"Year of Plenty" Book Manuscript is Done and in the Hands of the Publisher

Picture: Our first year with the labyrinth garden in 2008.

After months of being holed up late at night writing and editing, the manuscript for a book based on this blog is done and if all goes as planned the editor will send it to the publisher today. It's being published by Sparkhouse Press, an independent division of Augsburg Fortress Publishers, the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The book shares the story of our experiences in 2008 consuming everything local, used, homegrown and homemade and reflects on the ways that our Christian faith intersects with those experiences.

There are already some great entries in the "year-long-experiment" genre, especially in the green living, local food arena. Animal Vegetable Miracle and No-Impact Man are the most high-profile examples. More broadly, Julie & Julia, Eat, Pray, Love, The Happiness Project, and The Year of Living Biblically have made a big splash in the publishing arena. It's such a common premise for a book that someone's created subtitle-o-matic to help authors come up with a subtitle for such experiments-turned-books.

Year of Plenty (subtitle yet to be determined) will be another entry in the year-long-experiment genre but will be unique in exploring how the Christian faith and the church enters into and engages the cultural cutting edge of locavores, downshifters, farmers' markets, Food Inc., backyard chickens, community gardens and Going Green. It includes some good practical advice about turning your lawn into a vegetable garden, how to get started raising chickens in your backyard and how to start a farmers' market. I think it will serve as a good introduction to Wendell Berry, whose writing and thought plays a prominent role in the book. I hope it will be accessible beyond the Christian/Church market but I'll let others be the judge of that.

And beware readers of the blog. You may just find some your past comments on the blog in the book.

So stay tuned for more info. Last I heard it's due to come out in March 2011, just in time for a new growing season in the garden.