Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Book review.

Nelson author taps into the wisdom of kids

Sam Van Schie photo
Ann Alma and her new book.
After retiring from a career as a school teacher, Ann Alma has turned to local kids to see what they can teach her.
In her newly self-published book Kids Who Grow Their Own Food: Facts, Notes and Helpful Hints, Alma shares the experience of 10 children who tend their own gardens. The author spent the better part of a year shadowing these youngsters, asking them about their process and taking pictures at every stage of the growing cycle.
This book shows how easy it is to plant a seed in the ground and grow some food of your own — be it pumpkins or tomatoes or all the ingredients for a special soup.
The book is divided into three parts based on the seasons: spring, summer and fall. The different tasks for each season are described in detail, from nourishing the soil with compost before the seeds are planted, to harvesting and cooking their bounty and saving seeds from the plants for next year’s gardens.
The young gardeners are learning as they go, occasionally having to correct their mistakes.

At the end of each section they offer tips for the readers.
A couple of the kids are growing food as a way to connect with their heritage. One young girl is First Nations and some of the others are Doukhobors. Their cultural traditions make their way into the pages of the book, as do the favourite recipes of all the children.
In addition to inspiring people to pick up a gardening spade, this book will teach readers about the importance of heritage crops that are facing extinction with the prevalence of industrial farming and genetically modified seeds.
This is a book for everyone, whether you have children to share it with or just want to read it for yourself. It holds a lot of good information.