three_peppersFrom the Ground Up  In the News


“The joy of From the Ground Up is not Nolan’s own happy ending but rather the illuminating way she applies her vision to practical problems.…The hardest memoir to write is the one that is honest but not self-obsessed; Nolan accomplishes this with clarity and poise.”

Jane Smiley, Harper’s Magazine

“The earth—particularly the garden as our portal to it—is our wisest teacher. And Jeanne Nolan’s captivating, beautifully written memoir-cum-gardening guide overflows with lessons learned, stories of honesty and insight, healing, and hope. Plus, the appendix unexpectedly, concisely, and brilliantly summarizes the essentials we all need to know for successfully growing our own organic vegetables.”

Rick Bayless, Chef and owner of Frontera Grill and host of Mexico: One Plate at a Time

“In bravely sharing her personal journey in her remarkable book, Jeanne gives each one of us a gift –one that has the power to motivate us to pursue the values we believe in, to free ourselves from convention, to be better parents, and to accept the love of family and community, however we define them. As a gardener, From the Ground Up resonates powerfully with me and inspires me to “double-dig” my garden bed, but even readers who keep their fingernails clean will benefit from this beautiful story and powerful message.”

Sophia Siskel, President & CEO, Chicago Botanic Garden

“Jeanne Nolan’s story is not only about how seeds blossom, but about how our own lives can blossom in the most unanticipated and beautiful ways. Although I’ve been thinking about the importance of food my entire professional life, Jeanne Nolan’s captivating book has helped me think about it and its role in our lives in an entirely new way, one that gives me hope we may someday solve problems of hunger and scarcity. If there’s ever been a book about how to change the world while changing your own life, From the Ground Up is it.”

Bill Shore, Founder and CEO of Share Our Strength

“Sometimes a garden is just a garden, but not for Jeanne Nolan. In From the Ground Up, she gives us a deeply personal account of finding her path in life through building urban gardens, and in Chicago, no less. Anyone with an interest, from casual to professional, in creating urban food systems and communities—or eating home-grown fresh vegetables—will be moved and inspired by her story.”

Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics

“Nolan’s enthusiasm for bettering the world is charming and infectious.”

Publishers Weekly

“But that’s just what From the Ground Up is. Jeanne’s personal journey is a richly observed saga set against the broad landscape of social and ecological change coming from a reawakened awareness about the food that must sustain us.”

Bill Kurtis, television journalist & founder of TALLGRASS BEEF

“We talk of ‘Farm to Table’ but not of ‘Child to Garden.’ Growing and harvesting your first vegetables forever stays in your memory and on your palate. Jeanne Nolan inspires us all to establish a truer connection to our food. I have never been more excited to get my hands dirty!”

Art Smith, Author of Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort

“To garden well is to question, to wonder, to believe, to hope, and to love. The same is true for living well. All this and more comes through in Jeanne Nolan’s quest to find her place in the world. This book reinforced my beliefs about the power of a garden to heal and opened my eyes to so much more. There is something to touch everyone along the way of this remarkable journey.”

Suzy Bales, author of Down-to-Earth Gardener