We’re doing it again. Join the Slow Food USA Slow Books curators (Tammy, Katie, Cedar and Margaret) for our second annual network-wide read-along. We’re encouraging local chapters and interested communities or individuals to join us this fall in reading Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” published by Milkweed Books. In this past year and a half of slowing down and taking stock, Kimmerer’s words invoke ideals of looking inward, and figuring out how we fit into the bigger picture. Looking at the interconnectedness of humans and nature offers many parallels to the questions the Slow Food movement also asks about how we can be part of better food systems — which in turn are often better for the environment and nature as well.
As Slow Books Curator Cedar Schimke (Slow Food Minnesota) puts it, “When we talk about the culture of food we tend to do it through a lens and with an ideology that goes unseen at worst, unexamined at best. In one fell swoop, Robin Wall Kimmerer shows us a different way of being in relationship with food. And in showing us that each fruit on an apple tree or kernel of corn has its own personality, she automatically highlights the transactional void left by a food system steeped in mainstream, capitalist, patriarchal values. This is a book that warms the heart and the belly. It is as full of grief as it is of triumph—a story of radiance, relationship, and wholeness.”
So, what does this network-wide read mean for you? If you want to read-along with the network, plan on sourcing a copy of the book to read, perhaps from our Bookshop page, (or buy the accessible e-book here) and completing the book during the fall months (September – November).
Want to lead a book discussion in your community? The Slow Books team will be hosting a virtual “train the trainer” session on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 5:30 p.m. CT. In this session we will offer pointers for hosting an online book discussion, suggestions for how the text relates back to Slow Food ideals, along with ideas for future reading on similar topics that the book addresses. Click here to register.
Whether you decide to host a discussion of the title or just plan to join in on the communal read, we are happy to have you participate!