The Farm That Feeds Us – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Where does our food come from? Here’s an answer that looks more like traditional farming as opposed to the huge farms that harvest soy beans and corn (especially the corn products that end up in so many of our processed foods. If you want more info on that topic, check out the film King Corn, and you may never eat highly processed foods again.)

This book is for those who want to learn more about sustainable organic agriculture, not just for the health of consumers, but for the health of farmers (and all of their employees) and the air and water quality of communities surrounding farms.

Text ©️Nancy Castaldo, Illustration ©️Ginnie Hsu

The table of contents walks the reader through the seasons, featuring produce, grain, and livestock farming, as well as bee-keeping, county fairs, pest control, you name it.

Text ©️Nancy Castaldo, Illustration ©️Ginnie Hsu

There’s information about community-supported agriculture, breeds of chickens and how their egg-laying differs, how a beehive is structured, heirloom seeds, free-range pig breeds, planting cover crops, crop rotation…interesting details all described in kid-friendly terms. And yes! There’s a recipe for making bread! It does this farmer’s daughter’s heart good to see such variety shared in such a—down to earth way.

The spread showing the farmer’s market makes me want to go to one right now, buy some local honey, maybe a bunch of sorrel to make soup….or a pound of heirloom tomatoes. Drool…..We’re so lucky to have amazing farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture “deliveries” in San Francisco.

Text ©️Nancy Castaldo, Illustration ©️Ginnie Hsu

It’s a win-win situation. Consumers get the freshest of the fresh, and small farms make more money by cutting out the “middle man” that often takes the lion’s share of profits.

I like how the book’s last spread gives readers ideas on how they, too, can help support farmers, especially small organic farmers, who need our help now more than ever. They are the ones who are trying to maintain diversity in nature, in the way we eat, and in the way we look at the world.

Text ©️Nancy Castaldo, Illustration ©️Ginnie Hsu

I love the appropriately earth-toned illustrations that make me hungry. My only wish is that they had included a list of resources where kids could learn more. It does, however, contain a glossary explaining some of the more complex words used in the text.

Activities:

Go to a farmer’s market or roadside stand in your area and buy something you’ve never eaten before.

Plant your own small garden in the back yard or in containers. See if you can find heirloom seeds or seedlings to plant.

Pair this book with Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens (an older, humorous book) or with Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

Title: The Farm That Feeds Us: A Year in the Life of An organic farm

Author: Nancy Castaldo

Illustrator: Ginnie Hsu

Publisher: Quarto, 2020

Themes: farms, seasons, food production

Ages: 1st-5th grade

For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s blog.

AND as promised! The winner of last week’s **GIVEAWAY** for Mootilda’s Bad Mood Is 

Pam Webb!!!

Congrats!!! Please leave me your deets in the comments below or on Mootilda’s review, and I’ll put you in touch with Kirsti!!! Congrats!! You’re gonna love Mootilda!!

18 thoughts on “The Farm That Feeds Us – Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

  1. Patricia Tilton says:

    Such an important for children with the take over of farms by large corporations. Children need to see what a traditional farm looks like. My brother and his wife worked years to get their farm certified as an organic farm — a smaller farm.

    I have been reviewing a futuristic YA series called the “Seed Savers” set in 2070 for older kids, when food is manufactured and people aren’t allowed to grow their own food. Didn’t realize that there really are seed savers all over the world, protecting seeds today.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Yes, I’m a big fan of organic farming. And many people don’t understand the difference between hybridization to create new crop varieties and genetically modifying plants to be resistant to extremely harmful herbicides like Roundup, so that fields can be sprayed with Roundup to kill everything else while allowing the planted seed to grow. I could go on about sooo many things related to pesticide/fertilizer companies, vertical integration that has squeezed many farmers, etc etc etc. We actually have seed banks in San Francisco, too. The YA series sounds like a reality that we could be headed toward unless we change course.

  2. Annie Lynn, AnnieBirdd Music, LLC says:

    I’m just happy to see books about where our food really comes from. Many kids have no idea. Many don’t care. We need to educate and involve children from birth about being stewards for the Earth, and involve them in CSAs. This looks to be a necessary book. Congratulations to all involved in this worthy venture.

  3. ptnozell says:

    I love supporting small, organic farms whenever possible, and I love that this wonderful resource will help kids connect to the foods they eat. Our Saturday market now includes a book seller – this would be a great addition to their table.

  4. Ste J says:

    I think this is great for all ages, a healthy reminder to adults, as well as educating kids early on what is important, what they need, and a more sustainable, healthy, and ethical way to get it. Especially as more and more people seem to be in the urban sprawl and not appreciating where their food comes from as much as they should.

  5. Sarah Tobias says:

    This book looks great. It would make a great Ag in the Classroom book. I will pass the info on to my friend in charge of that program here.

Please feed the chickens...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.