A labor of love

Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in Blog, Books

A Handbook for Citizen Farmers, is the first of many that my husband, Tom Shepherd and I hope to write. It was published by Summerland Press in January 2012. Tom has been an organic farmer since 1973 and shares his secrets in a simple format so that whether a person is five or seventy he can learn to grow food.

Our little book was written while driving back from San Francisco while we were still dating ( A year later we got married on his farm). Tom was telling me about his desire to educate children about growing food. I got out a note pad and started asking questions and taking notes and by the time we got back to Santa Barbara we had written a book. Our book gives the reader directions on how to start a garden from picking a garden site to harvesting and includes simple instructions on how to plant the seeds for certain fruits and vegetables.

When I started to illustrate it, I found that this was no easy task. I wanted to make the farmer a bird but Tom wanted it to be a child. At first the farmer looked just like Tom but then my paintings kept getting younger and younger until our citizen farmer was a tousled hair child. Tom’s whole life has been about providing food for our community and educating people about growing things. As Tom would say, “I think food is the most important thing there is in our lives,maybe besides love.”