by whitewirestudio

While my last post expressed my profound love for having a flexible work schedule, as of laaately, my schedule has been pretty packed. A couple new projects have filled my schedule with little to no time in between. The last year averaged out with work sprinkled about at a patient stride, providing enough to make it work and giving me enough time to do… really, anything. And now, while I’m super thankful to have more work (!) need to figure out a pace that allows me to not just hit it super hard for 2 or 3 weeks, then be so burned out, that I don’t get anything done for the rest of the month. Specifically where I’m seeing the lack is in my reading. I was able to drown in so many books when I moved here (hey, no-work-to-do) and now I’ve been stuck on the first ten pages of my current book for a month. Ack.

Well. I welcome all new time management challenges. Especially when it means I have things to manage. (Thanks clients!) As I have been out of the intake loop lately—just been producingproducingproducing and besides not reading “real” books, haven’t even had much time to tend to my blogs every day (or post here… have you noticed?)—I think I need to revisit what is necessary for my daily intake load. If I miss two days on my google reader, I’m up to about 400 missed posts. Ha! Totally impossible… at least, when you have work to do.

But one that won’t be getting the cleaning house axe is Design*Sponge. They recently posted great eco winter reads to digest as we finish out the next two months of winter. She took the synopses from of all titles at that post, but I’ll only snag the top three here. Head over to their site/her post to read the rest!

1. Farm Together Now by Amy Franceschini, Anne Hamersky, Daniel Tucker

With interest in home gardening at an all-time high and concerns about food production and safety making headlines, Farm Together Now explores the current state of grassroots farming in the U.S. Part oral history and part treatise on food politics, this fascinating project is an introduction to the many individuals who are producing sustainable food, challenging public policy, and developing community organizing efforts. With hundreds of photographs and a foreword from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, Farm Together Now will educate, inspire, and cultivate a new wave of modern agrarians.

2. The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

What happens when two New Yorkers (one an ex-drag queen) do the unthinkable: start over, have a herd of kids, and get a little dirty? Find out in this riotous and moving true tale of goats, mud, and a centuries-old mansion in rustic upstate New York—the new memoir by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author of the New York Times bestseller I Am Not Myself These Days. A happy series of accidents and a doughnut-laden escape upstate take Josh and his partner, Brent, to the doorstep of the magnificent (and fabulously for sale) Beekman Mansion. One hour and one tour later, they have begun their transformation from uptight urbanites into the two-hundred-year-old-mansion-owning Beekman Boys. Suddenly, Josh—a full-time New Yorker with a successful advertising career—and Brent are weekend farmers, surrounded by nature’s bounty and an eclectic cast: roosters who double as a wedding cover band; Bubby, the bionic cat; and a herd of eighty-eight goats, courtesy of their new caretaker, Farmer John. And soon, a fledgling business, born of a gift of handmade goat-milk soap, blossoms into a brand, Beekman 1802. The Bucolic Plague is tart and sweet, touching and laugh-out-loud funny, a story about approaching middle age, being in a long-term relationship, realizing the city no longer feeds you in the same way it used to, and finding new depths of love and commitment wherever you live.

3. The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

Single, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season—complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn. Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the “whole diet”—beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, maple syrup, grains, flours, dried beans, herbs, fruits, and forty different vegetables—produced by the farm. The work is done by draft horses instead of tractors, and the fertility comes from compost. Kimball’s vivid descriptions of landscape, food, cooking—and marriage—are irresistible.

4. The Self-Sufficient-ish Bible by Andy & Dave Hamilton

5. The Creative Family by Amanda Soule

6. The Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

7. The Urban Homestead by Erik Knutzen & Kelly Coyne

8. Made From Scratch by Jenna Woginrich

9. Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes

10. Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets

Eco winter reading list from Design*Sponge.