Monday, March 18, 2013

Story time with the DecoyClimates

I mentioned a few posts ago that I have started to read to Inspector Climate while he does the dishes. I had first suggested this months ago and he rolled his eyes and said something along the lines of "this is not going to be a thing" and then preceded to ignore me while I tried for a few moments more to convince him it was a good idea.

And then a few weeks ago, I was gchatting with my best friend Anne and I posed the hypothetical question to her that if we (she and I) were married, and she was doing the dishes wouldn't she enjoy it if  we could read the same book together and be able to talk about and not have the tv on. In turns out she would enjoy it. So, I brought it up with Inspector Climate again, this time I was more pressing. Let's just try for tonight, I tried.

And so we did.

Then, we tried it the next night. And the next night. After it week it became my favourite part of the day. Last night we finished reading our first book together. And began the second.

To say that I've been a bit shocked (and oh so pleased!) is an understatement. Because when I've written about wanting to grow my own food in the past and the comments have been "me too!" and not "shut up, lady, no one cares about your home grown tomatoes." It gives me so much hope to read those comments. The more I learn about food and how we grow it and consume it and prepare it, the more I believe in it as catalyst for change.

The first book that Inspector Climate and I read together is called "The Town that Food Saved" by Ben Hewitt. There are many reasons for me to like this book, it's about Hardwick Vermont which is only a short drive from my home in New Hampshire. And who doesn't like to read about their home and places they've been!?

But more than that it is about people who are taking food seriously. The people in a community who are taking food seriously, small farmers who grow food for their localities and people who have degrees in composting (yes, that's a thing!). We just have to find them in our town.

There are things I don't like about this book - Mr Hewitt writes engagingly but somewhat verbosely which becomes increasing clear when you're reading aloud and little can't finish a sentence or phrase in one breath. The other part is I wanted this book to be a memoir - a story of the people in the town and what they're doing and some chapters were like that, and they were my favourite. But other chapters were asking questions questions about what scale of local is appropriate which I found less interesting.

I wanted to share some quotes with you though. Some local food for thought.

About Agri-businesses who now grow the majority of food in America. "We struck a deal: The agribusinesses got a guaranteed chunk of our income and our full faith in their ability to keep us sustained. In return, we got to pursue life styles that don't revolve around the soil and toil and that allow us a measure of leisure ime unprecedented in human history. In early 2009, American television viewing reached an all-time record of a stunning 151 hours per month. That's more than five hours per day, and let's be clear about something: You and I don't get sprawl across the sofa masticating pork rinds and watching American Idol unless someone else is growing the food" (Hewitt, 6).

There are pages and pages of why this system is failing us, less and less farmers farming bigger and bigger farms of monocultures that deplete the soil and use tens of millions of tons of chemical fertiliser for a quick fix. Draining aquifers of precious water. You know the drill. It's not pretty.

In the final pages Hewitt writes, "Indeed the real arrogance is the assumption that we can continue getting for less than it is worth and that our bodies, communities, and lands won't rebel against this falsehood" (222).

If growing your own food is a dream for you - or you're just interested in a small town in Vermont with some real characters, I'd definitely pick this book up.


  1. Here in Nebraska, we have more cooperate 'farms' too. Each year, there are less and less cornfields...which make way for more shopping or a stadium for baseball. Still we have in our communities..either through urban schools or gardens. Unfortunately, even gangs have taken to messing gardens up in some neighborhoods.

    It looks like our rhubarb plant will not be making any leaves this years. I'd say that plant has to be close to 20 years old ..possibly older. It was so big. My dad decided to split it in two. Now its not sprouting anything, but who knows maybe it will, still a few snow showers around.

    Its great to hear you guys are reading "Nonfiction" together. My significant other likes to take classics and make them sound naughty.

    Great post!

  2. haha I'm so glad he's loving it! Sometimes boys just don't know what's good for 'em until they try it ;)

  3. Glad you convinced him. I´m sure it´s so much fun. Too bad I don´t have a garden to grow something too <3


  4. Thanks for the book rec! With my growing interest in food and learning about the US food system, it's something I know I'd be interested in.

    Enjoy your next book together <3

  5. You have my curiousity - I may have to chack this out. I hope you had a great St. Patrick's Day!

  6. I'm going to check out that book, it sounds like an interesting read.

  7. What a fun and unique idea. I'm glad he finally gave him, I bet he's glad he did!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  8. This is such a sweet idea! I'm so glad you are reading together. :-)

  9. A friend of mine a while back found out about a time share program in which you give a local farm a sum of money and in turn they give you I think it was 4 bushels every two weeks of their overstock vegetables and fruits. Hearing about how this is such a dying business and how it's losing it's value to the bigger but not necessarily healthier I kinda want to go in on the program to help out a farmer!

    I think that is also a wonderful idea about reading to one another! I may suggest that to my boyfriend!!!

  10. Hi there, thanks for stopping by my blog. Nice to have found yours!

    I have to say that although I might have some interest in your book my husband would have none, and I fear that reading him that while he washes up may cause him to down tools and go on strike in protest. Buy I do love the idea of couples reading to each other, it's so tender and almost romantic.

    Gillian x

    1. Yeah, I think the book choice is important. This book suited us because IC and I are both interested in food. However I think if one were to read a loud to their significant other it would have to be a book that you'd both enjoy.

  11. such a cute idea. i love that you convinced him :)

  12. I think reading a book together is a fantastic idea! Noel and I need to do that.

  13. I love the idea of reading together like this. It must make dish washing much more enjoyable. And this book sounds quite interesting.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  14. Just when I thought nothing good could come up washing dishes . . .

  15. Aw, I love that you two are doing this together! And that book sounds interesting, I may have to check it out.