A tale of shedding urban life

Finding the heart and soul of the food movement can sometimes mean getting your hands dirty — in a good way.

Kristeva Dowling is coming to Nelson and Salmo.

Finding the heart and soul of the food movement can sometimes mean getting your hands dirty — in a good way.

Kristeva Dowling’s Chicken Poop for the Soul (Caitlin Press, 2011) is a witty, humorous and often bizarre journey of trial and error as the author sheds urban life for rural independence. Dowling reads from her book on Monday, September 26 at the Salmo Public Library and Tuesday, September 27 at the Nelson Public Library.

Food sovereignty is defined as having the right to determine where your food comes from and how it is produced. In 2008, alarmed by the impact agro-business was having on Canadian food quality and security, Dowling decided to take control of her own food source. In an attempt to achieve 100 per cent self-sufficiency on her small holding in BC’s Bella Coola Valley, she ploughed under her land, converted her garage to an intensive care unit for chickens and learned to hunt, fish, gather and preserve her own food.

Chicken Poop for the Soul is about a common dream: to leave the city and return to a simpler life. Between rendering maple syrup, mothering baby chicks, canning hundreds of pounds of preserves, tracking wild game and growing her own wheat, Dowling finds time to reflect on her new-found tangible skills, her intangible problems and the politics and legislative barriers that face BC’s small farming community.

The Nelson library reading is co-sponsored by the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative, who will also provide refreshments in that grand co-op community tradition.

“Kristeva’s story resonates with the daily challenges and triumphs of our many Co-op suppliers, intrepid growers who care about how we live on the land, and where our food comes from,” says co-op marketing manager Jocelyn Carver. “We’re excited to be co-sponsoring this event.”

Both readings begin at 7:30 p.m. Dowling’s reading tour is a project of the Kootenay Library Federation and the host libraries.

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