Good Food Book Club

Miraculous Abundance: Can two French farmers feed the world & help lead the way to a harmonious future? 

Our book for August is Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter-Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World written by husband-wife farmers Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer But first, a moment of silence. As I write, Nice, France has just experienced another terrible terrorist attack, losing more than 80 people during their national celebration of Bastille Day. This is an article that can’t be written without a deep bow of sorrow for France, and for all those touched by such acts. 

But first, a moment of silence. As I write, Nice, France has just experienced another terrible terrorist attack, losing more than 80 people during their national celebration of Bastille Day. This is an article that can’t be written without a deep bow of sorrow for France, and for all those touched by such acts. Given our intentions for this group and all we’ve learned about the interconnections between food, people, and the larger system and culture of which we are a part, it seems time to address this issue now. Last month when I wrote this monthly article, the Orlando shootings had just happened. And between June 12 and July 14, there was racial violence that occurred again in this country. This, only a year after the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina.

Rather than say much more than that, let us bring our courage, empathy, intentions, privilege, and intelligence to bear on our future discussions, knowing that our systems, our food, and our future – and that of all the world’s children – are absolutely intertwined. So when we read Miraculous Abundance, a book that lovingly shares an emergent, holistic, thriving, brilliant model for local, healthy, vital human and agrarian connections and food, we can also discuss how we envision a new system that is free from the brutality and violence of terror/harm against humans, animals, and the planet.

Miraculous Abundance is part memoir, part travelogue, and part how-to-farm-in-the-new-climate-changed-world we are creating, literally, from the ground up. It’s a terrific, exciting, and powerfully inspiring tale of how two people changed not only their lives, their land, and the lives of their community, but of how their approach and widespread sharing is helping to change the world. Their model lays down concrete, joyful, and healthy steps across the carbon to no-carbon future, showing us that we are in transition right now, and how we can all be a part of that necessary, critical transition. 

Here are a few endorsements from some of this book club’s favorite authors:

“’Dare to imagine the new,’ Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer tell us. ‘Take the best of the many traditions of humanity, and the best of modernity, to shape a world that has never existed.’ These authors synthesize the best from multiple indigenous cultures with successful patterns of modern small-scale farming to create a soaring example and vision of a future – one in which human beings are an essential and positive force helping to preserve the biosphere, and even a quarter acre can be a full-fledged and productive farm yielding amazing agricultural bounty.”--Carol Deppe, author of The Tao of Vegetable Gardening and The Resilient Gardener

Miraculous Abundance is a true marvel! Like Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer's amazing farm, their book blends science and anthropology, but it also mixes memoir and travelogue to create a beautiful whole that will inspire the next generation of farmers.”--Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City; coauthor of The Essential Urban Farmer

 “Miraculous Abundance offers one of the most readable, visceral blueprints for earth-healing abundance I've ever seen.  Absolutely captivating. Only true-blue practitioners, hands in the soil, can offer the kind of eclectic synthesis – combining the best of all the earth-healing traditions and technologies―discovered on this permaculture microfarm. A fantastic book with iconic potential.  I couldn't put it down.”--Joel Salatin, owner, Polyface Farm; author of Fields of Farmers

“In this lovely, hopeful book, an unlikely couple creates an astonishingly productive edible landscape in Normandy, weaving together the insights, materials, and techniques of dozens of acknowledged predecessors. Miraculous Abundance is a modestly written song of defiance, a demonstration that the world can readily feed its projected 9 billion with an agriculture that restores the biosphere.”--Joan Gussow, author of Growing, Older and This Organic Life

"Miraculous Abundance tells the story of a pioneering permaculture market garden in France. Small, highly diverse, highly productive microfarms are a critical part of climate-change mitigation; their 'agroecological intensification’ means we can grow more on less land and reduce deforestation at the same time. Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer's book covers more than the logistics of their operation – it delves into their philosophy and historical roots in French market garden history. Miraculous Abundance is a powerful case study of an intensive, commercial permaculture production system."--Eric Toensmeier, The Carbon Farming Solution

In active, loving memory of all those lost in what it’s time to call the last gasps of violence from this systemic culture of domination, let this month’s book mark the start of a new, dynamic engagement with our own community’s transition to a thriving, harmonious future.

Please join us to discuss Miraculous Abundance: One Quarter-Acre, Two French Farmers, and Enough Food to Feed the World by Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer (Chelsea Green, 2016) on Sunday, August 28 from 7:00-8:30 pm at the Moscow Food Co-op. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Miraculous Abundance is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.