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Beautiful Corn: America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate

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Beautiful Corn: America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate Cover

ISBN13: 9780865717282
ISBN10: 0865717281
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Cultivated from sea level to mountaintop, from parched deserts to sodden rain forests, from the rocky Gaspé Peninsula to the plains of Argentina, corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica.

Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard weaves together this unique plant's contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology, and the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Beautiful Corn advocates a return to the nourishing whole grain that built America, in place of today's genetically modified crops processed by industrial agriculture into synthetic sweeteners and cheap meat. Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, learning about growing and using corn in the traditional way.

Gardeners and market farmers can lead the way to a healthier country by restoring heritage corn varieties to our tables. An unabashed celebration of a much-maligned culinary treasure, Beautiful Corn will forever change the way you view this remarkable plant.

Review:

"Part love song to an ancient grain, part elevated instruction on how to grow, cook and consume it, part history and animated story, Beautiful Corn opens our eyes to a food plant that humans have both cultivated and been cultivated by." Michael Ableman, farmer, author of From The Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields Of Plenty

Review:

"Beautiful Corn is a great read! In this lyrical love letter to an ancient, fascinating food, Anthony Boutard offers us a rich harvest of history, a primer on growing the best varieties, the close observations of a brilliant, insatiably curious farmer, and some tasty recipes to boot." Lorna Sass, author of the James Beard Award-winning Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way

Review:

"Anthony Boutard tells a story of corn we haven't heard — not as fuel, or livestock feed, or food product — but as whole food, with the flavor and diversity that comes with thoughtful farming. Part history, part how-to manual (Boutard grows, grinds and cooks corn in all its variations), Beautiful Corn returns the culture, and the cuisine, to our most abundant and mistreated crop." Dan Barber, Chef/Co-Owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Review:

"Never has there been such a book that covers corn so completely and in such an ecologically sound way. From the historical origins and uses by the early domesticators to the modern methods of mass production agriculture this book shows the reader the proper way to grow, harvest and use corn in an environmentally friendly way. Anthony shows us how the entire process can be ecologically friendly and help contribute to a happier healthier world for all." Glenn and Linda Drowns, Sand Hill Preservation Center

Review:

"Corn is a great gift to the world from the Americas. This essential grain, once enormous in variety, can be magical, dangerous, delicious, and life-giving. Anthony Boutard's elegant clean prose guides us through its story – from history to science to politics to recipe to cultivation. Beautiful Corn is a beautiful book." Brian Brett, author of Trauma Farm

Review:

"Anthony Boutard did a wonderful job, he was able to tell the 'real' history of corn, including all the different species and uses of this precious crop. This is definitely the book that was missing in my personal collection about the typical products." Aurelio Barattini, Food Of Tuscan Farmers blog, chef, teacher and restauranteur

Synopsis:

From seed to plate – the seasons of a remarkable crop.

Corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica.

Much more than a simple how-to book, Beautiful Corn weaves together this unique plants contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology and the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard advocates a return to this traditional, nourishing and beautiful whole grain, in all of its rich diversity.

Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, and discover the pure joy of restoring heritage corn varieties to our tables. An unabashed celebration of a much-maligned culinary treasure, Beautiful Corn will forever change the way you view this remarkable plant.

About the Author

Anthony Boutard is a widely recognized local, sustainable food advocate in the Pacific Northwest well-known for his efforts in reviving long-lost food crops and bringing little-known varieties to market. He and his wife Carol own Ayers Creek Farm, a 144-acre organic market farm in Gaston, Oregon specializing in berries, beans, grains and greens. Trained as a forester and naturalist, he brings to farming a forester's patience and a naturalist's appreciation for the other organisms that thrive on the land. Born and raised in New England where fresh corn on the cob is essential to summer life, Anthony has, on occasion, felt the deep emptiness of living in a place where he couldn't grow corn.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Ann Littlewood, February 1, 2013 (view all comments by Ann Littlewood)
Anthony Boutard is not writing about the corn of the Corn Belt, source of corn syrup, auto fuel, and sick cattle. He's writing about the corn of corn bread, polenta, and tortillas, corn that has fed people for millennia. He's an Oregon farmer growing for local markets, and the man loves corn. His farming experience is enriched by a background in biology and natural history, resulting in a keen eye for plant associations and wildlife. Plus, he can write a clear and crafty prose.

This is fascinating stuff if you care the least bit about food, gardening, or pre-history. Boutard covers the origin and diversity of the grain--how people transformed a weedy little plant into a staple and guided it into spreading across North and South America far from its tropical origins. It grows in Connecticut, after all. He covers a little of how, in historical times, Europeans incorporated it into their culture. (I would have liked to read more about corn in Africa.)

The botany is detailed and well-illustrated, a little overwhelming for an amateur, but reasonably accessible, with good drawings and photos. The descriptions of a corn plot through the seasons are delightful. And, of course, there are recipes at the end.

I learned that while most corn strains are readily cross-pollinated by other varieties, popcorn is not. Popcorn was the first domestic corn. Soaking corn kernels in lye for hominy actually makes it more nutritious, not less. You'll find many such gems of information. You'll also learn about farming on a small scale and how to grow and process your own corn.

If you are passionate about--or merely interested in--sustainable agriculture, food, the history of the ancient Americas, the history of farming, or the botany of a truly odd plant, you are likely to find this book an appealing read.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780865717282
Subtitle:
America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate
Author:
Boutard, Anthony
Publisher:
New Society Publishers
Subject:
Gardening-Writing
Subject:
Gardening-Vegetable
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Agriculture and Food
Home and Garden » Gardening » Vegetable
Home and Garden » Gardening » Writing
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Crop Science
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Beautiful Corn: America's Original Grain from Seed to Plate New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages New Society Publishers - English 9780865717282 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Part love song to an ancient grain, part elevated instruction on how to grow, cook and consume it, part history and animated story, Beautiful Corn opens our eyes to a food plant that humans have both cultivated and been cultivated by."
"Review" by , "Beautiful Corn is a great read! In this lyrical love letter to an ancient, fascinating food, Anthony Boutard offers us a rich harvest of history, a primer on growing the best varieties, the close observations of a brilliant, insatiably curious farmer, and some tasty recipes to boot."
"Review" by , "Anthony Boutard tells a story of corn we haven't heard — not as fuel, or livestock feed, or food product — but as whole food, with the flavor and diversity that comes with thoughtful farming. Part history, part how-to manual (Boutard grows, grinds and cooks corn in all its variations), Beautiful Corn returns the culture, and the cuisine, to our most abundant and mistreated crop."
"Review" by , "Never has there been such a book that covers corn so completely and in such an ecologically sound way. From the historical origins and uses by the early domesticators to the modern methods of mass production agriculture this book shows the reader the proper way to grow, harvest and use corn in an environmentally friendly way. Anthony shows us how the entire process can be ecologically friendly and help contribute to a happier healthier world for all."
"Review" by , "Corn is a great gift to the world from the Americas. This essential grain, once enormous in variety, can be magical, dangerous, delicious, and life-giving. Anthony Boutard's elegant clean prose guides us through its story – from history to science to politics to recipe to cultivation. Beautiful Corn is a beautiful book."
"Review" by , "Anthony Boutard did a wonderful job, he was able to tell the 'real' history of corn, including all the different species and uses of this precious crop. This is definitely the book that was missing in my personal collection about the typical products."
"Synopsis" by , From seed to plate – the seasons of a remarkable crop.

Corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica.

Much more than a simple how-to book, Beautiful Corn weaves together this unique plants contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology and the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard advocates a return to this traditional, nourishing and beautiful whole grain, in all of its rich diversity.

Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, and discover the pure joy of restoring heritage corn varieties to our tables. An unabashed celebration of a much-maligned culinary treasure, Beautiful Corn will forever change the way you view this remarkable plant.

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