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Shake Them 'Simmons Down

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  8 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
A keen naturalist's eye focused on the trees of the American South.
Paperback, 244 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by The Lyons Press
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Jun 29, 2009 Stephen rated it really liked it
O, the goodness that comes from trees. Pecan. Pawpaw. Persimmon. Sassafras. Sumac, et cetera. Once upon a time before supermarkets, we depended on these idiosyncratic food sources.

Janet Lembke’s book, “Shake them ‘Simmons Down” is a lovely collection of folklore, old-time recipes, poems and natural history that surrounds these and other trees that have close connections to our hunter-gather and agrarian traditions.

If you love trees, you’ll enjoy this book.

Lembke writes about the trees in her yard and the woods around her house, describing such diverse species as Persimmon, Devil's Walking Stick, Catalpa, Paw Paw, Osage Orange, and others. While some of Lembke's essays are outstanding, many more are merely mediocre, and could benefit from the surprise and wonder she brings to the history and culture of the trees in her best essays (such as that on the pecan). The final impression is a series of anecdotes from a woman who loves the woods and knows ...more
David Ward
Jan 21, 2016 David Ward rated it liked it
Shake Them 'Simmons Down by Janet Lembke (Lyons Press 1996) (582.16). Janet Lembke, good Southerner that she is, has written about the character of the trees that grow near her house and that are typically considered “Southern:” the Osage Orange, the Devil's Walking Stick, and the Paw-Paw, just to name a few. She includes recipes, uses, and the folklore about each species. This is a useful addition to the literature. My rating: 7/10, finished 5/17/2010.
Allan rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2013
Kim rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2012
Sheila rated it it was ok
Oct 12, 2007
Jkentlayman rated it it was ok
May 29, 2014
Milt rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2013
Heather marked it as to-read
May 23, 2014
Marcus marked it as to-read
Oct 12, 2016
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Janet Lembke (2 March 1933 - 3 September 2013), née Janet Nutt, was an American author, essayist, naturalist, translator and scholar. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio during the Great Depression, graduated in 1953 from Middlebury College, Vermont, with a degree in Classics, and her knowledge of the classical Greek and Latin worldview, from Homer to Virgil, informed her life and work. A Certified ...more
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