The Modern Farmer Summer Reading Guide - Modern Farmer

The Modern Farmer Summer Reading Guide

These six new food-themed books will round out your beach reading list.

Let’s read about soil, cannabis, truffles, and more!
Photography Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock

Feel like you’ve been missing out on the latest food for thought? Dig into these newly released titles like a backyard barbecue. Sip them like a cerebral cocktail. Get high on their ideas like a…sorry, I’ll stop. Just read them.

  1. Lazy-Ass Gardening: Maximize Your Soil; Minimize Your Toil
    By Robert Kourik
    Horticulturalist Robert Kourik has been a legend in the world of alt-gardening literature for decades, giving advice you never knew you needed with a healthy dash of wit. Here’s his latest on edible landscaping — a concept that he helped pioneer in the field.
  2. Cannabis Cultivation & Cookbook: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Medical Marijuana & Cooking Edible Medical Marijuana
    By Joseph Bosner
    Talk about lazy-ass gardening: You don’t even need to read this new Amazon Audible book; you can just listen to it. Weed is increasingly becoming legal, making this a timely read, even though the awkward title is a reminder that “medical use” is still where we’re at in most U.S. jurisdictions.
  3. For the Love of Pawpaws: A Mini Manual for Growing and Caring for Pawpaws — From Seed to Table
    By Michael Judd
    Pawpaws are the fruit that no one has heard of but everyone should be growing. This North American native is the size of a mango and a close relative of tropical delights like the custard apple, with flavor and character to spare. It’s never been commercialized because it’s extremely finicky to grow, but now you have this book to help you.
  4. How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart
    By Summer Rayne Oakes
    An “eco-model” with degrees in environmental science and entomology, author Summer Rayne Oakes is a major eco-influencer with a serious addiction to indoor plants (she cultivates about 1,000 of them in her Brooklyn apartment, which is also home to a pet chicken). This houseplant troubleshooting guide is also an inspiring ode to the healing power of greenery.
  5. The Truffle Underground: A Tale of Mystery, Mayhem and Manipulation in the Shadowy Market of the World’s Most Expensive Fungus
    By Ryan Jacobs
    This fungal thriller by the investigative-reporting editor at Pacific Standard transports you to southern Europe, where truffles — and the prices they fetch — bring out the darkest impulses of the food world.
  6. Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir
    By Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David Stein
    Chef Kwame Onwauchi, recipient of the 2019 James Beard Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year, rose from the streets of New York to become a fine-dining star before the age of 30, with detours to Nigeria and the kitchen of a Deepwater Horizon cleanup ship. The book is a significant new chapter in the growing canon of literature at the intersection of food and race.
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