Everyone, Farm Together Now! (Book Review)
Inspirational, informational and just a pleasure to hold, thumb through, or sit with and read more slowly, Farm Together Now by Chronicle Books catalogs the diversity of small farms and food producers across the United States.
In interviews and photographs, plus a forward by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, authors Amy Franceschini, Daniel Tucker, and photographer Anne Hamersky, compelling chronicles the variety of ways in which Americans are attempting to restructure the nations food production and distribution system, even if in some cases in small ways.
Twenty individual farms are divided into ten subsections covering different aspects of the new food movement: Small farms organizing alongside conventional industrial farms, people living in intentional, largely self-sufficient communities, groups farming on donated land and working within the community supported agriculture system, and much more are all covered. Most of the time I have nits to pick with most books that come across my desk for review, but with Farm Together Now I just don't. Within the boundaries that this book isn't a textbook on sustainable farming, or a manual on how to replicate the successes documented within its nearly 200 pages, Farm Together Now belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in sustainable farming and wanting a glimpse of what the future of food may well look like.
I assume you know the score regarding our broken food system in the US if you're a regular TreeHugger reader, but Mark Bittman (from the foreward) gives a good lay of the land:
There is a fundamental process in producing fundamentally good ingredients--those raised, to use a clichéd but appropriate phrase, in harmony with nature. That process, of course, is farming. But producing real ingredients takes a special kind of farming, and the farming that dominated the landscape by the 1960s...has raped the land, tortured animals, exploited workers, and disregarded the needs of consumers, all while producing inferior food. We need to do exactly the opposite, and part of the way the American food landscape has changed, and the greatest hope for the future, is the dedication of new farmers who've recognized that, committed to it, and become the new pioneers. These are the farmers who speak here.
Farm Together Now is available now from Chronicle Books or from your favorite local bookseller.
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More on Sustainable Farming:
In Recycling Our Poop Key to Sustainable Farming?
Is Industrial Monoculture the Real Path to Sustainable Farming?
The World Needs a Farming Revolution! Declares UN Report
Organic Farming Could Stop Global Climate Change