What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us about Health and Healing
By Daphne Miller
(William Morrow & Company, Hardcover, 9780062103147, 290pp.)
Publication Date: April 2013
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What can good farming teach us about nurturing ourselves?
Family physician Daphne Miller long suspected that farming and medicine were intimately linked. Increasingly disillusioned by mainstream medicine's mechanistic approach to healing and fascinated by the farming revolution that is changing the way we think about our relationship to the earth, Miller left her medical office and traveled to seven innovative family farms around the country, on a quest to discover the hidden connections between how we care for our bodies and how we grow our food. Farmacology, the remarkable book that emerged from her travels, offers us a compelling new vision for sustainable health and healing--and a wealth of farm-to-body lessons with immense value in our daily lives.
Miller begins her journey with a pilgrimage to the Kentucky homestead of renowned author and farming visionary Wendell Berry. Over the course of the following year, she travels to a biodynamic farm in Washington state, a ranch in the Ozarks, two chicken farms in Arkansas, a winery in California, a community garden in the Bronx, and finally an aromatic herb farm back in Washington. While learning from forward-thinking farmers, Miller explores such compelling questions as: What can rejuvenating depleted soil teach us about rejuvenating ourselves? How can a grazing system on a ranch offer valuable insights into raising resilient children? What can two laying-hen farms teach us about stress management? How do vineyard pest-management strategies reveal a radically new approach to cancer care? What are the unexpected ways that urban agriculture can transform the health of a community? How can an aromatic herb farm unlock the secret to sustainable beauty?
Throughout, Miller seeks out the perspectives of noted biomedical scientists and artfully weaves in their insights and research, along with stories from her own medical practice. The result is a profound new approach to healing, combined with practical advice for how to treat disease and maintain wellness.
Daphne Miller, MD, is a board-certified family physician in private practice in San Francisco. She is an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, where she teaches nutrition and integrative medicine. She lives in San Francisco with her family.