August Good Food Book Club: 50 Acres and a Poodle

Rarely has a city girl transformed herself into a country goddess with such humor. ~ Rita Mae Brown

Oh boy, another treat. As the next book in our series exploring food resilience, we have 50 Acres and a Poodle on tap for August. Written by journalist and freshly-minted farmer Jeanne Marie Laskas, 50 Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock and Finding Myself on a Farm, asks “What does it mean to have a farm dream?” 

In her late thirties, Laskas is a city girl with an office. She rides her bike there each morning, pens articles by day, and gardens at home in her off hours. But always, she’d nurtured a dream of a farm. As she says, it was a “song I couldn’t get out of my head.” Then, one day along with her boyfriend and his –you guessed it—poodle, she sees the dream materialize before her eyes: the farm—for sale—she’s dreamed of. And she has to ask herself: Do I leap? Do I take the chance? What happens next? What about boyfriend and poodle?

This book is the wonderful, hilarious, pensive, and surprising answer to those questions. Along the way she finds out that this “answering the dream” is about much more than just a farm, it’s about the very soul of her life… and about loving herself enough to follow that quest. Her skill and talent as a writer shine through, along with a journalist’s eye for reporting and a writer’s special insight for the nuance of a story that is bigger than it seems.

In our case, this is a book sure to inspire a deeper look at what crafting food resilience, and love resilience, are all about, and what they have in common. Laskas was a popular columnist for The Washington Post Magazine with her column “Significant Others,” and her new book, Concussion, has just been released as a major motion picture. A masterful storyteller, she’s sure to bring us along on a delightful good food journey. Beloved author Annie Dillard says of this memoir: “A wonderful writer, smart as they come, and a real joy to read.”

Please join us to discuss 50 Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock and Finding Myself on a Farm, by Jeanne Marie Laskas (Bantam, reprint edition, 2002) on Sunday, August 27 from 4 - 5:30 p.m. in the Co-op Café. (Please note time change, due to a conflict.) Remember to email to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. 50 Acres and a Poodle is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used bookstores or visit BookPeople 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

Please note upcoming books as follows:

  • September: The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself by Rochelle Bilow
  • October: Hot Hungry Planet: The Fight to Stop a Global Food Crisis in the Face of Climate Change by Lisa Palmer
  • November: Give a Girl a Knife: A Memoir by Amy Thielen
  • December: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (a novel from the author of The Room)