What We Sow
On the Personal, Ecological, and Cultural Significance of Seeds
by Jennifer Jewell
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Pub Date 19 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 19 Sep 2023
In What We Sow, Jennifer Jewell brings readers on an insightful, year-long journey exploring the outsize impact one of nature's smallest manifestations—the simple seed. She examines our skewed notions where "organic" seeds are grown and sourced, reveals how giant multinational agribusiness has refined and patented the genomes of seeds we rely on for staples like corn and soy, and highlights the efforts of activists working to regain legal access to heirloom seeds that were stolen from Indigenous peoples and people of color. Throughout, readers are invited to share Jewell's personal observations as she marvels at the glory of nature in her Northern California hometown. She admires at the wild seeds she encounters on her short daily walks and is amazed at the range of seed forms, from cups and saucers to vases, candelabras, ocean-going vessels, and airliners.
What We Sow is a tale of what we choose to see and what we haven't been taught to see, what we choose to seed and what we choose not to seed. It urgently proves that we must work hard to preserve and protect the great natural diversity of seed.
“A fascinating discourse on seeds, how we use and abuse them, and how to forge a more sustainable relationship with the seeds we depend on.”
—Douglas W. Tallamy, author of Nature’s Best Hope
“A delightful blend of science and storytelling. With a single seed as her starting point, Jennifer Jewell takes us on a journey fueled by curiosity and wonder.”
—Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 11 members
I would have never thought about the kind of connections this author created until reading about it. This thoughtful and insightful read focuses on all the right details to create an enjoyable and educational non-fiction read.
As someone who grew up in the city this was an informative inspiring read about seeds planting growing them.A memoir and an informative book about Jennifer Jewells excitement and awe of gardening was really interesting.#netgalley #timberpress
As someone who keeps a vegetable garden throughout the various growing seasons, I think a lot about what I plant and where the seeds I purchase come from. This book lead me to think more about that and made connections that I would have never considered before reading it. This book was extremely educational and an interesting read. I really enjoyed the dated entries interspersed throughout the chapters, it added an indepth look into the authors thoughts on the topics discussed in the book.
I'll definitely be recommending this book to any of my friends who also have an interest in gardening!
Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!
Full review will be uploaded soon
What We Sow by Jennifer Jewell is a departure from her other books so if you're thinking this is a lot more pictures be ready. It's a well research, very comprehensive almost textbook like book on seeds. From origins, seed saving, seed banks (so important) seed reading, seed laws, seed shares, seed futures, etc.
I HIGHLY recommend this book. Especially for every library around the country. Jennifer broke the book up into months I think to help the reader digest all of this information. The conservation of seeds is always the upmost interest of me and especially that I teach about conservation of them and in the wild and it is not far fetched to say this will be a book I will talk about a lot, share and give.
I would like to thank Net Galley and the publisher Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review What We Sow by Jennifer Jewell. Also to Timber Press for publishing and bringing forth book we need tremendously. They publish gems and books that enrich our lives.
What We Sow by Jennifer Jewel is a celebration of life. This narrative of the history, biology, and importance of seeds also serves as a memoir. This text is beautifully written with bountiful poetic language. Any avid gardener, nature lover, or human being will find the information incredibly insightful and a reason to pause and reflect on his/her impact on the earth. We are currently living in a world where plants struggle to survive in a world overrun with grass (“In 2019, the United Nations (U.N.) reported that “the average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900, and that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threated with extinction, many within in decades, more than ever before in human history” (page 42). While seeds are vital to life, but they are an incredible and small form of life themselves. They are complex blueprints of genetic information that will grow into the plants that will support life on earth.
As an amateur gardener and a lover of nature, I love this book. There is so much information about seeds and their complex life. My only issue with this book is the overly technical language. Jewel often uses heavy scientific language that makes it hard to wrap your head around what you are reading. I understand the purpose, and she does try to mitigate the complexity, it was pretty overwhelming in sections. That being said, I would still recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about seeds or is a gardener.