Edges of Bounty: Adventures in the Edible Valley

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Heyday Books, 2008 - Cooking - 194 pages
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Cultural Writing. Food. Essays. Photography. Photographs by Scott Squire. Foreword by NPR's Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva. Writer William Emery and photographer Scott Squire embarked on an adventure through California's Central Valley in search of a different way of life. They sought the secrets of people engaged in the production of their own food and drink. What is life like for small-time farmers? Can they make a living off of what they produce? Do they enjoy what they do? And most importantly, does their food taste any better than what we find in supermarkets? What Emery and Squire discovered was revelatory. In the pages of Edges of Bounty they sample produce that is nothing short of divine. They encounter melons so swollen that they burst open with one knife cut. They are introduced to the sour flavor of cactus pads and the healing bitterness of Mien bitter balls. Emery catches his first fish in twenty years. The beekeepers, cheese makers, butchers, fishermen, dairymen, fruit farmers, and other edibilists--the word Emery coins to describe them--who invited them into their homes take pride in their expertise and in nurturing what farmer Mike Madison at one point calls guerilla agriculture. Thoughtful, quirky, and brimming with the color and anthopological depth of Squire's photography, Edges of Bounty delights us with a back-to-land narrative as fresh and tangy as homemade goat cheese. Emery and Squire come away from the edible valley not just with bushels of produce but with faith in endeavors that are small and local and close to our hearts.

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Upon his first taste of an exotic melon ("the flavor was a cathedral and liqueur") from a small farm in California's Great Central Valley, writer Emery came to an epiphany: "we do not eat real food ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Scott Squire, Seattle, Washington, is a professional photographer whose work has appeared in"Mother Jones", "Seattle's Frye Museum", and PBS's "Frontline

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