beans; edible perennials; berries; and edible flowers and companion plants. Murphy, a garden designer and teacher living in Mill Valley, maintains that the simple act of growing things yourself opens the door to making other changes, like connecting with nature. Murphy keeps a food and garden blog called Pass the Pistil. The book includes some of her best recipes, like Greens and Fresh Herb Toasts; Best-Ever Blueberry Pie; and Spring Greens with Jicama, Cilantro, and Lime. A nice volume for anyone looking for inspiration and motivation to start a garden.

The author presents Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life in a hands-on demonstration to celebrate Earth Day. To reserve your seat, purchase the book in advance by calling 510.704.8222 or ordering online: here

Meet Emily Murphy at Mrs. Dalloway’s
Sunday April 22, 2pm
Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary & Garden Arts
2904 College Ave, Berkeley

Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray
By Adam Federman
(Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017)

Adam Federman’s fine biography about food writer Patience Gray is a reminder that eating locally, foraging, and slow food aren’t new ideas. Author of the well-loved 1986 cookbook, travelogue, and memoir Honey from a Weed, Gray spent more than 30 years in a remote area of Puglia in southernmost Italy. In Puglia, she lived a simple life without electricity, modern plumbing, or a telephone; grew much of her own food; and gathered and ate wild plants together with her neighbors in this economically impoverished region.

Gray celebrated good food and regional cuisines as a way of life. Fasting and Feasting supplements Honey from a Weed by telling the engaging life story of Patience Gray, which included a privileged and intellectual upbringing in England, the challenge of being a single mother during World War II, and a career working as a designer, editor, translator, and author. Federman also describes Gray’s travels and culinary adventures in later years. The book will be of interest to anyone who appreciates the work of M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, and Freya Stark.

Meet Adam Federman, author of Fasting and Feasting
Wednesday April 25, 6:30–7:30pm, free
Omnivore Books on Food
3885a Cesar Chavez St, San Francisco
Info: here

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with
our readers.