Over the past several years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of three thousand 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, Applecheek 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, meeting regularly to share advice, equipment, and business plans and to loan each other capital. Hardwick is fast becoming a model for other communities hoping to replicate its success. 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.
I started listening to this book and for the first hour or so, wasn't sure what I had gotten myself in for. It seemed (and maybe still seems, I'm not sure) a big advert for this town. However, Ben really does explore some really interesting and worthwhile questions about the whole local food economy idea that other books (including Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle) simply don't cover. Its very much an in depth view and discussion of what local food really means, what impact that has and what it means to this one small town. And Arthur (whose accent I didn't at first like and then it grew on me over time, really fitting the words from the mouths of some of the locals) really added character to each of the different people in the story, making them very distinct and separate from each other. All in all, a very good (and different book), well orated and well written.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful