Leaving the Farm – Selene River Press


My mother’s mother grew up on a farm in Utah. My husband’s mother grew up on a farm in Indiana. I grew up in a house across from an empty field, and my husband grew up in an old house by a cemetery. For us, no farms in sight. Instead, we have been passed down fragmented stories about life on the farm. Just glimpses, really. For example, I know my mother-in-law used to love chugging fresh buttermilk as a girl. I have never tasted fresh buttermilk. I don’t know what it is, really, or how it’s made, or how on earth it could be so delicious that my mother-in-law would still be talking about it fifty years later. (In my unceasing pursuit of knowledge, I have since asked Google, what is buttermilk? Now I know that buttermilk is milk that has fermented.)

As for my mother’s mother, she could not wait to get off that farm. Grandma Lawanna bounced when she was 17. Whatever she learned about life on the farm, she didn’t take it with her. There were no fond memories about buttermilk. No buttermilk at all. She made bologna sandwiches, meatloaf with ketchup, and grilled cheese with Campbell’s soup. The cupboards were stocked with Jell-O and boxed cake mix. (Which reminds me, next time you make a cake from a boxed cake mix, try replacing the water with buttermilk. You won’t regret it.)

It seems like when everybody left the farm they pretty much left it all behind. In one generation, an entire way of life seemed to disappear. And now we have to figure it out all over again, and excuse me if I find that quite annoying.

If we must learn from books rather than learned experience, I’m glad for Selene River Press. Indeed, there is one book at SRP that is uniquely capable of imparting some of this lost knowledge. It goes deep—as deep as the soil, and as deep as our human connection to the food that grows in that soil. From Soil to Supplement is that unique book. And when I say unique, I mean it. From Soil to Supplement is an educational discourse on the vitally important connection between the human body and our soil, our food, and our health. Think of it as a self-guided course on human nutrition, which you know and I know is desperately needed.

Designed by Mark R. Anderson, this book is composed of over sixty carefully curated articles from the one and only Dr. Royal Lee. The father of holistic nutrition. The legendary pioneer of nutritional research and education. The man who left behind an unparalleled body of research that will be mined for generations to come.

Every detail of this book is designed to help us become healthier, better versions of ourselves. From the articles to the chapter headings and subheadings to the extensive keyword lists, every element is thoughtfully designed to lead you through each course. We know that nutrition depends on the quality of the foods you eat—but many of us don’t know what “quality” means in this context. Quality is the soil. The quality of our food is determined by the health of our soil. Strange how simple this is to grasp, yet we don’t talk about it.

Back in the days when my grandma was plotting her way off the farm, and my mother-in-law was happily chugging her fresh buttermilk, I imagine they weren’t thinking too much about health, nutrition, and soil. I imagine they never had to be told to eat their vegetables, to consume enough protein, or to get some fresh air. They didn’t need to be warned that sugar was best in small doses and soda was best avoided altogether. There was buttermilk, not soda. There was fresh air from morning to night. There was good food growing out of good soil, and good nutrition just…was.

Images from iStock/Maksym Belchenko (main), Photodjo (post).

Heather Wilkinson

Heather Wilkinson is Senior Editor at Selene River Press.



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