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To Eat: A Country Life
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To Eat: A Country Life

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  52 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A memorable book about the path food travels from garden to table

For years, Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd lived and worked together, tending to North Hill, their spectacular garden in southern Vermont, which each year draws visitors from around the world who delight in exploring its seven carefully cultivated acres; and collaborating on books that centered on their passions
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Jun 13, 2013 Erinn rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Not that the writing is so excellent that I was compelled to read further, but rather the passion for the subject is a subject that I love. The gardening, the cooking, the passion for southern Vermont - they are all loves of mine and the authors' love of these things come through in the book in a manner that invites me to enjoy it. I am looking forward to buying some seeds of the varieties recommended in the book. I am looking forward to the recipes. I've tried three of them a ...more
Jim Kahn
Feb 06, 2014 Jim Kahn rated it really liked it
This book is broken up into flora / fauna specific chapters: "Lettuce," "Chickens", etc. Each chapter gives a broad description how to raise and how to cook with a few specific recipes but typically just a general description of approximately how to prepare. Written with a whimsical and nostalgic tone, the author uses anecdotes from his life with his long time partner and living in various places including Boston, the Berkshires, Copenhagen and finally their farm in Vermont. I enjoyed reading fo ...more
Aug 14, 2014 Mysteryfan rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodie-files
This book refuses to be categorized. The authors had decades of experience in working the land and they distill it down into the purest essence. Each chapter is only a few pages long and covers a single vegetable. There's information about how to grow and cook it, but also how it fit into the farm, the seasons, and their lives. There are no tricks anywhere and I suspect their recipes and farm are much the same. It's an education in plain simple good language. Bobbi Angell's ullustrations added g ...more
Jun 28, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Even though I skimmed parts (like what fertilizer ratio you need for XYZ veg) this is a delight. Gentlemen farmers in Vermont extolling the virtues of various vegetables and bottle feeding your own veal calf. I mean! Indulgent and almost borderline ironic phrases like "radishes with butter is one of the great pleasures of rural life" and others too many to count. Will make you alternately want a huge vegetable garden and be way to intimidated to even put a tomato plant on your fire escape ;). Th ...more
Marjorie Elwood
Sep 08, 2014 Marjorie Elwood rated it it was amazing
In the tradition of Thalassa Cruso, Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd give opinionated gardening advice (as well as the occasional recipe). Each chapter details a difference plant or animal; there is advice both on raising them as well as their favorite varieties. Winterrowd died in 2010 and Eck's homage to his partner is heart-felt.
Feb 23, 2014 Loraine rated it liked it
Gardening is in their bones. So is teaching. And writing. They've written a series of essays about beets, garlic, cucumbers, etc--and the reader learns something of gardening, or of storing vegetables for the winter, or of the writers themselves. Enjoyable, but a certain glibness occasionally entered into the writing style that this reader found off-putting. (I've thought the same of Alice Waters in earlier readings and since changed my mind, so . . .)
Jun 01, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, garden
A good read on various plants of the garden. A little history, recipes, and good stories.
Anne Rouillard
Apr 28, 2014 Anne Rouillard rated it really liked it
There are two types of gardening books: "how-too guides" and "memoirs/journals" of gardening. I enjoyed this memoir about the relationship these two men have with the food they grow on their small farm. This book is intimate and real and the author's explanation of how they treat the plants as they grow, and how they treat vegetables for storage is very dear. The food is treated like a guest in their home. It is pampered and taken care of. In reading this memoir/gardening guide, you learn how to ...more
Sep 22, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
"To Eat" is co-authored and the last title to be published by both authors (Winterrowd passed away in 2010). The chapters are presented in plant or animal categories and offer up advice, anecdotes or history on the topic at hand. There is a noticeable difference in the narrative toward the end of the book, presumably when Eck had to complete the book without his partner, but even though the stories are more concise, they are still informative.

Read my full review on my blog, at

Kristal Cooper
Apr 16, 2016 Kristal Cooper rated it it was amazing
A beautiful love affair between two men and the food they grow on their land for their lifestyle of living and eating seasonally. It includes stories of how they came to appreciate each plant, specific varieties they prefer, how to grow them and some cherished recipes.

I usually share my books when I'm done, but this one's a keeper because I plan to refer back to it often.
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Dec 01, 2013 Bebe (Sarah) Brechner rated it really liked it
Beautiful, thoughtful rumination on 30 years of developing a world class garden and life in Vermont by two gentlemen. This is a bittersweet recollection because of the unexpected demise of one of the partners. Highly recommended for those who love to garden, eat in season, and live a gentle, natural life. Or would like to do so. This is an inspiring book.
P. Timothy
Jan 24, 2014 P. Timothy rated it really liked it
Please read my review at
Aug 28, 2013 Diane rated it liked it
Quick read-- It's a gardening/life on the farm book. Enjoyable, but nothing unique.
Oct 07, 2013 Sara rated it liked it
It's a nice book, with a few interesting bits about variety.
Sep 27, 2013 Carla rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, gardening
An elegy, with vegetables.
Sep 21, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
learned alot
MJ rated it really liked it
Mar 26, 2016
Candace marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2016
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