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Susan Colleen Browne: Little Farm Homegrown

Sep 1st, 2018 | Category: Community

Little Farm Homegrown, by Whatcom County author Susan Colleen Browne, will be the featured title at the new “Regional Cookbook & Cooking Lit” book group meeting Wednesday, September 5 at 4 pm. Co-presented by the Bellingham Farmers Market and Bellingham’s Village Books, the gathering takes place at the Fairhaven bookstore, with guest author Browne leading a lively discussion of cooking and “putting up” seasonal produce. Little Farm Homegrown book cover web

Browne, an avid food gardener who teaches “Grow a Homestead-Style Food Garden” at Whatcom Community College, focuses on cooking and preserving her own fruits and vegetables—a lifestyle that led to her new backyard farming book, Little Farm Homegrown: A Memoir of Food-Growing, Midlife, and Self-Reliance on a Small Homestead (Whitethorn Press, 2018). A gardening book for anyone who’s dreamed of going back to the land, and the sequel to her award-winning memoir, Little Farm in the Foothills, Little Farm Homegrown follows Whatcom County homesteaders Browne and her husband John coping with the demands of their middle years while raising chickens, creating a simpler, more self-sufficient lifestyle, and living closer to—and often battling—nature.

Moving to the Cascade Mountains’ Foothills, “I got a real eye-opening education about organic food-growing and dealing with our more self-reliant country life,” Browne said. Despite countless food-raising blunders, she noted, over the years she and her husband have created a small but productive food growing operation that keeps them in fruits and vegetables year round.

“For this second book, I’d like to help other backyard farmers and food gardeners avoid my own expensive and time-consuming learning curve—as well as inspire readers to support their area’s food system and farmers,” she added.

Harvesting and preparing your homegrown fruits and veggies, or buying local, seasonal produce at the Farmer’s Market to preserve, Browne believes, is the key to self-reliance—for your family and your community. “There are tons of ways to put up produce in bulk that doesn’t take a lot of time or special equipment,” Browne said. “For September’s ‘Cooking Lit’ book group, I’ll share some easy, seasonal recipes; we’ll also discuss how to store your extra homegrown produce or Farmer’s Market purchases for winter, along with techniques for pickling and freezing.” The book group is free and open to all.

Browne is a graduate of Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University. After publishing Little Farm in the Foothills, she turned her attention to writing fiction, and is the author of the Village of Ballydara series, set in rural Ireland, and a Pacific Northwest-set adventure-fantasy series for kids. A Whatcom Community College Community Ed instructor, she also teaches an Irish travel and culture workshop, as well as occasional writing classes. Little Farm Homegrown is her ninth book.

Like Little Farm in the Foothills, Little Farm Homegrown is a story of optimism in the face of the many challenges the Brownes encountered transforming an old clearcut into a working homestead, shared with a sense of humor and a deep appreciation for nature.

Both books are available at all Whatcom County Library branches, Village Books, and the Skagit Valley Food Co-op; you can also request the print or ebook at your local library, order it at your neighborhood bookstore, or find it at your favorite online retailer. For more information, visit www.susancolleenbrowne.com and www.littlefarminthefoothills.blogspot.com

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