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From the Ground Up: A Food Grower's Education in Life, Love, and the Movement That's Changing the Nation

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An inspiring story for everyone who’s ever dreamed of growing the food they eat   When Jeanne Nolan, a teenager in search of a less materialistic, more authentic existence, left Chicago in 1987 to join a communal farm, she had no idea that her decades-long journey would lead her to the heart of a movement that is currently changing our nation’s relationship to food. Now a l An inspiring story for everyone who’s ever dreamed of growing the food they eat   When Jeanne Nolan, a teenager in search of a less materialistic, more authentic existence, left Chicago in 1987 to join a communal farm, she had no idea that her decades-long journey would lead her to the heart of a movement that is currently changing our nation’s relationship to food. Now a leader in the sustainable food movement, Nolan shares her story in From the Ground Up, helping us understand the benefits of organic gardening—for the environment, our health, our wallets, our families, and our communities. The great news, as Nolan shows us, is that it has never been easier to grow the vegetables we eat, whether on our rooftops, in our backyards, in our school yards, or on our fire escapes.   From the Ground Up chronicles Nolan’s journey as she returned seventeen years later, disillusioned with communal life, to her parents’ suburban home on the North Shore as a single mother with few marketable skills. Her mother suggested she plant a vegetable garden in their yard, and it grew so abundantly that she established a small business planting organic gardens in suburban yards. She was then asked to create an organic farm for children at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, and she soon began installing gardens around the city—on a restaurant’s rooftop, in school yards, and for nonprofit organizations. Not only did she realize that practically anyone anywhere could grow vegetables on a small scale but she learned a greater lesson as well: rather than turn her back on mainstream society, she could make a difference in the world. The answer she was searching for was no further than her own backyard.     In this moving and inspiring account, which combines her fascinating personal journey with the knowledge she gained along the way, Nolan helps us understand the importance of planting and eating organically—both for our health and for the environment—and provides practical tips for growing our food. With the message that we can create utopias in our very own backyards and rooftops, From the Ground Up can inspire each of us to reassess our relationship to the food we eat. Praise for From the Ground Up   “One of the most intelligent, surprising and impressive garden memoirs I’ve read in a long time . . . radiant with hope and love.”—The New York Times Book Review “The joy of From the Ground Up is not Nolan’s own happy ending but rather the illuminating way she applies her vision to practical problems. . . . The hardest memoir to write is the one that is honest but not self-obsessed; Nolan accomplishes this with clarity and poise.”—Jane Smiley, Harper’s “[A] rare and improbable thing: a gripping gardening memoir . . . [Nolan’s] voice is an honest and reassuring one.”—Chicago Reader “[A] refreshing narrative . . . From the Ground Up triumphs the backyard micro-garden as it imparts lessons from Nolan’s life about family. . . . The book is a good read for foodies and lovers of a good story alike, and an inspiration to garden wherever you can find space.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star “From the Ground Up resonates powerfully with me, as a gardener, and inspires me to ‘double dig’ my garden bed. But even readers who keep their fingernails clean will benefit from this beautiful story and powerful message.”—Sophia Siskel, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden


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An inspiring story for everyone who’s ever dreamed of growing the food they eat   When Jeanne Nolan, a teenager in search of a less materialistic, more authentic existence, left Chicago in 1987 to join a communal farm, she had no idea that her decades-long journey would lead her to the heart of a movement that is currently changing our nation’s relationship to food. Now a l An inspiring story for everyone who’s ever dreamed of growing the food they eat   When Jeanne Nolan, a teenager in search of a less materialistic, more authentic existence, left Chicago in 1987 to join a communal farm, she had no idea that her decades-long journey would lead her to the heart of a movement that is currently changing our nation’s relationship to food. Now a leader in the sustainable food movement, Nolan shares her story in From the Ground Up, helping us understand the benefits of organic gardening—for the environment, our health, our wallets, our families, and our communities. The great news, as Nolan shows us, is that it has never been easier to grow the vegetables we eat, whether on our rooftops, in our backyards, in our school yards, or on our fire escapes.   From the Ground Up chronicles Nolan’s journey as she returned seventeen years later, disillusioned with communal life, to her parents’ suburban home on the North Shore as a single mother with few marketable skills. Her mother suggested she plant a vegetable garden in their yard, and it grew so abundantly that she established a small business planting organic gardens in suburban yards. She was then asked to create an organic farm for children at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, and she soon began installing gardens around the city—on a restaurant’s rooftop, in school yards, and for nonprofit organizations. Not only did she realize that practically anyone anywhere could grow vegetables on a small scale but she learned a greater lesson as well: rather than turn her back on mainstream society, she could make a difference in the world. The answer she was searching for was no further than her own backyard.     In this moving and inspiring account, which combines her fascinating personal journey with the knowledge she gained along the way, Nolan helps us understand the importance of planting and eating organically—both for our health and for the environment—and provides practical tips for growing our food. With the message that we can create utopias in our very own backyards and rooftops, From the Ground Up can inspire each of us to reassess our relationship to the food we eat. Praise for From the Ground Up   “One of the most intelligent, surprising and impressive garden memoirs I’ve read in a long time . . . radiant with hope and love.”—The New York Times Book Review “The joy of From the Ground Up is not Nolan’s own happy ending but rather the illuminating way she applies her vision to practical problems. . . . The hardest memoir to write is the one that is honest but not self-obsessed; Nolan accomplishes this with clarity and poise.”—Jane Smiley, Harper’s “[A] rare and improbable thing: a gripping gardening memoir . . . [Nolan’s] voice is an honest and reassuring one.”—Chicago Reader “[A] refreshing narrative . . . From the Ground Up triumphs the backyard micro-garden as it imparts lessons from Nolan’s life about family. . . . The book is a good read for foodies and lovers of a good story alike, and an inspiration to garden wherever you can find space.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance–Star “From the Ground Up resonates powerfully with me, as a gardener, and inspires me to ‘double dig’ my garden bed. But even readers who keep their fingernails clean will benefit from this beautiful story and powerful message.”—Sophia Siskel, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden

30 review for From the Ground Up: A Food Grower's Education in Life, Love, and the Movement That's Changing the Nation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    I think of this book as One-Part-memoir, One-Mixed-Part-foodie/gardener/environmental - with both portions mesmerizing in their own ways. Jeanne Nolan grew up in a fairly well-to-do neighborhood in Illinois in a caring, mostly conservative family. Along the way, she began to long for a more authentic life- so at 18 she joined a commune. I know this sounds like the 60s/early 70s, but it wasn't. It was late 1980s and the attraction for Jeanne wasn't an ideal of "free love" or feminist/equality com I think of this book as One-Part-memoir, One-Mixed-Part-foodie/gardener/environmental - with both portions mesmerizing in their own ways. Jeanne Nolan grew up in a fairly well-to-do neighborhood in Illinois in a caring, mostly conservative family. Along the way, she began to long for a more authentic life- so at 18 she joined a commune. I know this sounds like the 60s/early 70s, but it wasn't. It was late 1980s and the attraction for Jeanne wasn't an ideal of "free love" or feminist/equality communal living that many in my generation sought. Her big draw was about making a difference in the world through things like using up as little of its natural resources as possible. She joined the Zendik Farm community and stayed for years, at first finding peace and joy amongst the group. Later, not so much. The concept of communal living, unfortunately can get distorted and undermined when the power-hungry take over... then it becomes cult-like. It took pregnancy and birth for Jeanne to realize that this was not where she needed or wanted to be. After 17 years, she returns to her home outside Chicago with her toddler daughter and tries to figure out what to do next. Her only skill, it seems, was organic gardening- about which she'd acquired an enormous load of info and had certainly earned plenty of hands-on experience. Her mother, realizing Jeanne was depressed and at a loss re how to assimilate back into a culture she'd forsaken long ago (yet still holding on to that authenticity aspect of self), suggests she plant a garden in their back yard. It was the medicine she needed-- and it led to an awesome future that continues to unfold, even as it helps to better the world in which we live. The bonus (Part 2): There's lots of info provided re organics as Jeanne plants her first customer-ordered garden and moves on to other projects. And then there are the community and school gardens... so inspiring! Highly recommend this one. Don't miss it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy Mcjoynt

    I enjoyed this book more than I expected as the topic of organic farming and gardening is not my thing. Jeanne did incorporate her life story and then the local flavor of the setting being the North Shore did make it much more interesting than just a gardening book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan Fritz

    Received this book from family member. Easy to read with her personal story intertwined. Perfect timing for my first garden plot in Chicago. Has a lot of great tips and resources. Very inspiring - I'm fired up to garden!! Received this book from family member. Easy to read with her personal story intertwined. Perfect timing for my first garden plot in Chicago. Has a lot of great tips and resources. Very inspiring - I'm fired up to garden!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jaylia3

    Part memoir of reclaiming life after living in a cult-like commune, part organic gardening primer, part locavore/slow food treatise, I loved and was deeply moved by every aspect of From the Ground Up. Jeanne Nolan fled her suburban Chicago home for Zendik Farm as a teenager, hoping for a life filled with meaning and connection to the Earth. When she returned to “mainstream society” with her young daughter seventeen years later she was broke, unemployed, disillusioned, and disoriented. All she kn Part memoir of reclaiming life after living in a cult-like commune, part organic gardening primer, part locavore/slow food treatise, I loved and was deeply moved by every aspect of From the Ground Up. Jeanne Nolan fled her suburban Chicago home for Zendik Farm as a teenager, hoping for a life filled with meaning and connection to the Earth. When she returned to “mainstream society” with her young daughter seventeen years later she was broke, unemployed, disillusioned, and disoriented. All she knew was organic gardening, a skill she was afraid had no place in the world she grew up in, so when her mother suggested she grow vegetables in their backyard Nolan jumped at the chance. Tending that garden allowed Nolan to begin healing, and step by step it led to her creating a business helping families plan and plant their own organic gardens. Engagingly written, From the Ground Up is an affecting, heartfelt personal story, and an inspiring, non-preachy account of the joys and benefits of growing organic food.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jill Blackstone

    So far the literary treat of the year for me. I can't even remember how I heard about this book but I found it at my local library on a day I happened to find 4 other books. On a whim I chose this one first, having no expectations. What a surprise! This book told a great story (and by the way the author's parents sound like saints) and was incredibly informative and persuasive without being lecturing. My 5 stars is relative to my experience in reading this book... I came in as a fairly captive a So far the literary treat of the year for me. I can't even remember how I heard about this book but I found it at my local library on a day I happened to find 4 other books. On a whim I chose this one first, having no expectations. What a surprise! This book told a great story (and by the way the author's parents sound like saints) and was incredibly informative and persuasive without being lecturing. My 5 stars is relative to my experience in reading this book... I came in as a fairly captive audience -- I'm interested in responsible and sustainable lifestyle choices, including growing some of my own vegetables and supporting organic local farms. Which is not hard to do in Los Angeles. I lived in Chicago for 3 years, so the neighborhoods were familiar to me. But there was so much beauty to be harvested. The story-telling flows, the content is rich and interesting, if not always pretty, and now I'm in that state of hesitating to start another book for fear of losing the afterglow of this one. Highly recommend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    I picked this book up because there were few choices at the library, but didn't expect to be very interested. I thought it would be a book guiltling me into the organic food movement and technical, maybe ever a bit dull. I was very wrong! I loved this book and literally could not put it down. Jeanne is a wonderful narrator and shares so much about her life, being in a commune and how it affects her now, in the most beautiful way. The Project she created in Chicago is amazing. This books was trul I picked this book up because there were few choices at the library, but didn't expect to be very interested. I thought it would be a book guiltling me into the organic food movement and technical, maybe ever a bit dull. I was very wrong! I loved this book and literally could not put it down. Jeanne is a wonderful narrator and shares so much about her life, being in a commune and how it affects her now, in the most beautiful way. The Project she created in Chicago is amazing. This books was truly inspirational in giving hope that even the bad places you are in are there to lead you to where you're supposed to be and that agriculture can truly change the world.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    I received this book as a Mothers’ Day gift from a local restaurant. It’s not for everyone, but as a food professional living in the Chicago area, I decided to give it a shot. And when I realized that I had been in attendance at the Green City Market event that Alice Waters referenced in her forward, I had to read on. Check it out if you are intrigued by a story that is a combination of coming of age and urban organic gardening.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This was great! A fantastic non-fiction write up of how Jeanne Nolan became the amazing organic gardener she is today. It was fun to read, having grown up in the same area I was admired many of the choices she made and have become a huge fan today! Thanks for your honest account how you came to be who you are. Highly admirable!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jen Johnson

    Adore this book! Cannot believe what a compelling story with such deep implications for personal story and environmental social justice. Gardening, they say is a metaphor for life-- but from the Ground Up is a metaphor for coming full circle.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Devrim

    Enjoyed the story. Always glad to read about Chicago related books, but this one was special because of the organic farming moving, and catching the wave of sustainable living. Easy read, not a literary gem. It is just a great story & informative.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Highly readable and a good intro to organic gardening.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Interesting book about the author's life and how she came to her avocation. Enjoyed the gardening tips that crop up as she tells her story. Interesting book about the author's life and how she came to her avocation. Enjoyed the gardening tips that crop up as she tells her story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Luci K. Subica

    Interesting Good read and interesting how the author changed her life from learning how to farm in a commune setting to helping inner city communities.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Easy read as it weaves the true story of the author along with stories and tips for your own backyard garden.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie Welch

    A new all-timer.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Tripp

    What a pleasant surprise to stumble upon this book as I live around the corner from the Lincoln Park Zoo.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kellie

    While not everyone takes Nolan's path in life, joining then leaving a cult, her desire to grow organic food is inspiring. She works with what she has, builds her business one garden at a time, and continues to learn how she can make a difference in her area of the world. These are lessons that we can all learn from and use to make the world a little bit greener. While not everyone takes Nolan's path in life, joining then leaving a cult, her desire to grow organic food is inspiring. She works with what she has, builds her business one garden at a time, and continues to learn how she can make a difference in her area of the world. These are lessons that we can all learn from and use to make the world a little bit greener.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Growing up in a small, conservative town in the pacific northwest in the early 90s, I listened to 60s/70s protest music, read 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth, and dreamed of joining a hippie commune. By the time I graduated from high school, I'd lost some of my idealism. I settled for getting an education degree from a liberal public university. Jeanne Nolan, almost a decade older than me, experienced a similar disconnect from her suburban Illinois upbringing. But she actually did Growing up in a small, conservative town in the pacific northwest in the early 90s, I listened to 60s/70s protest music, read 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth, and dreamed of joining a hippie commune. By the time I graduated from high school, I'd lost some of my idealism. I settled for getting an education degree from a liberal public university. Jeanne Nolan, almost a decade older than me, experienced a similar disconnect from her suburban Illinois upbringing. But she actually did join a commune at the age of 18, causing a major rift in her relationship with her parents. When she returned to their home seventeen years later, she brought with her a young daughter, a mountain of regret, volumes of disillusionment, and few marketable skills. However, she did know a ton about organic gardening (her main responsibility on the commune) at a time when farmers markets and the slow food movement were taking off across the country. This memoir/call-to-action alternates between Ms. Nolan's commune years and her more recent activities in the Chicago area: creating a demonstration garden at Lincoln Park Zoo, building a business that helps urban and suburban homeowners (and urban restaurant owners) to grow their own food, and otherwise rebuilding her life. I really enjoyed both parts of books, but occasionally got bogged down in the details of soil-enrichment, etc. Whether you, like me, have ever dreamed of running off with a bunch of hippies, or if you just want to grow your own food, I would recommend this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    I won this in a Goodreads first reads giveaway. I was really excited about this book and even though it wasn't exactly what I expected I did enjoy it immensely. The book is a memoir that includes considerable discussion about the winding path the author took to become a leader in the small scale organic gardening movement in Chicago. The author moved from suburbia to a commune as a young adult, which is where she learned the nuts and bolts of organic gardening. This was also where she got caught I won this in a Goodreads first reads giveaway. I was really excited about this book and even though it wasn't exactly what I expected I did enjoy it immensely. The book is a memoir that includes considerable discussion about the winding path the author took to become a leader in the small scale organic gardening movement in Chicago. The author moved from suburbia to a commune as a young adult, which is where she learned the nuts and bolts of organic gardening. This was also where she got caught up in a cult like way of thinking that involved severing close ties with her supremely understanding and supportive family (there is a passage where she talks about refusing to let her mother hold her newborn grandchild when she comes to visit the commune that was so sad to me). She does leave the commune and reconcile with her family and eventually find her passion in designing organic gardens, educating kids and adults about organic gardening and generally working to make small scale organic farming accessible to as many people as possible. Great book, very brave and honest discussion of some difficult topics.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Happyreader

    I admire Jeanne Nolan as a gardener. She taught our Openlands BUGs (Building Urban Gardens) class on growing organic veggies and I loved her insightful, accessible, and practical approach and advice. Her book is just the same – and more. That knowledge was gained through some difficult and unusual life experiences. She had the best of intentions and still ended up with some questionable people in a cultish community. Fortunately for her, her experiences, despite her fears of being a failure, rea I admire Jeanne Nolan as a gardener. She taught our Openlands BUGs (Building Urban Gardens) class on growing organic veggies and I loved her insightful, accessible, and practical approach and advice. Her book is just the same – and more. That knowledge was gained through some difficult and unusual life experiences. She had the best of intentions and still ended up with some questionable people in a cultish community. Fortunately for her, her experiences, despite her fears of being a failure, really ended up being compost for a more veggieful life. She gained her baby, her baby daddy, her husband, her vast knowledge of organic gardening, and the chance for her family and community to welcome her back and support her and her life vision. A true prodigal daughter’s tale blending a personal reawakening with practical insights in the organic gardening movement. For Chicago readers, there’s the added bonus of learning more about many of the people you may already know in sustainable urban agriculture. A great book to read at the start of a new growing season.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rainbowgardener

    I didn't want to just give it a 3, but it for me it is a pretty weak 4. Very plain language in a just the facts fashion. She describes being controlled, manipulated and emotionally abused in a cult like communal farm, but describes it as if it happened to someone else. We don't get much sense of what it felt like to go through that. We also get very little sense of all the good things in that community that kept her there for seventeen years. I would love to be doing some of all the things she h I didn't want to just give it a 3, but it for me it is a pretty weak 4. Very plain language in a just the facts fashion. She describes being controlled, manipulated and emotionally abused in a cult like communal farm, but describes it as if it happened to someone else. We don't get much sense of what it felt like to go through that. We also get very little sense of all the good things in that community that kept her there for seventeen years. I would love to be doing some of all the things she has been doing, starting school gardens, helping people start their own organic vegetable gardens, rooftop gardens,etc. From nothing, some how her business(es) snowballed to massive success. But she gives not a hint for anyone else that would like to do those things, how to get started, how to build a business like that. As near as I can tell from the book, it all just fell in her lap because she is such a good person and everyone loves her.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Ullrich

    I honestly did not want this book to end! Definitely not your typical garden memoir. Jeanne feels suffocated and flees from suburbia to find a more meaningful life, which leads her to a cult-like commune, leaving her uncertain and unprepared for a regular life. When she has no other choice but to go home, she uses her unconventional skills to promote a green revolution in Chicago. This book was very inspirational for me and gave me the boost to come up with some better ways to engage my communit I honestly did not want this book to end! Definitely not your typical garden memoir. Jeanne feels suffocated and flees from suburbia to find a more meaningful life, which leads her to a cult-like commune, leaving her uncertain and unprepared for a regular life. When she has no other choice but to go home, she uses her unconventional skills to promote a green revolution in Chicago. This book was very inspirational for me and gave me the boost to come up with some better ways to engage my community in the joys of gardening. I love that she constantly stresses that a perfect garden is not a reality and you don't need a lot of bells and whistles to lure people out into the garden once they get their hands in the dirt. This will definitely be a pick for my book club.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    This book is straight-forward, not particularly literary in language. The writing is well done. And the title perfectly sums up the story. The author is sharing her education, and detail, about life (especially her relationship with her parents), about love, and especially about organic food growing. The story of her life is also sufficiently interesting to make me like this book. I'd recommend this book primarily to people who are passionate about learning organic gardening. If that's not impor This book is straight-forward, not particularly literary in language. The writing is well done. And the title perfectly sums up the story. The author is sharing her education, and detail, about life (especially her relationship with her parents), about love, and especially about organic food growing. The story of her life is also sufficiently interesting to make me like this book. I'd recommend this book primarily to people who are passionate about learning organic gardening. If that's not important to you, the book will probably bore you, as there's a lot of specific (and useful) information about gardening, which is exactly why I liked it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carla Bayha

    A fluidly written, engaging memoir, the author left her suburban Chicago home for what she thought was an agricultural commune at the age of 17. More cult than commune, Nolan finally escapes almost 20 years later with a small daughter and no money. She reconnects with her parents (and a couple old loves) and parlays her only real world skill-organic farming--into a business at the forefront of the edible school yard, front yard, and urban farming movements. (She put in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanue A fluidly written, engaging memoir, the author left her suburban Chicago home for what she thought was an agricultural commune at the age of 17. More cult than commune, Nolan finally escapes almost 20 years later with a small daughter and no money. She reconnects with her parents (and a couple old loves) and parlays her only real world skill-organic farming--into a business at the forefront of the edible school yard, front yard, and urban farming movements. (She put in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's vegetable garden.) Really great lists in the back for organic gardeners who want to know her favorite tools, methods, crops, etc. are a bonus.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andi

    This book was a birthday gift from my best friend, Maggie. I read it over Christmas break and loved it. It's written in memoir style so is a completely engaging, can't-put-it-down kind of book, while at the same time weaving in lots of information on the sustainable foods movement--organic gardening through urban and suburban farming, rooftop gardens, school gardens, etc. It's also chock full of practical gardening info. I've been a gardener for many years, but am new to vegetable gardening. The This book was a birthday gift from my best friend, Maggie. I read it over Christmas break and loved it. It's written in memoir style so is a completely engaging, can't-put-it-down kind of book, while at the same time weaving in lots of information on the sustainable foods movement--organic gardening through urban and suburban farming, rooftop gardens, school gardens, etc. It's also chock full of practical gardening info. I've been a gardener for many years, but am new to vegetable gardening. There was so much to learn from this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    Wonderful memoir about making mistakes and finding your way through. Also an excellent book about gardening, organic foods, and how to treasure things that really matter by making better choices. Well, ok, so that makes it sound either dry and boring or preachy in some fashion, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Jeanne Nolan walked a hard path and manages to tell us about it with humor, compassion and pretty excellent tips on soil.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Jeanne Nolan's seventeen years of living on a communal farm allow her to sow the seeds of organic gardening in her own community when she returns to suburban living seventeen years later. She is able to teach others about the benefits of organic gardening - benefits that transcend nutritional supplication to include environmental gains, infusion of meaning into one's life and an overall greater sense of community among city dwellers. Jeanne Nolan's seventeen years of living on a communal farm allow her to sow the seeds of organic gardening in her own community when she returns to suburban living seventeen years later. She is able to teach others about the benefits of organic gardening - benefits that transcend nutritional supplication to include environmental gains, infusion of meaning into one's life and an overall greater sense of community among city dwellers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    A young girl leaves her home, disillusioned, and finds a "commune" where she stays for 17 years, learning organic gardening methods. After her return home, she is disillusioned once again, unsure how she will survive back in her old environment. She manages to start up an organic business, reignite a romance, and realize her potential. Her book concludes with an appendix full of information for those further interested in organic gardening. A young girl leaves her home, disillusioned, and finds a "commune" where she stays for 17 years, learning organic gardening methods. After her return home, she is disillusioned once again, unsure how she will survive back in her old environment. She manages to start up an organic business, reignite a romance, and realize her potential. Her book concludes with an appendix full of information for those further interested in organic gardening.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Daniel P. McCarthy

    what a surprise. I've been picking up a few books from the library recently on gardening. So when this book sprung up in front of me at the book store, I was intrigued & drawn to it. So I bought the kindle version when I got home & started reading... what a journey. Jeanne's journey is amazing & inspiring. You learn about her and her life add you also learn a thing or two about organic gardening. what a surprise. I've been picking up a few books from the library recently on gardening. So when this book sprung up in front of me at the book store, I was intrigued & drawn to it. So I bought the kindle version when I got home & started reading... what a journey. Jeanne's journey is amazing & inspiring. You learn about her and her life add you also learn a thing or two about organic gardening.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shyanmei

    An inspiring book which tells an incredible story (true story) about coming to term with who you are and not shamed of confronting with one self. It is book about not only about gardening (as the book title suggests) and environmental awareness, but also about parenting, love, self-identity searching, and always looking forward. Love this book!

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