artwork above by Oona Ratcliffe, Jill Bliss, Gwen Shlichta and Sarah Rubens

Over the weekend I got a sneak peek of my friend Shash’s new book and it is stunning, simply breathtaking:
From Orchards, Fields, and Gardens: Art and rememberings celebrating sustainable agriculture and good food

Chock full of beautiful art and stories on gardens and food. I can’t wait to pour over the pages with my own copy! It’s thick too! It features over 11 authors and photos and illustrations from over 21 artists (I contributed both an illustration and photos!) with 84 pages printed on recycled paper.

Shash wrote about the project on her own blog these words:
I’ve been working on this thing for ten months. I often feel that I lack faith that things will work out ok, and this lack of faith makes me not take risks. I worry. And I envy people who believe there’s a greater, loving force out there. They must feel more secure. Making this book has tested my (non-religious) faith. But I think it has also generated faith, because each step in the process yielded positive responses. Two friends encouraged me from the start. People I asked to contribute to the book agreed to do so—amazing! When I suggested edits, people didn’t seem to think I was a meanie! When I asked (via snail mail because he doesn’t do computers) Wendell Berry if one of the contributors could include stanzas from one of Berry’s poems, he promptly wrote back, and he agreed! When I asked a long ago ex for help with a final edit, she agreed! When I asked for printer recommendations (after not feeling confident about the one I’d planned on using), a friend sent me to a helpful, flexible, fair, green, family-run press. This project has forced me to ask for help and to let go/not put so much pressure on myself when I can’t meet deadlines. I still feel quite nervous about the final product (wondering if I made good design choices, etc.), but I’m also very excited and grateful. Thank you book contributors and friends!

Her words and hard work are such a testament to what can happen when you go fourth to pursue your creative dreams! I’m seriously so happy for Shash. I remember one day when she came over and we drew mind maps of creative ideas… and now hers has become a reality.

Oh yeah, It’s available for pre-order here and get $4 off the regular price!