Synopses & Reviews
"This outstanding and well-written compendium of insights and recommendations, of fervent idealism and practical solutions, is highly recommended."—Library Journal
Once we could fill our grocery carts with cheap and plentiful food, but not anymore. Cheap food has gone the way of cheap oil. Climate change is already reducing crop yields worldwide. The cost of flying in food from far away and shipping it across the country in refrigerated trucks is rapidly becoming unviable. Cars and cows increasingly devour grain harvests, sending prices skyrocketing. More Americans than ever before require food stamps and food pantries just to get by, and a worldwide food crisis is unfolding, overseas and in our kitchens.
We can keep hunger from stalking our families, but doing so will require a fundamental shift in our approach to field and table. A Nation of Farmers examines the limits and dangers of the globalized food system and shows how returning to the basics is our best hope. The book includes in-depth guidelines for:
- Creating resilient local food systems
- Growing, cooking, and eating sustainably and naturally
- Becoming part of the solution to the food crisis
The book argues that we need to make self-provisioning, once the most ordinary of human activities, central to our lives. The results will be better food, better health, better security, and freedom from corporations that don’t have our interests at heart.
This is critical reading for anyone who eats and cares about high-quality food.
Sharon Astyk farms in New York, and is the author of Depletion and Abundance.
Aaron Newton is a sustainable systems land planner in North Carolina, and is the founding editor of Groovy Green.
"Astyk (Depletion and Abundance) and Newton, both farmers and activists, think it's a 'Big Lie' to argue that Americans aren't ready for 'real and deep and radical change in our way of living.' Now, they insist, is the perfect time for a nation of producers fulfilling 'real needs rather than abstracted wants.' With links to global warming and coming energy shortages (they also subscribe to the Peak Oil theory), the food crisis they foresee demands a shift from industrial farming to sustainable agriculture, from a supermarket and fast-food mentality to a 'locavore' approach, and from an American diet dominated by meat to one rich in whole grains, potatoes, legumes, roots and vegetables. They finger factory farming as a major source of ecological damage and global economic disparity, likening the industry to Soviet collectives. The authors' radical plan calls for 50 to 100 million Americans to become subsistence farmers working their own small plots, resulting in 200 million relying solely on organic food grown nearby, and huge savings in resources and health care. Naturally, this is a decidedly Utopian vision with long odds against it, but Astyk and Newton offer a solid, thought-provoking challenge to conventional wisdom about Americans' lifestyle and capacity for change." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The new food security - look no further than your own backyard.
About the Author
Sharon Astyk is a former academic who is a writer, subsistence farmer, parent, activist and prolific blogger (www.sharonastyk.com and http://henandharvest.com/). She farms in upstate New York with her husband and four children, raises livestock, and grows and preserves vegetables. She is the author of Depletion and Abundance, and co-author of A Nation of Farmers. Aaron Newton is a sustainable land planner and director of environmental programs at Outdoor Living, a design firm in NC. He is the founding editor of Groovy Green, an Internet magazine and has a large following on his weblog. He speaks on issues of sustainability.