Right here in my very own backyard, something extremely cool has been going on. We're so lucky to live in an area with a wide array of fairly new food-related businesses that are forward-thinking, sustainable, and - well - getting a lot of media attention, frankly. It's been written up in The New York Times, Gourmet, and more, and Emeril Lagasse himself paid a visit here to film an episode of Emeril Green. And now there's a book about the tiny hamlet of Hardwick that is my stomping grounds.
I first met Ben Hewitt, an off-the-grid homesteader and author of the newly-released The Town That Food Saved when we were looking for a tractor two years ago. He had one listed on craigslist that my husband thought sounded promising, and we ended up buying it from him and enjoying a delicious (homegrown, of course) supper at his house with his lovely family.
The Town That Food Saved takes an honest, open-eyed look at the proliferation of value-added food businesses in our area - everything from organic seeds to compost to award-winning artisanal cheeses - and asks all the hard questions. It's tough not to be excited about what's going on in Hardwick, though, and in the end, Hewitt is optimistic about this little town's attempts to shift food production to a new, local and collaborative model.
It's a great read. And not just because I know the author and most of the characters.
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber.