NATIVE AMERICAN GARDENING: STORIES, PROJECTS AND RECIPES FOR FAMILIES, Joseph Bruchac and Michael J. Caduto, Fulcrum Publishing, 350 Indiana Street, Suite 350, Golden CO 8040, 800-992-2908. 158 pages, paperback, B&W illustrations,map, index. Native words glossary, notes. $15.95. 1-55591-148-X
Except for the fact that schools don't meet in summer, when gardens take the most work and come to harvest, this book is full of excellent school science gardening projects. Th book follows the wholistic approach found in the Bruchac-Caduto "Keepers" nativ-centered science series, with traditional stories from several tribes (there are fewer of these), explanations of traditional native gardening practices (and several dsigns for traditional 3 sisters gardens from several tribes), and othr activities. These activities range from cooking or drying what you grow to making gourd rattles and cornhusk dolls. The gardening portion of the book includes choosing a site (most people will have no choice -- backyard or nothing), planning and preparing the site, choosing seeds (with sources for getting traditional varieties from organizations who are trying to save these against the commercial hybrids that dominate the market), composting, combatting pests naturally, and other topics fairly conventional to most organic gardening books, but treated here with a Native flair. Th final chapter is instructions for drying corn, beans, and squash, and recipes for several traditional native foods using those 3 sisters. Some of the recipes are probably thought of as tradxitional, i.e. thy contain no salt or modern spices, and will probably be too bland for our tastes. It is unlikely this is the way traditional cooks prepared them but herbs and spices they used to use are no longer known or not readily available. The last 2 chapters -- Traditional native Gardening and Native Harvests, Meals, Recipes -- ends with a brtanching out section of furthr readings. ends with a section If you have some land where you can plant and care for a garden, this book is highly recommended. Reviewed by Paula Giese
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 16, 1996 - 9:22:15 AM