I’ve had a weekend that has been both exhausting – driving 4+ hours a day for four days – and rejuvenating – visiting with this beautiful woman and her fabulous family for a few hours here and there. We shared so many wonderful things each of us has learned about sustainable gardening and farming, traditional nutrition, natural mothering, spirituality, healing our mother wounds, and of course the occasional diatribe about poo. All in all a satisfying way to spend the weekend, and I’m so grateful!

My friend and I are both pretty avid bookworms, and as usual our conversation included lots of talk about what we’ve gleaned from recent reads. Here’s a list of books both she and I are currently contemplating for various reasons:

MaryJane’s Ideabook * Cookbook * Lifebook
I bought this over the weekend and am now looking for a free hour to read about baking, stitching and mending, and how a girl can run a farm.

Gaia’s Garden

We may landscape our tiny plot of land this summer (.09 acres!) and I’m definitely going to buy this book in preparation. As my friend said this weekend: If you can’t eat it, use it for medicine, or support your ecosystem with it, why plant it?

Nourishing  Traditions

A wonderful reference in support of real, whole foods. The author is very knowledgable and extremely passionate about her message. Some find it overwhelming, and I’ve read that this book carries the message in a kinder, gentler, but no less powerful way.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma
I have yet to read this book, but have heard so much about it and recently watched two hours of lecture and panel discussion with the author on UCTV (the University of California system’s television station). Nearby UCDavis chose this book for this year’s Campus Community Book Project – it’s basically being taught university-wide in classes of all kinds.

Hygieia: A Woman’s Herbal
My friend is a wonderful healer – and if you come down with any malady while in her care you will be well-tended! I woke up this morning with a UTI and she was all over it…she pulled down this book and this one and got to work. I’ll have to get these soon.

I work a lot at scaling down my life – Descartes and I regularly go through the house trying to figure out what we can do without. But of all my possessions, books are the hardest for me to let go of. Who knows the psychology behind that, but I generally don’t just read a book once and put it on the shelf – they are my constant companions, sources of wisdom that I can turn to again and again. This week I’m going to dig in and dream a little, about a life I wish for my future – a life with a little more land and the ability to grow more of our food, get back to sewing again and let the dogs (that I don’t have yet) run across our fields each day. I’m going to dig in and see what fresh wisdom I can find in my many paper-and-ink friends.

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