Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

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9780805047868: Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

With more and more people migrating to the countryside, and with the growing trend away from mass-produced and factory-processed foods, the time is ripe for the wisdom and eloquence of Living Seasonally. Here, Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd champion respect for the seasons and pride in workmanship as they invite us to share in their dedication to both the practicalities and the aesthetics of living off the land.

Living Seasonally puts special emphasis on the raising of vegetables. It details not only the day-to-day aspects of vegetable gardening but also the shaping of the garden to make it a beautiful space with its own particular emotional resonance, its own magic. Delicious recipes and photography complete what will surely become a gardening classic.

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Review:

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

About the Author:

Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd wrote the acclaimed A Year at North Hill (Owl Books 0-8050-4614-3, $19.95). Both are frequent contributors to Horticulture magazine and lecture widely on gardening and garden design. They live in Readsboro, Vermont.

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