Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables

John Peterson, Author, Angelic Organics, Author, Lesley Littlefield Freeman, With
John Peterson, Author, Angelic Organics, Author, Lesley Littlefield Freeman, With . Gibbs Smith $29.95 (360p) ISBN 978-1-4236-0014-5
Reviewed on: 05/08/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
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Community-supported agriculture is an increasingly popular farm-marketing system where subscribers buy a portion of the harvest before the growing season begins and receive weekly boxes of diverse vegetables that vary throughout the season. Angelic Organics is one of the largest farms of this kind in the country, serving 1,200 shareholders in the Chicago area, and Peterson's cookbook is an outgrowth of the chatty, idiosyncratic newsletters he's been sending to his members every week since 1993. The book is arranged seasonally by crop, offering recipes and information on storing and preserving the exotic or misunderstood vegetables like sunchokes, rutabagas and kohlrabi. Familiar staples like corn, tomatoes and spinach are also represented, but jazzed up with an eclectic international pantry of condiments and spices. Interspersed with the cooking discussions are philosophical essays on biodynamic agriculture by and about the movement's founder, Rudolf Steiner. While the relevance of some sidebars is questionable—cooking tips from the farm cook, and excerpts from farm newsletters on weather, harvest records and equipment heartaches—they do help readers vicariously experience life on this unique farm in this farm kitchen bible presented with missionary zeal. (June)

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