As part of this Earth Day observation, I also asked other bloggers to participate and you can read another at Prairie Rose's Garden.
Everyone will be posting about three books that inspired some sort of action or awareness of the environment. Here are three books I read that have stayed with me and made me think about the plants and animals in the world I live in:
It's not a screed against fast food or meat and it didn't make me a vegetarian. It's a clear, well written explanation of where our food comes from. That's all. But what an eye opener! Who knew we have so many carbon atoms from corn (Zea mays) racing around in our bodies? The section on a sustainable farming enterprise was really interesting and can still apply to our public agricultural policy.
This is the book that gave us his famous recipe:
Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not Too Much.
(If I get to pick more than three books, I'd add all of Michael Pollan's books, including The Botany of Desire and Second Nature, both incredibly informative about how plants work, and how we use them in the landscapes around us.)
Noah's Garden by Sara Stein.
Although I don't have the acreage, pond, and natural setting the author had, I have followed her approach to rehabbing my own suburban environment in a recently built new subdivision. My lawn is being converted to plantings, I have installed over 50 native trees and shrubs and I'm inviting nature back into the sterile landscape. The author is no "natives only" fanatic and neither am I. Her compromises with pests and limitations are the same I am making, but her inspiration to "let the wild back" into our suburban yards was compelling to me, and continues to guide what I plant and why I plant.
An absolute gem of a book that focuses on observation of the most minute natural details, in this case mosses. You'd think this would be a snooze -- moss? really?-- but it is lyrically written, incredibly informative about a miraculous plant I knew nothing about, and full of wonder. There is a disturbing discussion of the definition of life: mosses are not always living tissue, but can be revivified. Not from a dormant state, mind you, but from a dead state. It gets tricky in so many ways.
There are some chilling chapters about the lengths we go to in eradicating nature, and some hysterical chapters on what wealth can buy if you want to recreate nature in all its details on a massive budget.
Check out all the other blogs that are participating for Earth Day and see what books have inspired garden bloggers.