The Town That Food Saved
How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
By Ben Hewitt
(Rodale Books, Hardcover, 9781605296869, 256pp.)
Publication Date: March 16, 2010
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Over the past 3 years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of 3,000 residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America. Even as the recent financial downturn threatens to cripple small businesses and privately owned farms, a stunning number of food-based businesses have grown in the region—Vermont Soy, Jasper Hill Farm, Pete's Greens, Patchwork Farm & Bakery, Apple Cheek Farm, Claire's Restaurant and Bar, and Bonnieview Farm, to name only a few. The mostly young entrepreneurs have created a network of community support; they meet regularly to share advice, equipment, and business plans, and to loan each other capital. Hardwick is fast becoming a model for other communities to replicate its success. The captivating story of a small town coming back to life, The Town That Food Saved is narrative nonfiction at its best: full of colorful characters and grounded in an idea that will revolutionize the way we eat.
BEN HEWITT was born in northwestern Vermont and raised in a two-room cabin; his father was a poet and his mother worked on a nearby dairy farm. He now lives with his wife and two sons on a diversified, 40-acre farm in Vermont, where they produce dairy, beef, pork, lamb, vegetables, and berries. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Best Life, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times Magazine, Outside, and Skiing.
"This book is useful because it raises numerous questions about the practicalities and efficiencies of local food production—but also provides solutions and examples of success in small-scale agriculture. It begins to answer the questions Hewitt poses as they relate to Hardwick, and as they relate to the rest of us."- Leah Douglas, SeriousEats.com