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What We Sow

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Member Reviews

Jennifer Jewell's "What We Sow" is a deep dive into the world of seeds, revealing their significance and the critical need to protect their diversity. It's not just a book, it's a memoir, a history lesson, and a poetic exploration of life's tiniest marvels.

Jewell's beautifully written narrative educates readers about the biology, history, and importance of seeds. It's a poignant reminder of the urgent need to preserve the diversity of these life-giving elements.

This book incredibly insightful. However, there are moments when the language can be a bit overwhelming. Despite this, "What We Sow" remains a compelling read,

In a world where our impact on the earth is ever more significant, this book is a thought-provoking and enlightening exploration of the seeds that sustain life. It's a rich, intense journey that encourages readers to reflect on their relationship with the environment.

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What We Sow is an engaging and well written memoir on the cultural and ecological significance of seeds written by Jennifer Jewell. Released 19th Sept 2023 by Hachette on their Timber Press imprint, it's a substantial 392 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

This is an often profound rumination on the impact of agribusiness, food security, heirloom seeds and reclaiming the culturally significant traditional plant varieties, and the author's personal engagement with the species around her. She does a good job of knitting the threads together into an often sobering and cohesive whole.

It's set up in chapters around a calendar year, from autumn's seed setting and dormancy, through summer's production and harvest. The author also takes a look at the potentially bleak future for inhabitants of planet earth without a paradigm shift of epic proportions.

There's a lot of information in this volume, and it's well grounded and presented. The book also contains a bibliography and resources list for further reading.

Four stars. This would make a good selection for public or school library acquisition, home use, as well as for gardening groups and community garden/allotment reference collections.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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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.

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Thank you NetGalley for the review copy!

I never thought a book about seeds would get me emotional but here we are! Great educational book.

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Am interesting exploration of seeds through the eyes of Jennifer Jewell in her everyday like. I really like the dated entries throughout the book so that you could picture the time of year and what was happening in her life at the time. It was clearly a well researched book although with all the terminology and in depth information at times it felt more like a textbook than a book I was reading for fun.
If you are interested in seed history and gardening then this would be a good book to pick up.

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This book was incredibly dense, and covered a wide array of topics related to seeds, including terminology, seed commerce and conservation, the cultural importance of seeds, and the personal importance of seeds from the author's perspective. While the overarching theme of this book is incredibly interesting, it suffers from an overabundance of information. I really enjoyed the journal entries that are included within this book, however the formatting was inconsistently employed. A date, along with a different font was used to denote a journal entry, although there were times when a date was given, but the font didn't change. It is unclear if this is a journal entry or part of the book itself.
Overall, this was a well-written and well-researched book. The author's passion for the topic clearly shines through. It forces one to consider a seed, such a small and unassuming thing, as a universe unto itself.

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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.

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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!

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Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!
Full review will be uploaded soon

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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

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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.

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