One day I was waiting for Saige to wake up from a nap and Ryder was resting too, I hoped on the net and went to one of my favorite places to go Amazon.com.  I love to browse and drool over all the books I would like to order.  I’m so into books, I love the smell, the feel, I love having books in our house – there’s something very comforting about books.  I do love going to the library and getting books – especially with the kids.  We have a basket next to our couch that we keep stocked with books of the week/month or season and we’ll read those until we can’t read them anymore and then we rotate.  But I have this weakness for buying books. 

So back to my moment of weakness during nap time.  Ryder received Mother Earth and Her Children for a present from his best bud Jack and his family and we just love this book. 

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So I was looking for more books by Sibylle Von Olfers and found the mother load on Amazon (of course).  I would like to say that I normally like to buy our books from the local bookstore but again this was a moment of weakness and I was needing some instant gratification (ugh!).  Since we are in Spring (and I needed to limit myself on the amount I could purchase) I bought The Story of the Wind Children and The Story of the Butterfly Children.  These both seemed to be the most “springlike” ones  (I’ve got a list of others for the other seasons).  Oh, they are just the sweetest.  We’ve been reading them every night since we got them.  They are so whimsical and seem to really encourage imagination and whimsy. 

As most of you (who have purchased things on Amazon) know, they have that lovely little section that list “Customers who bought this item also bought…..” which turns you on to many other items of interest.  So then I was turned on to Elsa Beskow and The Children of the Forest so I had to purchase that too. 

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We are so pleased with our new purchases and I know that these will be books that the kids will remember and read to their kids.  I have books like this from my childhood – Tasha Tudor – oh, I just LOVE those books and now I am reading them to Ryder and Saige.  And it melts my heart when Ryder says “I want to read Tasha Tudor, that’s one of my favorites”. 

What are some of your families favorites?  Do you have any special books from your childhood that you are now sharing with your kids?

I just started the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver- so far it is awesome!  Everyone MUST read this.  It is about a family that spends a year eating “deliberately” – only eating what they grow or can purchase locally ( translates into what is produced locally).  I am only in the 4th chapter but already I am a believer.  I have been trying to live this way for awhile now but this is even more hardcore than what we’ve been doing.  The author talks about how much oil is used to produce the food you eat.  I’m sure not many people even think about that when they are biting into their ginormous, plump, ruby red strawberry in the middle of January.  Guess where that strawberry came from? Not the local farm down the road.  Not even from a farm in the United States.  Most likely that Strawberry came from a some giant agbusiness farm in the southern hemisphere.  So there was oil used to plow the fields,  to run the machines that package the strawberries, the fuel to get the strawberries to the docks to then be shipped to the USA and then the fuel that goes into the trucks that deliver the strawberries to your local market.  WOW!  That’s a lot of fuel.  Now multiply that by all the food in our grocerry stores- that’s huge. 

So this family has decided to buck the system and do it the old fashioned way- eat seasonally and eat what you produce or what is produced in your own community.  I know this is not possible for some or seems like an arduous task but you must think baby steps. 

What we do is …. we start by trying to buy local ( the farmer’s market) , then we try to buy within California, then we try to stay on the west coast and if we really want it or need it for a recipe than we stay in the U.S.A.  Let me tell you, it definitely takes me some time to grocery shop but I feel good when I leave- knowing I have done my part.  I always laugh when I’m buying produce and I see Organic __(insert any veggie or fruit)______ from South America or Mexico or wherever.  It seems like an oxymoron.  

It’s all about eating seasonally.  I have come to realize this after we moved in our new house and stared to get into gardening more (now that we had usable space and decent soil).  After that first year of growing our own heirloom tomatoes I realized the ones at the store are awful( I should say – the ones that are at the store and out of season).  Now, I will not buy tomatos during the off season- it’s just not worth it.   

It’s definitely not “convenient” to do things this way.  But it’s more fun and more rewarding.  It just feels good. 

At one time we had tried to move out of Cali and back to the midwest and the first thing I did when looking at new cities was look for their local farmers markets.  The link below is great for finding farmers markets, farms, CSA’s, etc. in your area.  We are lucky to live where we do and they are everywhere but some people aren’t as lucky and might need to do a bit more research.  Take a look at the link below and go visit your local farmers market or farm and bring home what’s in season.  Some places will even provide recipes for some of those veggies that aren’t the “norm” or what you may find in your grocery store.  It’s fun to try new veggies or fruit.  http://www.localharvest.org/

Try the challenge at the right “Be a Bookworm” and pick up this book for it. 

Happy eating!

I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne