To the Table

A Spirituality of Food, Farming, and Community

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About

With the growing farm-to-table movement and increasing popularity of local farmers' markets, we are becoming more conscious of where our food originates. In this spirituality of eating and food, Lisa Graham McMinn encourages readers to reflect on the realities of food today and understand how eating forms their souls inwardly, upwardly, and outwardly. McMinn celebrates the goodness of food in God's creation, offering practical guidance on what it means to eat alone or in community with more intention, compassion, humility, and gratitude. She also tells the story of food that occurs every year as it transitions from seed to table. To the Table features sidebars containing gardening and food tips, recipes, and food preservation guides. End-of-chapter questions for individual and group use are included.

Contents
Introduction: Coming Back to the Kitchen
1. The Common Table
2. Cooking: Artful Transformations
3. Preservation
4. Eating Closer to Home: On Being Neighborly
5. Harvesting: Labors of Love
6. In the Garden
7. Seeds: Fullness in the Hands of God
Epilogue: Back to the Kitchen
Recommended Reading


Endorsements

"To the Table is a warm and wise invitation to practice eating as a spiritual discipline--not as an act of self-improvement but as a way of living out and delighting in the generous, abundant, just, sweet, and savory love of God."

Rachel Marie Stone, author of Eat with Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food

"In To the Table Lisa Graham McMinn takes us on a practical and personal journey into the joys and trials of growing, cooking, preserving, and sharing food. Here we see that food is not reducible to a commodity but is instead the tasty medium of God's love for the whole creation. With inspiring and illuminating stories and astute cultural analysis, McMinn shows us how the whole of eating can be a sacramental act that brings healing to our hungry and hurting world. This beautifully written book is ideal for group study, and its recipes and cooking advice will encourage people to gather in kitchens and around tables to share in the grace of God."

Norman Wirzba, professor of theology and ecology, Duke Divinity School; author of Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating

"To the Table is about dining devotionally, which feeds both body and soul. A deeply nourishing read."

Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

"If this book were a table, it would bow under the weight of its abundance. Filled with research, recipes, how-to tips, and personal narrative, To the Table will encourage faithful readers to head straight for their own gardens, farmers markets, pantries, and tables as they learn to eat more intentionally, more prayerfully, and with stronger community ties. With insights from sociology and wisdom from lived experience in family, church, and community, Lisa McMinn is an expert guide for those wishing to eat better, live better, and follow Christ more deeply."

Jenell Paris, professor of anthropology, Messiah College

"Food is something we all have in common. It is a basic need and a central part of our lives, communities, and cultures. Reflecting over her ongoing journey as a parent, professor, community farm manager, neighbor, and more, McMinn artfully weaves stories, Scripture, science, and recipes together in this holistic and practical exploration of what it can look like to eat well today. This book is a celebration of God's goodness in the world and his loving provision for us and for all he has made. It is a warm and compelling invitation to a more compassionate, nourishing, and faithful way of living."

Ben Lowe, senior director of outreach, Evangelical Environmental Network

"In To the Table, Lisa Graham McMinn brings together a delightful collection of stories, recipes, and philosophy about gardening, cooking, and everything in between. This whimsical little book provides a feast in many forms. It is a must-read for every gardener, cook, and person concerned about where our food comes from and how we gather to eat it."

Christine Sine, Mustard Seed Associates

"Lisa Graham McMinn's To the Table is itself a practical feast. From its researched critique of the modern food industry to the way it describes our everyday practices and relationship with food as a spiritual experience, To the Table helps us regain the knowledge and intimacy necessary to eat well, to eat right, and to eat in communion with creation and each other. Whether you have decided to join the food hope movement for a better future or you are simply looking for personal renewal in the way you and your family eat, Lisa's book is the best place to begin."

Randy Woodley, cosustainer of Eloheh Farm and author of Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision


The Author

  1. Lisa Graham McMinn
    © Janelle Townsend

    Lisa Graham McMinn

    Lisa Graham McMinn (PhD, Portland State University) is co-owner of Fern Creek, a thirty-family CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm outside of Newberg, Oregon. She is writer in residence at George Fox University, where she previously served as professor...

    Continue reading about Lisa Graham McMinn

Reviews

"An increasing number of authors recognize that food means more than nourishment (or malnourishment)--that what and how we eat touches on spirituality, community, economic opportunity, and environmental stewardship. McMinn, a writer and farmer in Oregon, explores these richer dimensions of food through a mix of sociological analysis and personal stories of cooking, gardening, and dining with others. Along with reflection questions after each chapter, the book features a smattering of treasured recipes, storage tips, and other quirky detours aimed at 'getting people together in the kitchen and around tables.'"

Matt Reynolds,

Christianity Today

"If you have wondered about community supported agriculture (CSA), you can learn more here. . . . You will learn about love, hospitality, and justice in our everyday food choices. Each chapter has questions at the end for reflection. These could be used for individual or group study. There is a delicious recipe in each chapter. . . . In this book adults will enjoy learning more about food in relation to spirituality. We will enjoy this book in our church library."

Ginny Thompson,

The Lamplighter


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