It’s hard to believe that it’s almost August! If you check out the Instagram feeds of Bonds Creek Farm, Jennings Brae Bank, Green Acres, and Harmony Farm, you’ll see the abundance of summer produce that is coming to the market. I’m just as excited as the next person about summer tomatoes – I actually got my first ripe one out of my garden this week and it weighed over a pound. It was a monster and boy did it make a good tomato sandwich!
If you’re looking for ideas of how to use the seasonal produce or even tips on how to start your own garden, you need to check out the BFM Book and Bean tent. Under the tent you’ll find Mother Earth News, Grit, Mother Earth Living, WV Living, and Garden and Gun magazines as well as a plethora of books from The Omnivore’s Dilemma to A Little Bit of Dirt (a bestseller!). The market has also been lucky enough to have the Bards of Yellow Wood joining us for the last several weeks providing poems for a monetary or book donation. I had poems written earlier this summer after we lost our dog to cancer and they were amazingly well written tributes to Lakelyn. If you have any books that would be useful in a high school English class, bring them out and get a poem in return!
I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite books under the tent and I encourage you to stop by on Sunday to peruse and maybe even purchase a copy! All proceeds benefit the market, so it’s a win-win!
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver might just be my all time favorite book. I read it ten years ago and it really helped catapult us into the lifestyle we currently lead. Barbara and her husband Stephen moved their family from desert of Tucson to the lush green of the VA mountains. The book chronicles their journey into local eating for one calendar year. Stephen and Camille, Barbara’s daughter have individual essays sprinkled through the book on everything from the fuel demand due to our current food system to the inadequacies of a college dining hall. And if you’re like me and don’t make zoodles with your zucchini, then be sure to try their recipe for zucchini chocolate chip cookies.
Homegrown and Handmade by Deborah Niemann is another favorite of mine. Written in a different tone than AVM, this book is a how to on everything from starting a garden to knitting to starting your own home dairy. There are recipes scattered throughout and my favorite is for Creme Brulee pie – a great way to use up some farm fresh eggs!
Free Range Farmgirl Cooking Grassfed Beef by Shannon Hayes is a great primer on how to cook grass fed beef. Shannon discusses the differences between grass fed and traditional grain fed beef and why it’s important to cook them differently. It’s chock full of great recipes, but I particularly like the rub section. Stop by and give it a gander!
As a homeschooling mom, I had fun helping pick out some kids books for the tent. My kids love The Cat in the Hat and Oh Say Can You Seed does not disappoint. In true poetic fashion, the book chronicles the journey from seed to plant. With Thing 1 and Thing 2 along for the ride, it’s a great way to teach kids about seeds.
The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons is a fantastic resource to discuss all sorts of fruits and vegetables with your kids. It’s a great way to visually show kids that potatoes and carrots grow underground and show that there’s more to life than iceberg lettuce. All of Gail’s books have beautiful illustrations and this book is no exception!
And last, but not least, is A Little Bit of Dirt by Asia Citro. I first stumbled across Asia in her first book, 150+ Screen Free Activities, and her blog, Fun at Home With Kids. Her latest book is an awesome way to get kids outside and literally, in the dirt. My kids are especially fond of the Bird Beak Game and the seed bomb lollipops look like a great project. I was able to work with the author to get us several copies of this book for the Book and Bean, so be sure to check it out!
The Book and Bean is also conveniently located next to Quantum Bean Coffee. So, be sure to stop by, grab a cup o’joe, and peruse the books!