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Weekend Cooking: The Blueberry Years

January 2, 2011

Jim Minick, and his wife Sarah, wanted to quit their day jobs and become homesteaders so that they could pursue some of their passions, like writing.  Since Jim’s family had some experience with blueberries, they decided to start a blueberry farm.  They purchased land in Floyd County, Virginia and had quite a task ahead of them since the land hadn’t been farmed in over forty years.  After a lot of hard work, they opened a certified-organic pick-your-own blueberry farm and operated it for over ten years.  In The Blueberry Years, Minick recounts their toils and triumphs and introduces readers to the people they got to know along the way. He also includes informative “Blue Interludes” about things like the history of the blueberry, facts about organic farming and the history of domesticated blueberries.

Minick is a poet and essayist who teaches English at Radford University and his talent comes through on the pages of this quiet, introspective book.  I just loved it!  It made me long for simpler times and hunger for blueberries.  I love this description:

Before a blueberry turns blue, it really is pink, the blush of a child’s cheek, the soft red of a sunset as it slowly burns down the shoulder of a green mountain.  Pink turning to red turning to blue.  And like a sunset, all of this slow coloring happens at such a pace that you fail to notice until night falls, and the stars speckle the blueberry sky.

Minick also includes some color photos and over twenty blueberry recipes, for everything from breakfast foods to desserts to drinks, even some adult beverages.   If you love memoirs, community, or food, you won’t want to miss this gem of a book!

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Challenges:  Foodies Reading Challenge, Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge

Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
40 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011 5:55 am

    Wow, I didn’t know that about blueberries until after reading the description you included here. I know my mom would love this book. She just baked something using blueberries the other day.

  2. January 2, 2011 7:43 am

    I read about this book (not sure where) last week and thought it sounded good. I’ll definitely look for it. I started reading more memoirs in 2010 and this sounds like a good one to start 2011.

  3. January 2, 2011 8:10 am

    I’d love to find this place on a trip to VA. It’ll be great to see the place especially when you read the book.

    Blueberry fields forever.

  4. January 2, 2011 8:50 am

    This sounds delightful! The story is quite reminiscent of the blueberry farm that I frequent in the summers. I will definitely have to check it out.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Kathy!

  5. January 2, 2011 9:08 am

    This sounds like a wonderful read. Thanks for the review. The first book to add to my 2011 wish list.

    Thoughts in Progress

  6. January 2, 2011 9:12 am

    I read about this book too and am interested in reading it one of these days. I love the idea of blueberry farming!

  7. January 2, 2011 9:30 am

    I love blueberries but have never given much thought to how they are farmed or that they come in pink and turn blue. They have the distinction of being the only blue food that I will eat!

  8. January 2, 2011 9:45 am

    This book sounds delightful! I remember hearing about it on Susan Gregg Gilmore’s food blog and thought it sounded good.

  9. January 2, 2011 10:05 am

    That reminds me – I must get out and prune our blueberry bushes and prod Dave into fencing them in really good. This past summer we lost most of our berries to the birds. Not to worry though, I still have bags of them in the freezer.

  10. January 2, 2011 11:31 am

    I must read this book for I am on a search for a very new path. Not blueberries, though I love them, but a different way to live. Thank you for alerting me to this book.

  11. January 2, 2011 11:31 am

    Oh, and of course I meant to say Happy New Year.

    (I came here, to your site, to say that, and then I got absorbed in your review.)

  12. January 2, 2011 11:51 am

    This book sounds perfect for me! I’ll have to add it to my list. Have a great Sunday Kathy.

  13. January 2, 2011 12:41 pm

    I just added this book to my PWS wish list. I have been on the search for the perfect blueberry muffin receipe for over a year and this book looks interesting. 🙂

  14. January 2, 2011 1:25 pm

    I definitely have to read this. We have really good friends who have a blueberry farm. It’s been interesting to watch their goals and approach change over the years — from selling at farmers markets to opening their property up to pick your own.

  15. January 2, 2011 2:16 pm

    What a beautiful description of blueberries. This sounds like a jewel of a book.

  16. January 2, 2011 2:37 pm

    I love blueberries, and I love memoirs – this sounds like a perfect read to me!

  17. January 2, 2011 3:20 pm

    Hey , Hi , I saw the kind of books you like , u have very interesting choices ,That review was so well written and original
    I am a blogger too and I write book reviews , if u like u can check out my blog
    A very happy new year to you by the way

  18. January 2, 2011 3:28 pm

    This books sounds like it was made for me. That passage is so beautiful — I must have this book now. xo

  19. January 2, 2011 3:56 pm

    I actually recommended this to my dear friend who is an organic farmer and grows blueberries. Now I want to read it too!

  20. January 2, 2011 3:59 pm

    Did someone say dessert? 😀 I love blueberries, and just reading about this book is making me hungry.

  21. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 2, 2011 4:02 pm

    I think I’d like this one. I’m curious about their change of lifestyle and how successful they were. I like the idea of trying to grow something, but I;m not sure how I’d feel once the dirt got embedded under my finger nails!

  22. January 2, 2011 4:08 pm

    I’m a huge fan of blueberries. I adore them. What an enticing review! 🙂

  23. lomaurice permalink
    January 2, 2011 4:35 pm

    Will definitely add this one to my to read list. Thanks for

  24. January 2, 2011 4:54 pm

    I do like blueberries, would love some now. Mum always made blueberry soup for me when I was ill when I was a kid

  25. January 2, 2011 5:43 pm

    This one is new to me, and I do like memoirs. I got my blueberry fix this morning with homemade oatmeal and frozen blueberries added in (we picked them at a farm over the summer). It was yummy. 🙂

  26. January 2, 2011 5:48 pm

    Jim was such a nice guy and I can’t wait to pick up this book. I have always had a love for blueberries, and I am anxious to see what happened to him when he decided to start the farm. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Kathy! It sounds like I need to try a blueberry adult beverage sometime soon as well!

  27. January 2, 2011 6:02 pm

    I love blueberries, and this book sounds good too! I’ll have to check it out.

  28. January 2, 2011 9:09 pm

    This book sounds great and I love blueberries!!!

  29. January 2, 2011 9:31 pm

    I love blueberries and what a lot of work to build up a farm from scratch.

  30. January 2, 2011 11:33 pm

    I love blueberries which makes this all the more one I want to look into!

  31. Veens permalink
    January 3, 2011 1:41 am

    I think it takes great courage to give up on your job and go behind something you WANT to do, even if you are not sure how it will turn out to be. This is such an inspiration. I want to be a teacher, someday I will 🙂

  32. January 3, 2011 3:55 pm

    This sounds so wonderful! I have to get it, I just know I’d love it. Thanks for the great review Kathy! 🙂

  33. January 3, 2011 4:35 pm

    What a great book. We have a blueberry you-pick farm over here we go to every year… I just love it, and my older son (just turned 4) finally loves going too. 🙂 I’ll have to check out that book to see what they say about starting the farm.

  34. January 4, 2011 12:05 am

    Thank you for this wonderful book review-I am going to check out this book.

  35. January 4, 2011 1:59 pm

    oh, this book sounds perfect for me! I’ll admit that I thought “Maine” or “New Hampshire” when you wrote that they decided to become homesteaders growing blueberries … I wasn’t expecting Virginia!

  36. January 5, 2011 12:05 pm

    I’ve never heard of this book, and thank you so much for writing about it. I definitely want to read it.

  37. January 5, 2011 1:28 pm

    This sounds lovely! Definitely going on my To Read List!

    Happy New Year, Kathy!

  38. January 5, 2011 5:42 pm

    I have just recently discovered how much I enjoy a good memoir. This one seems to have all of the elements that will insure my enjoyment. Thanks for letting us know about it. I’ve not heard anything about this one before now.

  39. January 19, 2011 1:46 pm

    This sounds terrific! Exactly the sort of book I like to read — thanks!

  40. Linda Kish permalink
    May 27, 2011 12:25 am

    This sounds interesting. So is that where pinkberry got their name? From immature blueberries? Interesting idea.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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