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In Winter's Kitchen – 3.75 stars

Updated: Apr 3, 2023


This got me thinking about how to connect to my community of food producers

The Ramsey County Master Gardener volunteers read and discussed In Winter's Kitchen by Beth Dooley at the March 2023 Book Club. Over a dozen Master Gardener volunteers read the book and shared their thoughts in small group discussion.

The author portrays an excellent picture of how much work goes into being a certified organic farmer and the challenges these farmers face in competing with large farming operations.

There was discussion around the unfortunate case that most of the studies around farming practices related to the food we consume are funded by large corporations that control many of the farming operations such as seed production and can therefore often be biased.

Everyone agreed that a big take-away was to buy locally- and seasonally-grown food. Not everyone can buy organic food but there are many options to buy locally grown food. (Check out this map of farmers markets from the MN Farmers Market Association.)

The book is very conversational but not everyone liked that style.

Reader Poll

  1. Enjoyable—4 out of 5 stars

  2. Educational— 3.75 out of 5 stars

  3. Recommended—3.75 out of 5 stars

Reader Comments

The readers shared their thoughts about this book:

  • I now understand why organic produce is more expensive, and I'm more willing to pay for it.

  • This book got me thinking about how to connect to my community of food producers.

  • I loved the information about local orchards, gardens, and growers!

  • This makes me want to improve my food waste habits.

  • I didn't like how the author mixed her personal memoir with the factual information.

  • I really enjoyed learning about the history of so much Minnesota culture.

  • Hearing about places I know and farms so close to me and the impacts they are making is inspiring.

  • I liked the information about local organic farms and businesses.

  • The messages about eating local, organic food were thoughtful.

  • Beth Dooley included recipes that I want to try!

Find this book

You can find this book at the Ramsey County Library. There are physical copies of the book and ebook options (via MELSA) available to readers in Ramsey County for free.

Next Book Club Discussion: The Lifelong Gardener

In May, the Master Gardener volunteers will be discussing The Lifelong Gardener

Garden With Ease & Joy at Any Age by Toni Gattone.


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