Year of Plenty

Craig L. Goodwin. Augsburg Fortress/Spark House, $12.95 trade paper (220p) ISBN 978-1-4514-0074-8
Yes, another "I did this for a year" tale. Goodwin, a Presbyterian pastor, brings a pleasant voice to the blog-to-book formula as he does something not unique, but well worth doing. He and his family go locavore and green, consuming for a year only things local, used, homegrown, or homemade. It's difficult – they live in suburban Spokane, where pantry basics like sugar aren't local. They tear up the lawn for a garden, raise chickens, and learn to preserve their food. It's frustrating, profoundly educational, and for the pastor-author and his family, including two young children, deeply spiritual, offering opportunities aplenty to practice resurrection from thoughtless habits. Agrarian theologian Wendell Berry, who first wrote of "practicing resurrection," is in the book far too much, as Goodwin acknowledges. But this little book cheerfully demonstrates to suburban Joes and Joans that sustainable consumption is doable. It also honors God's earth. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/16/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
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