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Growing a Feast: The Chronicle of a Farm-to-Table Meal

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  72 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The story of a feast two years in the making, from the farmer who harvested the vegetables, raised the animals, and prepared the meal.

In Growing a Farmer, Kurt Timmermeister recounted the toil and joy of wrestling an empty plot of land on Vashon Island, Washington, into a dairy farm. Now he tells the story of a feast made from only what the farm provides. But the story of
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 6th 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Dorothy Greco
Jul 21, 2014 Dorothy Greco rated it liked it
The book version of Babette's Feast, Growing a Feast will most appeal to those in the slow food movement or foodies. Timmermeister lost me on some of his descriptions, not because he's a poor writer but because I simply don't care enough about how to pickle some random vegetable to read his three page description. It did help me to appreciate what it takes to get a healthy meal on the table and I commend the author for his vision and for caring enough to bring it to fruition.
Jim Kahn
Apr 06, 2014 Jim Kahn rated it it was amazing
The premise of this book is to provide a narrative for all of the preparation activities executed to provide a multi-course, gourmet and entirely on site produced feast for twenty people. The author is a professional chef / restaurateur turned farmer who primarily subsists by turning milk from his small herd of Jersey cows into cheese. The location of his farm is Vashon Island, outside of Seattle, WA.

In essence, it is a series of detailed descriptions of mundane farm activities: planting onions,
Feb 13, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking-food, farming
Kurt Timmermeister lives on the 13-acre Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island in Washington state. Kurt was a chef and originally bought the farm when it was smaller to try to grow more of his restaurant's food. He now is a full-time dairy farmer creating artisan cheese from his cow's milk. He also regularly hosts farm-to-table dinners for paying friends and guests that showcase all the abundance of food the farm creates. This book shows all the work that goes into one of these farm-to-table meals. It ...more
Mar 23, 2016 Joan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this detailed account of a former chef turned farmer/cheese maker and the 2 year journey from the birth of a calf to presenting a gourmet meal of food raised almost entirely on his farm. It really made me think about all the processes that go into growing our food as well as things like why artisan cheese costs $20/lb. As a wannabe homesteader and lover of home grown food, I got a lot out of the author's accounts of growing vegetables and other foods, and enjoyed reading his tho ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would probably rate it a 3.5 stars but only full stars are available. I felt like he changed his writing style a bit making it more detailed but at times I felt it was a bit too much detail. A lot of it I had already learned from reading his first book, some of it added greater depth and some of it could have been left out and I felt some details were missing. I feel out of his two books, his first was definitely my favorite and would have been enough. It was neat to see how the first book pla ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Ali added it
This was a really amazing journey, I enjoyed the daily ramblings about a farm and the author is very descriptive making you crave to be there and to at least work a few days on his farm. the best part has to be in the very back of the book he includes all of the recipes he used for the dinner.
Feb 18, 2015 Josie rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, washington, farming
Lots of detail on how a meal gets from the farm to the table, starting with milking the cow to make the cheese, and ending with leftover butter cookies on a table recently vacated by diners. I enjoyed the deep detail of the farm side of the meal, but got bored with the actual cooking description; for me the last two chapters were eternal and boring. But the first 200 pages were lovely!
Leigh  Kramer
Sep 03, 2014 Leigh Kramer rated it liked it
I'm a farmer's granddaughter but I still learned a ton from this book. (It made me want to read his first book even more.) Timmermeister starts with the birth of a calf, which will eventually make its own contribution to the feast at the book's end. I do wish we could have learned more about Timmermeister himself (maybe this is in the first book?) and why he has made certain choices, how he feels about living on a farm by himself, and so on.
Jul 10, 2014 Cynthia rated it liked it
A good read for anyone interested in the farm-to-table movement. Some sections became a bit tedious with pages and pages devoted to the making of a singular dish. Overall, an interesting and educational read.
A solid work, with all the romantic phrasings one could desire to praise the slow food experience. I enjoyed the book, even though I find Timmermeister a little too self-absorbed.
Sarah Boon
Nov 13, 2014 Sarah Boon rated it liked it
Timmermeister isn't a stellar writer, by any means. But he excels at putting us there, on his farm, as the onions are grown, the cheese made, the steer killed and butchered. It is his attention to - and love for - the small details of his life that draw me into his books. He epitomizes the 'write what you know' edict, and his farm is definitely what he knows. I enjoy following his meandering thoughts as he turns cheeses in the cold room, or feels ashamed of not starting *all* of his own vegetabl ...more
Astrid Yrigollen
This book was more of of a diary /dialogue of Kurt and his every day life on the farm. It was an interesting read but be prepared, it is very detailed. There are some aspect of his farm life that will offend vegans or rather, make them sad to read about such as slaughtering an animal or taking a new born calf away from it's mother after it has only been with her one day.
His journey is an interesting one and while he does seems to do a lot of work,it seems very satisfying and simple.There are so
Oct 06, 2014 S. rated it liked it
I'm learning so much about small farming, keeping cows, and cheese making. I am loving it. Some of the descriptions are overly long but I appreciate his need to be exact.
Feb 10, 2014 Jordan rated it did not like it
Shelves: nrbc-tower-13
I finished the book because I hate to leave things unfinished but it did not hold my interest except for a few chapters. Neat story but drug out over 300 pages and it was dull.
Mar 11, 2015 Julie rated it liked it
I didn't like this one as much as his first. Perhaps it just seemed like too much more of the same. I did learn a good bit about cheese making, but beyond that I felt it was going over harrowed ground, so to speak.
Jun 15, 2014 Sharon added it
Shelves: dropped-books
This book was kind of boring. I never finished.
Parts, like the cheese cave were great, but overall did not hold my interest.
Jun 25, 2016 Adèle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
interesting but completely humourless.
Catherine marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2016
Louise Scarlett
Louise Scarlett rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2016
Sshaver rated it liked it
May 04, 2016
Bonnie rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2016
Candace marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2016
Amy Basten Weum
Amy Basten Weum marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2016
Tami Garrard
Tami Garrard rated it liked it
Apr 15, 2016
Laura marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
Joshua rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2016
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Kurt Timmermeister grew up in Seattle and was a successful restaurateur before moving to Vashon Island. There he transformed a rough patch of earth into Kurtwood Farms, presently a vibrant farm where he raises Jersey cows, produces farmstead cheese, and hosts weekly farm dinners composed entirely of ingredients from his tidy Vashon farm.
More about Kurt Timmermeister...

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