minneapolis book club

SGT May Book Club: Farm City

Spring is just about the perfect time to be reading a book that might just inspire you to turn that little plot of unused ground into something productive. You certainly don't have to live in Oakland California, although as you find out in this excellent read, it might make it much more interesting. Of course if you are as bold a spirit as is author and urban farmer Novella Carpenter, you find your own way to make things happen, education included.


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SGT March Book Club: American Wasteland

Everytime I think about the SGT book club, one thing that amazes me is that there is always more to read. You would think that every issue about food might one day be used up, but so complicated is our relationship to food, there is a never ending stream of interesting and useful reading within our grasp. So is this month's pick, American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Its Food (and what we can do about it) by Jonathan Bloom. 


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SGT February Book Club: The Feast Nearby

In all of the discussion about local food, local business, and local farms, how do you really know what it means to "go local". I think that a good place to start would be with someone who has really lived it. Someone who took the challenge of living local with almost no budget, but all of the skill to take local food and use it to the fullest. This is exactly what Robin Mather has done in "The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering and eating locally (all on $40 a week)".

The book is truly a testament of what can happen if you have no other real, good options. You learn as you go, and if you are kind, you share what you learned with the rest of us. Not only that, you get real lessons and real recipes so that if you decide to eat local, raise chickens, and meet your farmers, this book can help get you there.

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Four Fish: January SGT Book Club

With all of our midwestern talk about sustainably raised land animals, thinking about the fishing industry can often draw a big fat blank. Perhaps the answer is to just eat fewer fish, don't eat those fish which are endangered, look for sustainably caught fish or possibly assume that the ocean is so vast that we could never really deplete it.

Take one look into Four Fish by Paul Greenberg and the issue becomes much more complicated and fascinating. It is one thing to think about trying to control how a herd of cows or a flock of chickens is managed. Consider the vast seas, international borders, politicians, scientists and of course, global demand. Its complicated.

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November SGT Book Club Ponders the Future of Seeds

As someone who has grown up in the midwest, the fact that the SGT bookclub is going to tackle Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds," by Claire Hope Cummings, is poignant and exciting. My family began farming in some of the richest farmland in Illinois over 100 years ago and members of my extended family still work that land. Now, it is rows upon rows of tightly packed corn and soybean, no doubt genetically modified to produce at any cost. It still makes me shudder, but I am never quite sure why. Cummings will certainly shed some light on this and perhaps my hesitancy to be proud of the farm will have roots.

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August Simple, Good and Tasty Book Club

It is with sadness that we bid farewell to the Mississippi Market book club. They are bowing out after poor attendance numbers. With everything that must pass we should remember to take something with us. I suggest that we work hard to encourage friends and acquaintances to see the value in reading and community. Book clubs are an opportunity not only to learn, but to turn that learning into thought and action. Let us take this moment to set aside the time to fully support the Linden Hills Coop book club in Minneapolis and the Harmony Coops book club in Bemijdi!

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