cover image Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works

Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works

Atina Diffley. Univ. of Minnesota, $24.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-8166-7771-9

In addition to being a charming memoir of love and living off the land, Diffley's debut is a timely tale of modern farming, the growing organic movement, and the problems that arise when urban development runs up against fertile fields. Diffley met her husband Martin when she visited the roadside vegetable stand at his farm, Gardens of Eagan in Minnesota, which had been in his family for five generations. For years, the couple grew organic crops and sold them to food co-ops, until suburban developers encroached upon their land. They soon became "nomadic farmers," working fields around town while they searched for a new plot on which to settle. Once they found a new home for Gardens of Eagan, business thrived, but when a letter arrives from notorious Koch Industries explaining their intentions to build a crude oil pipeline through the farm, the Diffleys are more determined than ever to save their livelihood. What ensued was a remarkable legal battle, whose outcome prompted the Diffleys to start Organic Farming Works LLC, an agricultural consulting business. Equal parts anecdote and practical organic farming guide, this book is a powerful testament to the Diffleys' passion for their work and a terrific guide to the trials and tribulations of sticking to the land, sticking to the Man, and going organic. Color & b/w photos. (Apr.)