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Summer Reading

We know – it’s not officially summer yet, but we’re perfectly fine with calling it early. The days are longer, the air smells sweeter, and any day spent outside is a day well spent, in our opinion. We’ve got a lot of great things cooking at Mast, and we can’t wait to share them with you soon.

There are so many things about summer that spark a renewed sense of appreciation and awe for the land around us. Whether you’re swimming in the ocean, walking through the woods, or overlooking the sunset, it’s hard not to love the ground beneath your feet this time of year. In these final days of spring, we at Mast find ourselves reflecting on some of our core inspirations: seasonality, reverence for the earth, and constantly asking what more we can learn to help nourish and protect what nature gives us.

If you’ve ever visited one of our stores, you might have noticed that we stock a small but special collection of books that explore these very ideas. These pieces of writing, from memoirs to recipe journals, have been invaluable guides and sources for us over the years. We’d like to share some of them here, and we hope they inspire something in you as they have inspired us. Who knows – you may just find your next great beach read.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer is both a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and she seamlessly blends her vast scientific knowledge with a soulful respect for tradition, community, and storytelling. This is a moving and stunning book that feels part memoir, part botanical guide, part short story. The perfect read for looking around you and not only knowing more about the green you see, but truly appreciating it, too.

Food and Faith by Norman Wirzba

Anyone interested in exploring the connections between food, ritual, community, and spirituality will reap many rewards from this book. Using theological principles, Wirzba paints a vivid picture that will help you reexamine how we cultivate and consume food in a more contemplative, meditative, and meaningful way.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation by Rene Redzepi & David Zilber

It’s no secret that Noma has always been up to innovative and exciting things in the food world, and this fermentation guide is no different. It has coffee table book potential alone with its full-page imagery and stunning layout, but the fermentation techniques and expert insights are not to be missed. This one might be a little hefty to haul to the beach, but with all the incredible produce that’s becoming available in the markets, it could be the perfect source for bottling up the flavors of summer and enjoying them in the colder months. Also, if you want to stay in the know about Noma's newest creations, check out their recently-launched Noma Projects.

Letter to a Young Farmer by Gene Logsdon

Garden farmers, gather round. Rather, anyone curious about farming will benefit from this read. Chock full of both practical wisdom and philosophical ruminations on living off the land, Logsdon’s book of essays will inspire you to make realistic efforts to nourish yourself through what you grow. Heartfelt, charming, and funny on many occasions, it feels akin to reading your green-thumbed grandfather’s journal.

We look forward to continuing this literary series and sharing more things we love. It's our sincere belief that great books, as with great food, are best when passed around and enjoyed with others. We wish you a hearty happy reading, and a happy (almost) summer, too.

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