Turn Here Sweet Corn
Organic Farming Works
By Atina Diffley
(Univ Of Minnesota Press, Hardcover, 9780816677719, 344pp.)
Publication Date: April 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A master class in organic farming, a lesson in entrepreneurship, a love story, and a legal thriller
Atina Diffley is an organic vegetable farmer who now educates consumers, farmers, and policymakers about organic farming through the consulting business Organic Farming Works LLC, owned by her and her husband, Martin. From 1973 through 2007, the Diffleys owned and operated Gardens of Eagan, one of the first certified organic produce farms in the Midwest. In 2008 they sold the Gardens of Eagan name and equipment to the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis, who began leasing the land for organic vegetable production. At the end of a 5-year lease, the Wedge will move the Gardens of Eagan to their own farmland and the Diffleys will use their land for research, outreach, seed breeding, and incubating beginning farmers. To contact Atina or Martin Diffley, visit www.organicfarmingworks.com.
"Turn Here Sweet Corn is an unexpected page-turner. Atina Diffley’s compelling account of her life as a Minnesota organic farmer is deeply moving not only from a personal standpoint but also from the political. Diffley reveals the evident difficulties of small-scale organic farming but is inspirational about its value to people and the planet." —Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat
"This book is wonderful on so many levels: the swift moving and dramatic story of Atina and Martin Diffley, the farmers of Gardens of Eagan, as they confront wild weather, development pressure, and pipelines. The transformation of Tina into Atina, from confused teenager to strong, passionate, and committed leader in organic agriculture. A powerful argument for organic farming and a must read for anyone thinking of farming—a vivid and realistic picture of the beauties, satisfactions, and stresses of farming as a way of life. And finally, a vision of hope for the future: blending intuitive faith in our oneness with Nature, the most advanced biological science, and the power of community." —Elizabeth Henderson, author of Sharing The Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture
"What strikes me most about this amazing memoir is that for those of us who aren’t farmers but who are versant in such issues as organics, soil building, diversity, GMOs, certification and more—it is utterly different to hear how the farmer herself grapples with them in her daily life. Unlike reading about the same issues in an article, it’s immediate, powerful, tender, heartbreaking and above all, encouraging." —Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors, Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers Markets
"By offering a look inside her own experience, and often her own heart, Diffley creates a multi-faceted, powerful, and compelling memoir about trying to live organically." —ForeWord Review
"An education on organic farming and its importance, as well as a heartfelt love letter to the land." —Kirkus Reviews
"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. All readers will enjoy the organic ethic beautifully demonstrated in the author’s close observation of and deep deference to nature. . . . a satisfying, instructive book." —Library Journal
"Diffley fluently conveys the mind-boggling demands of organic farming in intimately personal and intricately factual ways. From the microbial soil that nourishes crops and the native grasses that lure pollinating bees to the ancient trees that shelter scavenger owls and the dedicated people who stay attuned to the delicate symbiotic relationships among them all, the thriving ecosystem of a family farm nurtures a world far beyond its borders." —Booklist