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Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family's Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table


Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family's Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table Cover

ISBN13: 9781938340000
ISBN10: 1938340000
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As parents, Stacy and I are just starting to understand how active participation in food gathering and production affects our children. When six-year-old Skyla and three-year-old Weston eat the tomatoes they grew, fish they caught, or berries they picked, we can see the pride that comes from contributing to family meals. When the kids serve these same foods to guests, their pride grows exponentially. The biggest surprise, though, is that our children have come to view healthy food – salmon, oysters, homegrown broccoli – as delicious treats. It could be their involvement in bringing these foods to the table, but it also might be the simple fact that fresh and wild foods taste better than what’s available at the supermarket.

Another factor here is our search for ways to deal with the onslaught of electronic communication that seems to define modern life. It’s not that I’m against technology. In fact, last year I learned text messaging so I could stay connected with our small fleet of anglers who share on-the-water reports. But not long ago, Stacy and I were at a barbecue hosted by friends with teenage kids. When I came inside to grab some fish for the grill, I saw two kids sitting at opposite ends of the couch, furiously texting away. It was sunny and warm outside, and here they were in a dark room, staring at cell phones. I asked with whom they were communicating, and without even glancing up, they pointed to each other. I couldn’t help but feel this wasn’t the future I wanted for my children. Perhaps in vain, Stacy and I hope that outdoor pursuits might balance the inevitable technological “advances” that are sure to be a part of their lives.

The process of finding or growing food with our kids provides learning opportunities for all of us. Of course, there are specific skills and knowledge, which accumulate over time, leading to better results and more consistent success. But there’s something beyond that as well. Any student of Zen Buddhism can find valuable lessons while following a three-year-old as he moves through the woods searching for mushrooms. Everything – and I mean everything – along the way is significant, interesting, and fun. The actual picking of mushrooms is almost beside the point.

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Clifford Reynolds, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Clifford Reynolds)
Great book on seeing the immediate world around us through eyes with few mind filters.
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Product Details

Tomine, Dylan
Patagonia Books
McClure, Nikki
McGuane, Thomas
McGuane, Thomas
McClure, Nikki
Biography - General
���nature education
 nature education
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
BandW illustrations throughout
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Washington » General
Home and Garden » Sustainable Living » Food
Closer to the Ground: An Outdoor Family's Year on the Water, in the Woods and at the Table New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$29.95 In Stock
Product details 264 pages Patagonia Books - English 9781938340000 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Outdoor writer and conservation advocate Tomine expresses peace, gratitude, and satisfaction with life and Mother Nature in an homage reminiscent of Noel Perrin's ruminations on the pleasures of the simple life. Writing from Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Tomine escorts readers through a year of city-assisted living; while foraging, fish, and harvesting their own foods, he and his family also enjoy the pleasures of modern life, such as assorted electronic gadgetry. The relaxed pace and contemplative nature of his discussion leads to questions, for instance about the advantages and disadvantages of sharing knowledge about local food foraging hot spots. While Tomine's memoir is decidedly food-focused (particularly on food specific to the Pacific Northwest), he also shares thoughts on matters large and small, whether the many uses of plastic buckets or the trade-offs that must be made in choosing a budget-friendly sustainable lifestyle. That their lifestyle creates quality time for the family is evident from a conversation with his daughter and sweet moments in the woods with his son. Tomine clearly feels that he has made the right choice, and readers may find themselves questioning how they can gain more of that free time. Agent: Valerie Borchardt, Georges Borchardt, Inc. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Dylan Tomine's Closer to the Ground is a pleasure to read, depicting as it does the days and seasons of a family intent on living joyfully, and providing at the same time a lively meditation on our relationship to nature. I found its buoyant, irrepressible, self-deprecating tone entirely winning, and was drawn in, happily, from page one."
"Synopsis" by , This book is an engaging memoir that follows Dylan Tomine and his family through four seasons as they hunt chanterelles, fish for salmon, dig clams and gather at the kitchen table, mouths watering, to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
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