Monday, November 29, 2010

the town that food saved

I'm currently reading a fairly new book called The Town that Food Saved by Ben Hewitt. It is fantastic. It's about a small, rural, once-industrial town in Northern Vermont and how it totally revived itself by creating a culture and community of local food. It's the potion of the combined efforts of farmers, compost centers, restaurants, CSA, markets and Co-ops. By creating a true community based on a local system, the little town of Hardwick is creating the most necessary model for America: a local economy focused on feeding itself.

What's so great about this book is that it is a living example of what so many of us are trying to create in our own communities, and instead of just another binding preaching to the choir about the importance of local and organic foods: Ben shows us how the practical application of so many efforts are working. It's 223 pages of walking the walk so many of us are just starting to talk about. It's comforting, hell, it's inspiring to know this corner of the world might change the rest of it.

You gotta pick it up.

14 Comments:

Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

Have you read "Deep Economy" by Bill McKibben? He lays out the importance of local economies and it sounds like this town has figured out how to do it. I highly recommend McKibben's book. It's really thought provoking and inspiring.

November 29, 2010 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I almost ordered it from Rodale last week but decided to wait until just before Christmas. It will be a present for me under my tree. I just finished Farm City and The Bucolic Plague.

November 29, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I have a copy of Deep Economy, and shamefully have yet to read it. But I will!

November 29, 2010 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

I'm so glad you mentioned this because it's been on my list and I keep forgetting to request it at the library! It was always checked out before.

November 29, 2010 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger girlandcat5 said...

I have been meaning to pick this book up, hopefully I can this weekend. Jenna I just wanted to say thank you for this blog. I know lately some post here have been kind of negative and I just wanted to remind you that the vast majority of us are just happy that we get a window into life at CAF. I have been reading about your journey since you were back in Idaho, and I am in awe of how far you have come. Checking in has become second nature to me, like tonight, it is just after midnight and I just got home from working hours of holiday season retail in NYC and am tense and cranky and the first thing I do when I sit down is come here to see what is new. Reading about your successes and struggles gives me hope that my dream of a few acres of land, a garden and some animals can come true. In a few weeks I am leaving New York and moving to a small town in Michigan's upper peninsula, in what I hope is the first step toward making that dream a reality. Deep down I always knew it was what I wanted, but I can honestly say that without you as an inspiration I don't know that I ever would have given it a try, so thanks. -Heather

November 30, 2010 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

I saw something about this town awhile ago on TV, I think, or read about it. Anyway- I thought it was pretty inspiring.

November 30, 2010 at 1:32 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

I actually have this book sitting on my coffee table ready to be read. I have a couple of books before that and then I will get into it.

November 30, 2010 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Chestnut Farm said...

Just ordered it today! Can't wait to read it!

November 30, 2010 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Ginny said...

cute dude on the cover. Is he taken? Jenna?

November 30, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

haha, he's married with kids.

November 30, 2010 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Don & Laura said...

Jenna, Thanks for the lead on this book. I definitely will have to get it.
Heather, let me be the first to welcome you to the UP!

November 30, 2010 at 4:22 PM  
OpenID themorningstarblog said...

I read it this past summer and thought it was great! I loved how he explored the different views of the movement (specifically the idea that some aspects of it, however "trendy" or popular, may still be just as unsustainable as the old ways). He was of the mind that we need it all, even if it isn't perfect. I happen to agree with him, but I am glad he explored the idea that we need a lot more than just new ways to make cheese. It was also great to read because we buy most of our seeds from High Mowing Seeds.

November 30, 2010 at 7:19 PM  
OpenID themorningstarblog said...

Came across this today:

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/articles/2010/12/01/advice_to_new_farmers_from_tom_stearns/?camp=misc:on:share:article

December 1, 2010 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Knute Rife said...

In my not-so-humble opinion, this is the sort of sustainable and independent life the "Food Safety Modernization Act" is intended to destroy.

December 6, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

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