In the Bookshed: The Natural Kitchen


Out of Process Media’s Self-reliance series (aka urban homesteader collection) comes The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution by Deborah Eden Tull. Just released at the end of September, this book gives deep insight into creating a mindful and green kitchen: cooking, organic gardening, composting, water use, waste reduction, and food storage are all covered here.

Rather opening with the scary stuff of climate change and our severe ecological problems, Tull sets an encouraging tone straight off with her statement that creative change is the most fun we can embark on as humans. Rather than overwhelming the reader with hard stats and disaster, she sets a pace of writing that includes inspirational anecdotes and thoughts on her own path of learning as an activist turned  Zen Buddhist and now sustainability coach as well as questions for self-reflection. As a person who has lived in both rural and urban settings, Tull’s suggestions don’t come from a place that assumes acreage and the ability to live totally off the grid. It’s for those reasons, as well as her deep and abiding desire to connect people with the earth, that I would recommend Tull’s book as a good overall reference to the many small places in our lives we can find a bit more ecological sanity.

Whether you are new to the green movement, or like me, have been working along these lines for a couple of decades, there is plenty of information and advice in this book to put you even further into daily ecological practice. Water-saving, composting, shoppers guidelines, companion planting, food packaging…. Even if you are an expert in one area, you will surely find material you have never thought about in another area. (In my case, I have never paid that much attention to composting ratios or water-saving)…. And the book is nicely-designed on top of that with illustrations, tables and highlighted questions for consideration.

Definitely glad to have this one on the shelf, I’m curious also to check out the Process title: When There Is No Doctor: Preventive and Emergency Healthcare in Uncertain Times.

What does it mean to be an earth steward? Most of us who grew up in cities or suburbs from the 1950s through the end of the last century were not taught to pay much attention to caring for our environment. We were brought up to separate from the natural world on some level – as consumers who simply turn on the tap, flip a switch, flush a toilet and dump our trash in a receptacle without thinking about where it goes. The difference between being a consumer and being an earth steward is similar to the difference between the attention and care you give your own child or dog as opposed to a child or dog you just pass on the street. When we really see something as ‘ours’ and an extension of ourselves, as in ‘our world,’ ‘our soil,’ ‘our food system,’ we have a totally different relationship with it. We must do everything in our power to take care of it.”

Deborah Eden Tull in The Natural Kitchen

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