So yes, sun, birds, bees—soon it’ll be spring and I’ll be outdoors for long mornings and afternoons, hard at work for the planting season. But for now I’m still spending a lot of time curled up inside away from the chill with thick socks and a stack of books. And that, in its own way, is part of this whole project too. In the words of farmer Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, as quoted by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore’s Dilemma:
You know what the best kind of organic certification would be? Make an unannounced visit to a farm and take a good long look at the farmer’s bookshelf. Because what you’re feeding your emotions and thoughts is what this is really all about. The way I produce a chicken is an extension of my worldview. You can learn more about that by seeing what’s on my bookshelf than having me fill out a whole bunch of forms. (pp 131-2)
In the spirit of Salatin’s proclamation, and since I’ve been plowing my way through a rich, long reading list all winter, I figured I’d invite the world to look at my bookshelf. So I put it online. I hope it serves as inspiration as well as an informal “Works Referenced” for this whole food-growing adventure.