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For twelve consecutive months, author Brian Bender lived a nomadic life on small organic farms across the United States. Leaving behind a teaching career, he hopped from farm to farm through an organization called WWOOF: World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Farming Around the Country reveals the humor and hardship of life dominated by a revolving door of farm animals, injuries, eccentric farmers, and unexpected wisdom. The heart of this story lies with the unusual people and tasks on each farm. Bender entered his year of transformation as a high school science teacher and came out educated in the ways of sustainable living and human happiness.
Farmers' Markets: Success, Failure and Management Ecology is the only book presently available that investigates the current phenomenal growth of farmers' markets in the U.S. The research is a reflection of a period marked by growing consumer interest in locally produced foods, a resistance toward a globalizing food system, and seemingly boundless interest in and support for farmers' markets. Using an ecological approach, the book explores historic trends related to growth and decline in market numbers, examines the management organization associated with markets of specific sizes, analyzes the characteristics and issues associated with markets that fail, and offers a model that illustrates how farmers' market organizers successfully adapt to barriers and challenges in their environment. The book engages a node in the food system that has implications for the economic health of small farms and the social and economic life of communities. The book incorporates both the academic and the practical. It will be an important reference to students and researchers across disciplines with interests in food system research, as well as practitioners managing or working with farmers' markets. As an applied study, the book provides information and recommendations to assist markets with decision making and strategic planning. Although the focus of this research is on one area in the United States, the findings have broad application. The foreword to this study is by distinguished scholar and food system analyst, Gail Feenstra of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) at the University of California, Davis.
"Now more than ever, we need to make decisions about cooking and eating that support the kind of agriculture that takes care of the land we hold in trust for future generations. This beautiful book, full of recipes for delicious, seasonal meals, is a tribute to the Marin County farmers, artisans, and cooks who uphold that stewardship and provid for our future." --Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Restaurant "Organic Marin" gives you a taste of what has become one of America's most vibrant local food scenes; indeed, this beautiful book is the next best thing to eating there." --Michael Pollan, author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food" "Every society is a direct reflection of the status of its soil . . . Everything comes from soil. We are nothing without it." --Helge Hellberg, executive director of Marin Organic "Organic Marin" is more than a regional cookbook. It also represents an organic movement reverberating around the globe, demanding a more thoughtful, less wasteful approach to life. The connection between field and farmer, land and table, and food and family translates to the passionate belief that food fosters community. And nowhere is this connection more apparent than in Marin County, California, the birthplace and standard-bearer of American organic farming. In "Organic Marin," 16 of America's most esteemed organic farms share their stories and philosophies alongside 50 mouthwatering organic recipes organized by season and contributed by 25 of the San Francisco Bay Area's most popular organic restaurants. With recipes for Heirloom Tomato Flat Bread, Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Slaw, Chicken Fra Diavolo with Fennel and Dandelion Salad, Double ChocolateBread Pudding, and much more, anyone can create the delicious dishes featured in this beautiful and inspiring organic cookbook. Proceeds of "Organic Marin" support Marin Organic's school lunch program, which serves 12,000 lunches a week with food grown in Marin County.
This comprehensive guide to farmstead cheese explains the diversity of cheeses in terms of historical animal husbandry, pastures, climate, preservation, and transport-all of which still contribute to the uniqueness of farm cheeses today. Discover the composition of milk (and its seasonal variations), starter cultures, and the chemistry of cheese. The book includes: A fully illustrated guide to basic cheesemakingDiscussions on the effects of calcium, pH, salt, and moisture on the processWays to ensure safety and quality through sampling and risk reductionMethods for analyzing the resulting composition... The Vermont Cheese Council is a nonprofit organization whose support of more than dozen Vermont cheesemakers contributes to a vision for continued agricultural practices and the preservation of Vermont's rural landscape. For those who want to quit their boring jobs and do something that will make their lives meaningful, here's the book. Paul Kindstedt must be considered an American treasure. Of all the books in my possession, this one is now the most important.