Friday, September 4, 2009

Welcome to the new followers who have recently shown up - thanks for helping me getting a little closer to my goal of having 200 followers by September 8th. I'm so excited that I'm getting so close to that goal - and I promise you dear readers, I will not force you to read another thank you speech this time.

Today's book, "In a back-to-nature move more than a decade ago, Stark uprooted a handful of heirloom tomato seedlings from his Brooklyn brownstone and returned to Eckerton Hill, his Pennsylvanian boyhood home, to harvest two acres of multicolored oddities. From Mennonite country to New York City, using a rusted Toyota pickup, he transported his first auspicious crop of Hill Billies, Tiger Toms and Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifters to the Union Square Greenmarket, becoming the unlikely purveyor of apples to heirloom aficionados and Michelin-starred chefs. An amateur farmer with finite experience in organic farming and a rotating cast of weed-pulling hands, Stark takes on hornworms, groundhogs, cantankerous neighbors and route I-78, producing cover-worthy tomatoes for Gourmet, Brooklyn-bound sugar snaps and chocolate habaneros for discriminating farmers' market cognoscenti."

The bad streak continues, with the fourth book in a row that I didn't like. It's a good thing that Suggestion Saturday is tomorrow because I clearly need the decision on what book to read to be taken out of my hands. I'm starting to get really frustrated with all of the awful books that I've read lately. I have the perfect plan for how to reinvigorate the blog for next week - but I'm going to leave you in suspense about that until Sunday (which I'm sure you're all going to lose sleep over.)

There were a few things about the book that I did enjoy:

  • The title of one of the chapters - "So You Think You Want To Be a Farmer?" - really amused me because it made me think of the pamphlets that always appeared on Simpson, "So You've Decided To Ruin Your Live," or my personal favorite,"So You've Decided To Steal Cable."

  • Favorite passage, "Once, during a meeting in Albany, I convinced myself I had forgotten to insert the thermometer into the soil of my chile peppers that morning. Horrific scenarios preyed on my imagination: with the thermometer exposed to air, the heat mats would grow hotter and hotter, the chile seedlings would fry, the refrigerator boxes would ignite. I left the meeting early and flew home to New York City, convinced I would have to rescue my seedlings from a burning brownstone." - I love any passage in a book that makes me feel less high strung, and after reading that, I feel like the most normal person in the world.

  • The chapter about the differences between Amish people and Mennonites was interesting - although I didn't really learn very much that was new because I used to be fascinated by Amish people as a child and I read quite a few books on the subject. I also grew up near both an Amish and a Mennonite community and so I had a chance to observe the differences first hand. I also had a chance to observe two Amish people flirting once, and it was quite possibly the most awkward moment of my life (and also the most amusing.) And, just so you won't be left in suspense wondering "How is Amish flirting different from regular flirting?" As far as I can tell, there are two differences: 1. Amish flirting among people in their early 20s is more like flirting amongst non-Amish 13 year-olds. There was an excessive amount of giggling involved. (Fun fact: Amish people refer to all people who aren't Amish as "English.") 2. There was no mention of the other person's appearance. That actually makes perfect sense because let's face it, no one looks good in those homemade clothes.

And now for my absolute least favorite part of the book - and that would have to be this sentence, "I've heard it said by people with firsthand knowledge on the subject that groundhog is good eating." - My brain can't even process why it's necessary to put something like that in a book. I'm just going to file it away under "Sentences that I wish I had never read," and do my best to forget about every had read it.