Things I am good at: growing things, making people think they can grow things, helping people grow things and lately, writing about growing things.
Things I am most certainly NOT good at: telling people to buy my book, wherein they will learn how to grow their own vegetables. Really, I’m a shy gal far more comfortable behind a retail desk. I can sing the siren song of spring bulbs, bronze carexes and fresh lettuce all day long. Of course I don’t have a retail desk any longer – just a laptop, a kitchen, a small garden and the good company of fellow writers who also juggle conceptualizing, creating and writing with marketing, scheduling, schmoozing and peddling books.
I’m proud of my work on “Growing Your Own Vegetables, an Encyclopedia of Country Living Guide“. It’s a valuable book chock full of everything you need to know to grow good, clean, healthy and delicious food. The time is ripe for this title; let’s hope people decide to pluck it – you know – BUY THE BOOK! I will be signing books and talking about gardens at the following locations over the next several weeks. I hope to see you!!!
- Sunday April 26th 11am-1pm, Caper’s 4521 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116
- Sunday, May 3rd at Noon, Emerald City Gardens 4001 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107
- Sunday, May 17th time tba, UrbanWeeds, 4302 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
There’s no question that bookstores are filled with books about growing food; really how many ways can you say “plant a seed, water and care for the plant, pray for sun, pick and eat!” The back story here is Carla. The following is an excerpt from a section entitled “Carla’s Legacy” which I wrote for the book.
Carla Emery grew up on a sheep ranch in Montana and was educated at Columbia University. In the early 1970’s she settled on a farm in northern Idaho, where she wrote the first edition of The Encyclopedia of Country Living. Originally entitled Carla Emery’s Old Fashioned Recipe Book and produced on a mimeograph machine in her living room, the book launched its author to the forefront of the back-to-the-land movement.
…In Seattle during the 1960s and 70s, while Carla was girding herself for society’s collapse, I was riding my Sting-Ray bike, hula-hooping and bopping to AM radio, blissfully oblivious about the world’s superpowers flexing their nuclear muscles. After college, in a somewhat belated “flower child” period marked by a fierce streak of independence, I purchased one of Carla’s earliest editions. I was determined to bake our bread and grow our food. However, life in the city is forgiving – if something went awry or I got tired, we simply went out to eat! This was hardly the stuff of self-sufficiency, but still reflective of my desire to be a part of the process and an early awareness of a food web growing increasingly industrial and removed from daily life.
Thankfully, at present, the pendulum is swinging the other way. Increasingly our eyes are open to where our food comes from and how it is produced. More and more, clean, healthy food; safe, sustainable growing practices; and fair living conditions are attracting mainstream concern.
Carla Emery remained a tireless advocate of self-sufficiency and environmental stewardship until her death in 2005. Today’s “green living” movement owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Carla and others like her, who never gave up their pursuit of a good and healthy existence. These contemporary pioneers resuscitated and breathed new life into the skills and traditions of our grandparents and their parents. We may not have more than a tiny patch in the backyard or a few containers on a shyly proportioned patio, but there is still plenty we can grow…and plenty more we can learn in the process.
From Growing Your Own Vegetables, by Carla Emery & Lorene Edwards Forkner, Sasquatch Books, 2009 $17.95