Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America
Author: Liz Carlisle
Category: Social Science
A protégé of Michael Pollan shares the story of a little known group of renegade farmers who defied corporate agribusiness by launching a unique sustainable farm-to-table food movement. The story of the Lentil Underground begins on a 280-acre homestead rooted in America’s Great Plains: the Oien family farm. Forty years ago, corporate agribusiness told small farmers like the Oiens to “get big or get out.” But twenty-seven-year-old David Oien decided to take a stand, becoming the first in his conservative Montana county to plant a radically different crop: organic lentils. Unlike the chemically dependent grains American farmers had been told to grow, lentils make their own fertilizer and tolerate variable climate conditions, so their farmers aren’t beholden to industrial methods. Today, Oien leads an underground network of organic farmers who work with heirloom seeds and biologically diverse farm systems. Under the brand Timeless Natural Food, their unique business-cum-movement has grown into a million dollar enterprise that sells to Whole Foods, hundreds of independent natural foods stores, and a host of renowned restaurants. From the heart of Big Sky Country comes this inspiring story of a handful of colorful pioneers who have successfully bucked the chemically-based food chain and the entrenched power of agribusiness’s one percent, by stubbornly banding together. Journalist and native Montanan Liz Carlisle weaves an eye-opening and richly reported narrative that will be welcomed by everyone concerned with the future of American agriculture and natural food in an increasingly uncertain world.
Food Science: An Ecological Approach presents the field of food science—the study of the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food, and the concepts underlying food processing—in a fresh, approachable manner that places it in the context of the world in which we live today.
In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is the story of how a grassroots revolution--a true underground insurgency--can save the planet, help reduce and reverse climate change, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food. Using his personal experience as a touchstone--from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health--Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. With evocative stories, he shows how other innovative and courageous farmers are finding a new way. At stake is not only a revolution in human health and in our communities, but the very survival of the planet. For farmers, backyard gardeners, food buyers, health workers, policy makers, and public leaders alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward and a powerful and moving paean of hope. It's not too late to regenerate the earth. Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our planet, and our health.
In his latest book, Mesquite, Gary Paul Nabhan employs humor and contemplative reflection to convince readers that they have never really glimpsed the essence of what he calls "arboreality." As a Franciscan brother and ethnobotanist who has often mixed mirth with earth, laughter with landscape, food with frolic, Nabhan now takes on a large, many-branched question: What does it means to be a tree, or, accordingly, to be in a deep and intimate relationship with one? To answer this question, Nabhan does not disappear into a forest but exposes himself to some of the most austere hyper-arid terrain on the planet--the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts along the US/Mexico border--where even the most ancient perennial plants are not tall and thin, but stunted and squat. There, in desert regions that cover more than a third of our continent, mesquite trees have become the staff of life, not just for indigenous cultures, but for myriad creatures, many of which respond to these "nurse plants" in wildly intelligent and symbiotic ways. In this landscape, where Nabhan claims that nearly every surviving being either sticks, stinks, stings, or sings, he finds more lives thriving than you could ever shake a stick at. As he weaves his arid yarns, we suddenly realize that our normal view of the world has been turned on its head: where we once saw scarcity, there is abundance; where we once perceived severity, there is whimsy. Desert cultures that we once assumed lived in "food deserts" are secretly savoring a most delicious world. Drawing on his half-century of immersion in desert ethnobotany, ecology, linguistics, agroforestry, and eco-gastronomy, Nabhan opens up for us a hidden world that we had never glimpsed before. Along the way, he explores the sensuous reality surrounding this most useful and generous tree. Mesquite is a book that will delight mystics and foresters, naturalists and foodies. It combines cutting-edge science with a generous sprinkling of humor and folk wisdom, even including traditional recipes for cooking with mesquite.
A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food
Author: Bob Quinn
Category: Health & Fitness
"A compelling agricultural story skillfully told; environmentalists will eat it up." - Kirkus Reviews When Bob Quinn was a kid, a stranger at a county fair gave him a few kernels of an unusual grain. Years later, it would become the centerpiece of his multimillion dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International. How Bob went from being a true believer in better farming through chemistry to a leading proponent of organics is the unlikely story of Grain by Grain. Along the way, readers will learn how ancient wheat can lower inflammation, how regenerative agriculture can bring back rural jobs, and how combining time-tested farming practices with modern science can point the way for the future of food.
Patrick Leigh Fermor and the Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis
Author: Wes Davis
Publisher: Random House
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In the bleakest years of the Second World War when it appeared that nothing could slow the advance of the German army, Hitler set his sights on the Mediterranean island of Crete, the ideal staging ground for domination of the Middle East. But German command had not counted on the strength of the Cretan resistance or the eccentric band of British intelligence officers who would stand in their way, conducting audacious sabotage operations in the very shadow of the Nazi occupation force. The Ariadne Objective tells the remarkable story of the secret war on Crete from the perspective of these amateur soldiers who found themselves serving because, as one of them put it, they had made 'the obsolete choice of Greek at school'. John Pendlebury, a swashbuckling archaeologist with a glass eye and a swordstick; Xan Fielding, a writer who would later produce the English translations of books like Bridge on the River Kwai and Planet of the Apes; Sandy Rendel, a future Times reporter, who prided himself on a disguise that left him looking more ragged and fierce than the Cretans he fought alongside; and Patrick Leigh Fermor, the future travel-writing luminary who, as a teenager in the early 1930s, walked across Europe, a continent already beginning to feel the effects of Hitler's rise to power. Having infiltrated occupied Crete, these British gentleman spies teamed with Cretan partisans to carry out a cunning plan to disrupt Nazi manoeuvres, culminating in a daring, high-risk plot to abduct the island’s German commander. In this thrilling and little known episode of Second World War history, Wes Davis paints a brilliant portrait of some extraordinary characters and tells a story of triumph against all the odds.