Told through the voices of four women at the heart of the project, Seven Seasons on Stowel Lake Farm is a multi-layered, evocative exploration of life on a sustainable organic farm that has been at the forefront of North America's slow living and local eating movements. Stunning photographs and transporting descriptions of nature feature alongside mouthwatering yet uncomplicated recipes and crafting tips.
Through a bounty of personal stories of Early Spring, Late Spring, Summer, High Summer, Autumn, December, and Deep Winter, the rich life of Stowel Lake Farm comes alive. From harvest dinners to Thursday work parties, looking after free-range children to handling the summer hay bailing, planting early seeds to celebrating the New Year, each experience offers a meaningful celebration of people working and living together on the land.
Readers are transported to life on the farm while learning some of the tips, tricks, secrets, and recipes grown from years of work. Local harvest, slow food recipes include Squash and Sage Risotto, Wild Spring Nettle Soup, Herb-Encrusted Leg of Lamb, Pavlova with Roasted Rhubarb Compote, and Fresh Chèvre Cheesecake, nestled alongside key seasonal activities such as maximizing spring vegetables, saving seeds, making nature tables, and dying eggs. Suggestions go deeper than simply the practical, however: Seven Seasons shares emotional lessons from community living and prioritizing family, including the importance of sharing gratitude, the importance of walks, and celebrating together.
Seven Seasons on Stowel Lake Farm is more than a book, it's a place: one that readers can immerse themselves in time and again, through recipes, storytelling, and lessons. Steeped in insights that celebrate nourishment - both physical and emotional - this stunning, original book will inspire readers to cultivate their own rich traditions of food, family, and community - wherever they live.
About the authors
Jennifer Lloyd is the author of several children's books, including Looking for Loons (a Canadian Toy Testing Council Top 10 pick), Ella’s Umbrellas (an Alcuin Award for Excellence in Book Design winner, and a Rainforest of Reading and Christie Harris Children’s Literature Prize nominee), The Best Thing About Kindergarten, Taffy Time, and the Murilla Gorilla series (multiple books in the series are Alcuin Award for Excellence in Book Design winners and Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens selections). When she is not at her writing desk, she works as a kindergarten teacher in Blainville, Québec. You can find out more about Jennifer's books at www.jenniferlloyd.ca.
Michael Ableman, a commercial organic farmer for the past 45 years, is co-founder and director of Sole Food Street Farms. He founded the nonprofit Center for Urban Agriculture and has created urban farms in California and Vancouver, BC. He farms with his family at the historic 120-acre Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island, BC.
'This captivating story of a year on the farm with recipes is very seductive. Communal life has never seemed so attractive. The recipes, which evoke the seven seasons on the farm, are easily accomplished and full of fresh tastes and textures. A beautiful book.' - Lucy Waverman, Globe and Mail food columnist and author of The Flavour Principle 'Stowel Lake Farm is like nowhere else. Many people dream about farming within a functional, joyful community, of sharing resources and living in an ecologically sustainable way. But doing so is rare, and it doesn't happen by luck: it needs proper design. That's where this book is so inspiring, and so valuable.' - Jean-Martin Fortier, organic grower and author of The Market Gardener 'I'm fortunate to know Haidee and to have eaten her wonderful food. She's an infectiously positive woman, generous with her bounty and heart, and a champion of delicious, honest cooking from her incredible farm pantry.' - Joël Watanabe, executive chef and owner, Kissa Tanto 'What makes Haidee's food shine are her passion for great ingredients and her vision of food as the bringer of joy and abundance into daily life. With these wonderful recipes, she opens our eyes and leads us toward a wider culinary horizon.' - David Wood, owner, Salt Spring Island Cheese Company
'Such a beautiful, inspiring and delicious book! You'll want to come again many times to take it all in. Stowel Lake Farm is the most shining example I know of a loving and creative community working for the greater whole.' - Dan Jason, owner, Salt Spring Seeds 'This is a book of recipes - not just for cooking, but for growing healthy food, healthy kids and a healthy intentional community. When you step inside these pages, you'll get a sense of what it's like to be welcomed to Stowel Lake Farm. Something is working over there, and we need as many models as we can find for children to be raised with mud between their toes, butterflies in their hair, and a village to watch over them. From resolving conflicts to keeping pests off carrots to making squash risotto, the details are all here for the borrowing.' - Briony Penn, naturalist and author of The Real Thing
'Since 2014, several hundred members of our women's recovery community have been transformed and inspired by their time spent on retreat at Stowel Lake Farm. We are so grateful for the magic, healing properties of the land, the yoga studio, and the exquisite meals prepared so lovingly and artistically by Haidee. Holding space for women on this little patch of paradise is both a joy and a privilege.' - Dawn Nickel, PhD, founder, She Recovers