Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Giveaway Contest!

I love giving away books. It's a hobby of mine, in fact, and if the postage rates weren't so darn expensive I'd do it daily.

But I have a little cash in hand so here goes:

Today I'm giving away Harvest: A Year in the Life of an Organic Farm, by Nicola Smith. The title pretty much explains it all. It's a chronicle of one couple's life on their small Vermont organic farm. This isn't an idyllic back-to-the-earth book that glosses over the hard parts; this is a true-to-life, tell-it-as-it-is book, warts and all.

I read it at the perfect time - after reading a string of books about authors' escapades in gardening, going without electricity, eating locally, etc., which had made me long for my own adventure. Harvest brought me back to reality and helped me refine my vision of this Halving it All experiment until it became more reasonable - more realistic. Do-able.

I also walked away from this book with more respect for the farmers selling produce at my local market. It made me feel even better about paying those higher prices they charge. While I knew in my head that farmers deserve to be paid better for their work, now I felt it in my heart.

So, back to the contest: entering is simple. Post a comment below and include in it one thing you'd like me to write about in the future. Is there a part of your life you'd like to see halved? Want me to research it? Is there something you think I'll gloss over? Something you think I won't get to? Or something completely off topic all together? (It's all right - I can natter on about just about anything.) I hope you all are remembering that things will really get in gear when I get back home in mid-August.

The contest will close on Sunday at 12:00 Eastern Time. I will put all your names in a hat and pick the winner at random. Then I'll post here and ask for you to email me your address. Good luck, everyone!


molytail said...

Hi :-) ...saw your post on WTM :-)

I haven't read all of your posts (plan to over the next bit) but if you haven't addressed it, perhaps a good topic for "halving" might be screen time -- by that, I mean the amount of time that a family spends in front of the TV, game systems, computer, whatever other 'screen' they've got (I'm sure there are techie things I don't know about LOL those portable phone/computer things) .....I know it uses up a lot of time here LOL....

Or, heating costs - home heating...might be a good one these days....I see you did stuff pertaining to the grocery bill...

Not sure if these are the sorts of suggestions you're after (like I mentioned, I haven't read everything yet - bookmarking you!) but I thought they might work.

Interesting sounding book, by the way!

Jennifer said...

Molytail, those are perfect! This isn't intended to be difficult - it's just a great way for me to find out what people are interested in. Thanks for having the guts to be the first poster!

Jeanne said...

I've been following your new blog since you posted about it over on WTM. It's fantastic, and I find myself saying "yes, I need to work on 'halving' that, too".

- Molytail's recommendation of halving screen time is excellent.

- gasoline - I recently came across an article on hypermiling. Never heard of it before yesterday, but now I'm gonna have to try it!

- halving craft projects - it was difficult when I cut my fabric stash in half. After all, I'm a quilter, and I can USE those scraps (never mind that I still haven't made a scrap quilt). I'm finding that being very intentional about my current project gives me a better final product. I'm also able to better enjoy the process of crafting versus hurrying to finish the project before the baby shower/birthday/Christmas deadline. BUT, I constantly struggle in this area. Can you help?

- one other area that I'm still trying to acheive a good balance is in cleaning my home. I know that the less stuff I have, the more organized and quicker it will be for me to clean. This will give me more time to teach my children how to make their beds, rather than me racing through the house to get stuff done.

Thanks for your blog! Keep up the good work! And thanks for the chance to win the book!

Jennifer said...

Jeanne - those are all awesome ideas!

I, too, will have to go through my crafting supplies. I inherited a bunch from my mother-in-law, which makes it a little harder, so I will write about my process and how I make decisions.

And hypermiling interests me, too.

You guys rock!

DebMc said...

Awesome! I just finished 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' by Barbara Kingsolver. It's helped me hit both my own garden and the farmer's markets with more enthusiasm. My one complaint about her book was the lack of discussion about bugs, weeds, and the never ending need to get rid of both.

What subject would I like for you to write about? I'd like to halve my commitments. There are too many times when I feel the need to be two people to get everything done. But...the things I do are worthwhile. They are within my gifting talents. Often, too often, I'm the only one who will step forward. Sigh. I'm tired. I know how to say no, but I need to know how to evaluate what is a priority and what isn't.

Jennifer said...

oooh - halving commitments. That's fodder for a whole bunch of posts, isn't it? I am facing a school year with lots of commitments and I am going to be giving up some to focus on others. A very timely suggestion.

Kerrie said...

This might sound silly...but I would love to halve my guilt! I'm always feeling guilty for something, and of course everyone tells you it's not a healthy thing to do. I need a way to look past the guilt and live my life!

This book sounds really intriguing, and I would love to read it! =) Even if I don't win, it will definitely go on my "to read" list.

Jennifer said...


The title alone gives me goosebumps. I am so with you there, sister. In fact, I'm sitting here getting ready for a "date day" with dh that I've been looking forward to forever....and I'm a mess over guilt. Guilt about leaving my kids behind. Guilt about the people caring for them. Guilt about my part in a family squabble that's erupted just in time for this day....Bleah!

Jenne in AZ said...

I'd like to read more about the effects of halving the stuff has on the kids. My kids want to keep *everything*.

Jennifer said...

Hee hee - that's going to be a funny one, since I haven't TOLD the kids (or dh) that we're doing this. The minute I do, it's going to become "our" project instead of "my" project and I'm not ready for that yet.

So...telling you about the kids' reactions should be pretty interesting!

Jennifer said...

And the winner is....Jenne in AZ!

But I'd like all of you to send me your emails at, because you all participated in my first contest and you all deserve "a little something" for your troubles!