Seed & Read

Below are lists of books and movies suitable for a discussion group. Some titles have associated websites. Most of the books and some films are available at the John Trigg Ester Library or Calypso Farm & Ecology Center’s resource library. To see if we have these titles, check our online catalog. For a quick look, search on the tag “GEB” to find topic-related titles in the JTEL collection (“Your library”).

For more food-related works, see also Philip H. Howard’s extensive database on food and agriculture books & films.

For information on seed libraries, see our listing of US seed libraries, this international seed library database, or Emily Roberson’s honors thesis on US seed libraries, Seed Libraries and Food Insecurity: An Emerging Solution to an Enduring Problem (PDF).


How to save seed (see also our Alaska Resources page):

Food, farming, & biodiversity issues:

  • Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture, by Miguel A. Altieri (JTEL)
  • The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, by Michael Pollan (JTEL)
  • Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail, by Kurt Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gary Nabhan (JTEL)
  • Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Food, by Gary Paul Nabhan (JTEL)
  • Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, by Anna Lappé (JTEL)
  • Eat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket, by Brian Halweil (JTEL)
  • Empty Harvest: Understanding the Link Between Our Food, Our Immunity, and Our Planet, by Mark Anderson, Bernard Jensen
  • The End of Food, by Paul Roberts (JTEL)
  • Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation, by Gary Paul Nabhan, Wendell Berry
  • Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All, by Oran Hesterman (JTEL)
  • Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, edited by Andrew Kimbrell (Calypso)
  • The Fatal Harvest Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, edited by Norman Uphoff (JTEL)
  • The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation, by the Findhorn Community (JTEL)
  • First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, by Jack Ralph Kloppenburg Jr. (JTEL)
  • Food Justice, by Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi (JTEL)
  • Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, by J.E. Lovelock (JTEL)
  • Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, by Toby Hemenway
  • Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind, by Gene Logsdon (JTEL)
  • The Humanure Handbook: a guide to composting human manure, 3rd edition, by Joseph Jenkins
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan (JTEL)
  • Like a Tree to the Soil: a history of farming in Alaska’s Tanana Valley, 1903 to 1940, by Josephine E. Papp and Josie A. Phillips (JTEL)
  • The Mad Farmer Poems, by Wendell Berry
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan
  • Seeds of Change: The Living Treasure: The Passionate Story of the Growing Movement to Restore Biodiversity and Revolutionize the Way We Think About Food , by Kenny Ausubel (Calypso, JTEL)
  • Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, by F. William Engdahl
  • Shattering: Food, Politics, and the Loss of Genetic Diversity, Cary Fowler, Pat Mooney
  • A Short History of the American Stomach, by Frederick Kaufman
  • Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson (JTEL)
  • Since Silent Spring, by Frank Graham (JTEL)
  • Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, by Raj Patel
  • Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, by Barry Estabrook
  • The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History, by Thor Hanson (JTEL)
  • The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, by Wendell Berry (JTEL)
  • Where Our Food Comes From, by Gary Paul Nabhan (JTEL)
  • The Work of Nature: How the Diversity of Life Sustains Us, by Yvonne Baskin
  • The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of Our Food Supply, by Marie-Monique Robin


  • Animal, Vegtable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver (JTEL)
  • Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on my Family Farm, by David Mas Masumoto (JTEL)
  • Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat, by Temra Costa (JTEL)
  • The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island, by Linda Greenlaw (JTEL)




Fiction, animated, and children’s films:

  • Babette’s Feast (JTEL)
  • Big Night
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (JTEL)
  • Chef
  • Chocolat
  • Delicatessen
  • Diner
  • Eat Drink Man Woman
  • Eating Raoul
  • Julie & Julia
  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, And Her Lover
  • Ratatouille
  • Sleeper
  • Soul Food
  • Tampopo
  • Tortilla Soup
  • Waitress
  • Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?