David is an amazing bloke who I met through Kitchen Gardeners International, on my Voyage of the Vegetable Vagabond in 2008. He works tirelessly and enthusiastically in growing incredible food and educating people about the why, what and how. He lives in Maine, USA. I will be buying this book and relishing every morsel of it.
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Taste, Memory traces the experiences of a modern-day explorer, one who doesn't discover new lands and new cultures, but who rediscovers our common food heritage and then works to bring it back to our gardens and tables for all to appreciate and enjoy.
From a cantankerous old pear tree to a strawberry that's too delicate to ship to distant markets, David Buchanan has grown out and evaluated thousands of varieties of fruits, grains, herbs, flowers, and vegetables, capturing not only their flavors, but their fascinating stories and their place in the local harvest.
What we grow is just as important as where we grow it, and a resilient food system depends on the ongoing search for regionally adapted varieties. Local food at its best differs in both kind and quality from commodity crops that are shipped around the globe. If everyone were to grow the same apples or tomatoes, for example, then we would miss out on the full palate of tastes available to us, as well as the sense that local food can reflect a particular people, place, and culture.
Profiling his own efforts as a young garden-farmer who is still finding his own place in the world (using leased gardens and orchard space), Buchanan also writes about some of the most important people who are working to defend and promote biodiversity and meaning in our food system. From gardeners and cooks to environmentalists and food activists - all of these people are preserving the best of our traditional foods and ensuring that they will be around for future generations to enjoy.
Taste, Memory takes readers on a beautifully written personal journey into what food diversity really means, and why it matters now more than ever.
"Taste, Memory may well be the most beautiful book ever written about food biodiversity and how it has 'landed' on earth, in our mouths and in our hearts. Once you have read and digested David's book, you will never again regard this two-word phrase as an abstraction, but as a vital element of our common food heritage, one that continues to nourish and enrich our lives."--from the foreword by Gary Paul Nabhan
About the Author
David Buchanan planted his first gardens in central Washington State more than 20 years ago, after learning about the heritage food movement through the Seed Savers Exchange. He has worked for farms, ranches, and nurseries; operated a landscape design company specializing in native plant restoration; managed an educational farm for a community non-profit; and helped found the Portland, Maine, chapter of Slow Food USA.
In the mid-1990s he worked for Arche Noah, an Austrian seed-saving organization, producing seeds to maintain the thousands of varieties of vegetables and grains in their collection.
David helped found and for three years led the Portland, Maine, chapter of Slow Food. He now serves on its national Biodiversity Committee, which evaluates and helps preserve endangered heritage foods from around the country.
In 2008 he managed Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and continues to maintain gardens there and at two nearby sites. Currently he oversees vegetable and cut flower production for Old Ocean House Farms in Cape Elizabeth, and grows more than 250 varieties of fruit, as well as herbs and heirloom vegetables. He sells nursery plants, organic vegetables, fruit smoothies, and raw cider at the Portland farmers market.
He is a board member of Kitchen Gardeners International.