Furrow & Flower Cover

Book: Fur­row & Flour

Authors: Beth Syphers & Sarah Kuenzi

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Emma May Dixon

Pub­lish­er: Bloom Imprint

Pub­li­ca­tion Date: Spring 2023

Book Review by Kit Wertz, Flower Duet

There is so much to love in this book full of warm-heart­ed essays, deli­cious and com­fort­ing food recipes, and touch­ing pho­tog­ra­phy. This book is part escapism, part nos­tal­gia, part hope, part joy, and lots of com­fort. On prac­ti­cal­ly every page of “Fur­row & Flour” is a thought or scene that I could relate to.  I am also a child of the 1970s, a moth­er, a sis­ter, and a pro­fes­sion­al florist. But you don’t have to have any of that in com­mon with these sis­ter authors, Beth Syphers and Sarah Kuen­zi, who have assem­bled a beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of words to inspire.

Puts You Right Into each Scene

Every descrip­tion in the sis­ters’ alter­nat­ing essays places you right into the scene. Whether it’s at home next to a crack­ling fire or enjoy­ing the “but­ter­flies danc­ing over the laven­der” in late sum­mer flower fields, you feel like you are there. I espe­cial­ly like Beth’s vignette about find­ing a seat at a wed­ding (where she has pro­vid­ed the flo­ral designs). She notes the “misty eyes” of the groom’s moth­er as she watched the wed­ding par­ty dance dur­ing the recep­tion. And every essay about food leaves my mouth water­ing and gives me a long­ing to get up and make some­thing yum­my in my kitchen.

Less Ethel and More Lucy

Sarah’s essay about being “Less Ethel and More Lucy” hit home with me also. Before I had my twins, I enter­tained friends and fam­i­ly with the effi­cien­cy of a Cor­nell School grad­u­ate. Now I have learned to relax more and enjoy my com­pa­ny and be less fussy about the pre­sen­ta­tion of food and drink. I think it’s reas­sur­ing to read about how some­one my own age enter­tains casu­al­ly but with gus­to in her own home and admits to chang­ing over the years, for the better.

Beth’s mus­ings about flower farm­ing and floristry also res­onate. Her essays about her work mesh seam­less­ly with her lov­ing essays about her fam­i­ly. It’s clear she treats every­one in her life with char­i­ty and kindness.

Emma May Dixon’s pho­tog­ra­phy of flower fields, flo­ral designs, homey tableaus, and scrump­tious food is warm and invit­ing. The pho­tos blend effort­less­ly with each essay by Beth and Sarah and evoke an old-fash­ioned feel­ing with mod­ern-day vibes.

Comforting Words

I read this book over a few weeks while recu­per­at­ing from knee surgery and found the sis­ters’ words a per­fect com­pan­ion. Since this book is divid­ed into four sea­sons start­ing with Spring, I can see myself pick­ing it up at the start of each sea­son to get excit­ed for new begin­nings and old tra­di­tions that each untouched day promises.

The words and pho­tos from “Fur­row & Flour” remind us that life goes on and there is always a lot to enjoy – from spe­cial hol­i­days to each and every nor­mal day that each dawn brings.

Yummy Recipes

I made Farmer John’s Pump­kin Bread. It was spicy deli­cious-ness indeed. For one of the loaves, I added the rec­om­mend­ed raisins, and for the oth­er just wal­nuts. Also, I used a Gluten Free flour (1:1) sub­sti­tute and it still came out love­ly (but purists should use all-pur­pose flour). Warm and comforting…just like all the pages of this book.

farmer john's pumpkin bread

From my copy of the book Fur­row and Flour — the title of the Pump­kin Bread Recipe — Pho­to by Kit Wertz

Pumpkin Bread

Here were my results of mak­ing the pump­kin bread from Fur­row & Flour. They tast­ed won­der­ful! — Pho­to by Kit Wertz

From the Publisher:

Flower farmer Beth Syphers is root­ed in the gar­den and her sis­ter Sarah Kuen­zi is a bak­er and chef. In the pages of their beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed book, Fur­row & Flour, the women have col­lect­ed sto­ries about the small joys they dis­cov­er in a life that feels good on the inside, not just one that looks good on the outside.”

About Bloom Imprint — the Publisher

Flower Duet is proud to be fea­tured in a Bloom Imprint book called “Where We Bloom” and there are a pletho­ra of books relat­ed to farm­ing and flow­ers by this won­der­ful new pub­lish­er. I was able to secure an ear­ly copy of this book because I won it! I attend­ed the vir­tu­al book launch for Fur­row & Flour and was for­tu­nate to have my name picked for a FREE book! You can sign up on Bloom Imprint­’s web­site to be alert­ed to their vir­tu­al book launch­es and get in on the won­der­ful con­ver­sa­tions and maybe even receive a prize!