Total Pageviews

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Down to Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World, written by Nikki Tate. Orca Book Publishers, 2013. $19.95 ages 9 and up

"Corn is one of the most versatile crops grown anywhere. Dried corn kernels might be used to make tortilla chips, corn oil, animal feed or breakfast cereal. You'll find corn in some surprising places, including beer, chewing gum and ketchup. Nonedible items made with corn include crayons, chalk and soap."

Nikki Tate introduces her readers almost immediately to her own farm, Dark Creek Farm. She explains that family visitors love to know that what they eat for dinner while there has been grown and harvested on the farm...even the pork chops! They also love to help prepare the meal.

Following the introduction, she offers four chapters which deal with Seeds and Plants, Feathered Friends, Multi-Purpose Animals, and finally At Work on the Farm. In dense text, accompanied by bright, clear photographs, she shares the many ways in which food comes to the table around the world. In the photos, we see how children from world communities help to bring food to the table by helping to plant and reap, to care for chickens, ducks, turkeys and pigeons, to learn how goats, cows, pigs, and sheep provide for the people who live with them, and finally, to take produce to market to provide others with tasty food.  There is great satisfaction in helping others lead a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

I really enjoyed each chapter's personal glimpses of the author's farm and the work that is done there. It is just under 1 hectare in size, is found on Vancouver Island and is a thriving farm which provides food for many families:

"Muscovy ducks hunt for slugs and caterpillars in newly prepared vegetable beds. Later in the season, after the new vegetable plants are well established, the ducks will pay another visit to the garden to eat more pests. One theory about how Muscovy ducks got their name relates to the food they eat: mosquitos are one of their favorite treats."

Bring on the Muscovy ducks for summer 2014 in Manitoba!

Food fact boxes provide little tidbits of information that readers are sure to find informative and perhaps even surprising at times:

"Large Black Hogs can grow to weigh more than 725 kg (1,600 pounds). That could feed a whole lot
of people bacon for breakfast!"

In back matter there is included a short list of further reading, websites, and an author's note about Dark Creek Farm, and the many people who helped bring this book to its present state. The index is detailed and will help readers find their way back to needed information.

It is a book that will help young readers see where their food really comes from, and to show them how other children of the world help run the farms that produce the food they need to live a healthy life. It is a great companion to the other of the first two books in the Orca Footprints series, Pedal It!. I will look forward to seeing the third instalment in the near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment