gardening memoirs

I have come across a new genre of book that I am enjoying...gardening memoir. I have read plenty of "how to" garden books, and no doubt I'll continue to read books along that theme, but having discovered gardening memoirs I am smitten. Gardening memoirs are the personal stories of gardeners and their gardens.While this usually includes gardening advice, the emphasis is on the life lived surrounding and including gardening.

I am currently reading The Blueberry Years by Jim Minick, a gardening memoir of a couple who planted and maintained a blueberry farm in Virginia. To read this book might deter one from becoming a farmer, this husband and wife team work really, really hard; however its true that hard work reaps some of the biggest rewards and those are not always monetary (as we sometimes like to think in terms of reward!).

Many recipes are included in the book, and I adjusted the Fresh Blueberry Pie recipe to use strawberries I had on hand (so I guess I call it Fresh Strawberry Pie). My dear guinea pigs (family) loved this special dessert, and we will be having it again throughout the berry season, simply adjusting to what I have on hand. (I realize that my previous post was about green smoothies...a healthy drink..., and that this post is about a dessert. What can I say? We try to eat a balanced diet 'round here!)

The exact recipe from the book is:

Fresh Blueberry Pie from picker Ruth Yoder
taken from The Blueberry Years by Jim Minick

8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
14 ounces nondairy whipped cream
4 cups fresh blueberries
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Beat together cream cheese, sour cream and sugar. Fold in whipped cream and blueberries. Pour into the 2 graham cracker crusts. Chill till set and serve. Yield: 2 pies

My adjustments. I used only 1/2 cup of sugar and only 2 cups of fresh, diced strawberries. I used real whipped topping (that I beat myself), instead of the whipped cream in a tub. I also made my own graham cracker crust out of crushed crackers and melted, unsalted butter which I pressed into the side and bottom of a 1 deep dish pie pan. So I had 1 pie instead of 2. Minor adjustments, but like I said they worked for us and we'll be enjoying this again soon!

Other delightful gardening memoir recommendations? A Way to Garden and The Backyard Parables by Margaret Roach, Second Nature by Michael Pollan, The Quarter-Acre Farm by Spring Warren and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Each of these books are more than delightful in their own, unique way. We do try to live a gardening lifestyle, and it is great for me to get a sneak peek to see how other gardeners live that life and glean from their wisdom.


Anonymous said…
You might like Urban Gardener by Elspeth Thompson.This book details the adventures of a young gardener in her London garden allotment. She compiled her weekly articles into a book. Very fun and informative read! So much so that I bought my own after checking it out every year at the public library.