Harvest: Field Notes from a Far-Flung Pursuit of Real Food
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Harvest: Field Notes from a Far-Flung Pursuit of Real Food

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  11 reviews
After an epiphany caused by a harrowing bite into a pink-slime burger, Max Watman resolves to hunt, fish, bake, butcher, preserve, and pickle. He buys a thousand-pound-steer whom he names Bubbles raises chickens, gardens, and works to transform his small-town home into a gastronomic paradise. In this compulsively readable memoir, Watman records his experiments and adventur...more
Hardcover, 221 pages
Published March 24th 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Rebecca Foster
“Bringing livestock home is hard stuff.” Watman may be your average foodie writer, but he goes one step further than a lot of high-minded locavores by raising a steer named Bubbles for a year. He also rears chickens (despite the frequent incursions of a killer raccoon), makes cheese from scratch, goes on a pheasant hunting trip in North Dakota, and grows his own garden-fresh vegetables – which, as he wisely notes, is equal parts suffering and joy.

I enjoyed getting glimpses into his somewhat unus...more
This book was so much fun to read. Max Watman wants to make/produce/grow as much of his food as he can. Throughout the course of the book he buys his own steer to raise for beef, tries his hand at making cheese, grows and cans vegetables, makes his own kimchi and charcuterie, and even his own salt from the ocean. He is honest about the failures and mistakes and makes lots of hilarious, dry remarks about everything. I very much appreciate his desire to produce as much of his food as he can becaus...more
Nadia Daniel
I want this guy to live next door. What a delightful book that embraces food as a community and family glue.

Yes it's disjointed and some of the stories were rambling and not on theme but he comes across as such a genuine guy that I felt I was sitting in the kitchen listening to a friend talk to me about food as it impacted his way of living so I didn't mind. Plus he made me want to try fermenting, bread baking, pizza at home and canning all over again. He's like an approachable Michael Pollan.

Oh dear. This book could have been me and my thoughts toward making everything "food" myself, except that I have no "formal" experience working as a chef or in a professional kitchen. It made me want to try so many more things, and makes me want to reconsider many others. My dad laughed when I told him I wanted to build a chicken coop at my new house….before talking about some of the other things that need to be done. Great read, but would've loved to see a few photos whether of Bubbles or some...more
This book was a sort of rambling, pretentious biography that had no reason for being. That being said, the stories, while disjointed, were entertaining. To be fair, the subtitle does say "Field Notes," but it would be nice if something bound into a book read like one.

I would recommend it to my foodie friends. If you are the kind of person who enjoys the art of food, his descriptions alone are worth the short read.
I was rather disappointed. The first eight chapters were disjointed and unfocused. He jumped all over the place. The last three chapters partially redeemed the book. He found his theme, but it was almost too late. It's a short, thin read.
Got thru the first third and stopped. Too disjointed... goes from parts I really liked to boring and back. And footnotes that go on and on...
Unfocused. He built up to what could have been some great stories, but every chapter fizzled out.
An Ok book, I especially liked the chapter on making cheese.
Each chapter in this book reads as a loving and beautifully well-written vignette on food, but the book doesn't hold together well as an entity. The author skips from beef to cheese to hunting to seafood and fails to draw the thread of narrative along until the very end of the book. Ultimately, I feel somewhat ambivalent about it, although I enjoyed the stories very much.
Enjoyed Max Watman's talk about the book more than the book itself - but appreciate it with the understanding that the goal of life is for us to fail and then fail better
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Max is the author of "Chasing the White Dog" (S & S, 2010) & "Race Day" (Ivan R. Dee, 2005).

He was named a 2008 NEA Fellow.

He is the former horse racing correspondent for the NY Sun. It's a point of pride that he was the turf hack the paper ever had.

Max has written widely on books, food, drinks, music, and occasionally cinema.

Raised in the Shenandoah sticks. Many collegiate adventures l...more
More about Max Watman...
Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine Race Day: A Spot on the Rail with Max Watman Race Day: A Spot on the Rail

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