Library Journal reviews Turn Here Sweet Corn
Diffley, Atina. Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works. Univ. of Minnesota. Apr. 2012. c.344p. illus. ISBN 9780816677719. $24.95. AGRI
Organic farmers have a tough row to hoe, as Diffley—half of the husband-and-wife team who built Minnesota’s Gardens of Eagan, one of the Midwest’s first certified organic produce farms—knows too well. Threats to her livelihood are legion: ever-encroaching suburbia, foul weather, nitwits spraying poison too close to the vegetable patch, and pipeline companies seeking eminent domain are just some struggles she’s survived to tell. In fact, Diffley thrives. Like her own farm, this book offers an abundant crop: practical-minded readers will appreciate the how-to’s of soil building and crop rotation as well as information on the rigors of meeting FDA organic standards. Those seeking inspiration will enjoy the story of a single mother’s dogged effort to follow her bliss.
Verdict All readers will enjoy the organic ethic beautifully demonstrated in the author’s close observation of and deep deference to nature. One might quibble with Diffley’s attempt to reconstruct dialog from journals; too often her speeches sound stilted, and her repeated use of the “I say” phrase has a numbing effect. Still, this is a satisfying, instructive book.—Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont.