The Town That Food Saved
How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
By Ben Hewitt
(Rodale Press, Hardcover, 9781605296869, 234pp.)
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. Author Ben Hewitt presents 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.
Utilizing a combination of permaculture design, wildcrafting, and small-scale regenerative agriculture they call practiculture, the Hewitt family raises and forages better than 90% of their calories, with a focus on pastured meats, healthy fats, and fermented vegetables. They also produce all of their lumber and firewood, and practice traditional land skills such as hide tanning and basket making.
The Hewitts consult frequently on homestead-scale production and processing of nutrient dense foods, as well as homestead planning, design, and implementation. They also run Lazy Mill Living Arts (www.lazymilllivingarts.com), which offers workshops in a wide variety of traditional land skills.
Ben is the author of four other books, includingThe Town That Food SavedandHome Grown. He blogs atwww.benhewitt.net.