“The Town that Food Saved – How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food” by Ben Hewitt.

I’m posting this in honor of the First Annual Tour de Farm New Jersey. Someone forwarded me an e-mail about this event, and I realized that the cyclists would pass through my township, stopping at Sahl Farm which is two miles east of my home. What is the Tour de Farm? It’s a bicycle tour intended to support NJ agriculture and learn about New Jersey farming. The tour was supposed to get to Sahl Farm at 4 pm. I got there – not much was happening. I chatted with the farmer and then with the driver of the “sag wagon”, the vehicle that saves the day if bikes break down or muscles fail to cooperate.

Our conversation wandered to Vermont, and I mentioned the book which is the subject of this post. I read it in August of 2010. My thoughts at that time…

Very scary book. I never watched Al Gore’s A Simple Truth, but I would say this is on a par with it.

We could have a food crisis.

We have seen the price of gas run wild, the housing market implode and unemployment soar. Yes, our ‘food system’ could get messed up.

Should I stockpile food?

There’s lots more to this book. The town of Hardwick, Vermont, has struggled with loss of industry and the difficulty of farming Vermont’s rocky hills. One Amazon reviewer says the book “…made me think — really think — about reasonable scale and the importance of pulling local food down from its elite and expensive status”.

Lately I’m hearing lots of buzz about organic farming and local food. I may give this book a second read.


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