Friday, September 17, 2010

Pg. 99: Jim Minick's "The Blueberry Years"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family by Jim Minick.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Blueberry Years is a mouth-watering and delightful memoir based on Jim Minick's experiences as an organic blueberry farmer. This story of one couple, one farm, and 1000 bushes transports readers so that they experience the joys and frustrations of creating and operating one of the mid-Atlantic’s first certified-organic, pick-your-own blueberry farms. Written by a farmer who also is a poet, The Blueberry Years follows in the vein of The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, where lyrical writing captures a well-told story about food, family, and the choices we make with every bite.

For over a decade, the author and his wife planned, planted, pruned, and picked, filling their lives with blueberries. And every summer, they opened their field to hundreds of people who came to harvest berries. These pickers shared blueberry-flavored moonshine and sober religion, warm hugs and cool hats, and always bushels of stories.

To give a larger context to this one farm’s story, Minick includes brief chapters on national issues such as organic foods, farmer’s markets, and the many problems caused by industrial agriculture. He also includes short interludes on all things blueberry, like the fruit’s many health benefits or the blueberry in song, literature, and film. Ultimately, though, this book tells the story of a young couple pursuing their blueberry dream.

As Gene Logsdon, author of Pope Mary and The Church of Almighty Good Food, writes “Everyone talks these days about growing local food for local markets. Here's what it's like to really do it. Minick paints a lovely picture of how a few people come together on a little farm to enjoy each other's quirks and commonalities along with good food.”
Read an excerpt from The Blueberry Years, and learn more about the book and author at Jim Minick's website.

Writers Read: Jim Minick.

The Page 99 Test: The Blueberry Years.

--Marshal Zeringue