Book Review

Abundant Harvest

by Sharon Young

Sixth Street Press. 1995. 3943 N. Sixth St., Fresno, CA 93726; (209) 229-4282. 8 full-color illustrations, 150 line drawings. 192 pages. $20 plus $2.00 S&H and tax for California residents.
(Price/availability info may have changed since original publication of review.)

Reviewed by Harold L. Rosenfeld, M.D. (5/1996)

As a loving, contemporary history of Fresno's Vineyard Farmers Market Abundant Harvest gives thumbnail sketches of the merchants and growers that one may find there.

Sadly, it would seem that the author has opened many interesting paths none of which she pursued in this text. The history of farmers' markets and their place in urban planning is alluded to but not elaborated. The individual interviews with growers are more biographical than informative--e.g., why they grow the unique crops that they do, how they use them and what recipes they recommend are not explained, missing an opportunity to stimulate the reader's interest in the actual products.

The recipes appear to be a compendium of personal preferences by multiple random contributors without justification for their inclusion. There is no evidence of their having been tried or edited by the author and more than one of them calls for products that are either obscure or available only in Fresno, California.

Two substantial appendices save this volume from pure regionalism: a catalog of the certified farmers' markets in California and a section called "Resources" that lists what seems to be least an introduction to ecologically sound food production organizations. Aside from these reference lists this lavishly and beautifully illustrated volume has small appeal outside the Fresno community.

© Copyright 1996, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
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