Synopses & Reviews
Over the past few 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. The Town That Food Saved is rich with appealing, colorful characters, from the optimistic upstarts creating a new agricultural model to the long-established farmers wary of the rapid change in the region.
Hewitt, a journalist and Vermonter, delves deeply into the repercussions of this groundbreaking approach to growing food, both its astounding successes and potential limitations. The captivating story of an unassuming community and its extraordinary determination to build a vibrant local food system, The Town That Food Saved is grounded in ideas that will revolutionize the way we eat and, quite possibly, the way we live.
"Through the last decade the Northern Vermont town of Hardwick, population 3200, gradually evolved into a nationally respected source of 'local food' and began to reap benefits. Hewitt, an area resident and family farmer, previously wrote about the area as a potential example of localized agriculture and economics, especially for a population whose residents' median income was below state average. But curiosity and healthy skepticism, along with his own investment, spurred him to this deeper investigation into the local personalities (and characters) driving the movement, and to observe, participate and reflect upon such odiferous activities as pig slaughtering. The resulting blend of analysis and reflection highlights the possibilities and perils of what Hewitt argues will impact the agricultural and economic future for better or worse." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This book is useful because it raises numerous questions about the practicalities and efficiencies of local food production—but also provides solutions and examples of success in small-scale agriculture. It begins to answer the questions Hewitt poses as they relate to Hardwick, and as they relate to the rest of us."- Leah Douglas, SeriousEats.com
“Hewitt is an amiable skeptic and a storyteller of rare skill who seems incapable of crafting
a dull sentence.” TheAtlantic.com “these pages are full of characters: charismatic leaders, philosophers, quiet activists. Its a brave
and well-reported book; these are, after all, his neighbors.” Los Angeles Times
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.
Over the past three years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical 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. Hewitt tells its important story.
About the Author
BEN HEWITT was born in northwestern Vermont and raised in a two-room cabin; his father was a poet and his mother worked on a nearby dairy farm. He now lives with his wife and two sons on a diversified, 40-acre farm in Vermont, where they produce dairy, beef, pork, lamb, vegetables, and berries. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Best Life, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times Magazine, Outside, and Skiing.