A Call to Farms: Reconnecting to Nature, Food, and Community in a Modern World (Hardcover)

A Call to Farms: Reconnecting to Nature, Food, and Community in a Modern World By Jennifer Grayson Cover Image
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Hope for the future lies with a new generation of regenerative farmers. 

Within a decade, nearly half of all American farmland will change hands as an older generation of farmers steps aside. In their place, a groundswell of new growers will face numerous challenges, including soil degradation, insufficient income, and investors devouring farmland at a staggering pace. These new farmers are embracing regenerative agriculture—the holistic approach to growing food that restores the soil and biodiversity—in the movement to reclaim our health and the planet’s. But can their efforts help reverse an epidemic of diet-related disease, food inequality, and even climate change?             

To answer that question and more, award-winning journalist Jennifer Grayson embedded herself in a groundbreaking farmer training program, then embarked on this investigative journey. The diverse array of farmers, graziers, and food activists whom she profiles here are working toward better, more sustainable foodways for all. From a one-acre market garden in Oregon to activists reviving food sovereignty in South Carolina, A Call to Farms tells the captivating story of these new agrarians finding hope and purpose in reconnecting to the land and striving to improve the future of American food.

About the Author

Jennifer Grayson is a journalist and the author of Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy, which won the Society of Environmental Journalists Rachel Carson Environment Book Award and a Nautilus Book Award. She has been featured on MSNBC, NPR, WGN-TV, and other media outlets and has written for the Los Angeles TimesUSA Today, and the Washington Post. For the Huffington Post, she wrote the long-running “Innovation Earth” and “Eco Etiquette” columns. A graduate of a Rogue Farm Corps intership program in sustainable agriculture, she lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and two daughters.

Praise For…

A Call to Farms is a pivotal exploration into the heart of the new agrarian lifestyle, a topic close to my own journey. Grayson captures the essence of what it means to be a modern, small-scale farmer, intertwining the challenges and triumphs faced by those committed to nurturing the land. Her eloquent narrative not only highlights the importance of sustainable practices but also celebrates the joy and satisfaction found in this crucial work. This book is an essential read for anyone passionate about the earth, its caretakers, and the sustainable-food movement.

— JM FORTIER, author of The Market Gardener and advocate for small-scale organic agriculture

A Call to Farms is a transformative act of journalism. An eloquent page-turner, it erases shopworn stereotypes of farms and farmers, gracefully leading into a boots-on, magical culture crucial to the well-being of society, the land, and our future.

— PAUL HAWKEN, New York Times–bestselling author of Regeneration and Drawdown

Food, farming, and a purposeful life all come together in this inspiring tour that visits America’s new generation of regenerative pioneers.
— DAVID R. MONTGOMERY, MacArthur fellow, author of Growing a Revolution, and coauthor of What Your Food Ate

In this deeply inspiring book, Jennifer Grayson examines the motives, practices, problems, and successes of a diverse collection of young, small-scale farmers growing food sustainably and achieving enormous satisfaction and joy in the process. The farmers provide abundant reasons for hope in the future of food that’s healthier for producers, people, and the planet. If you’re looking for hope, here it is.
— MARION NESTLE, PHD, MPH, professor emerita of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and author of Slow Cooked: An Unexpected Life in Food Politics

A Call to Farms makes the case for the urgent necessity to return to organic, regenerative agriculture, as it was prior to the introduction of GMOs and chemical inputs. As Jennifer Grayson persuasively and authentically explains, as we restore the terrain, we will restore our own health.

— MICHELLE PERRO, MD, integrative physician, cofounder and CEO of GMOScience.org, and author of What’s Making Our Children Sick?

This is a wonderful book, perhaps a milestone in the gathering movement for a sane, agroecological food system. Each chapter is its own little jewel, glinting with the joy and energy of people finding connection among land, food, and community. Bittersweet jewels they are, though, because Jennifer Grayson knows the painful histories that have sundered these connections and still are shaping our world. That she can face this squarely while conveying such hope is a testament to her skills as a writer and also to the power of the new stories that the farmers whom she describes are writing.
— CHRIS SMAJE, author of A Small Farm Future and Saying No to a Farm-Free Future

In this vibrant report . . . Grayson provides colorful accounts of the farmers’ life stories . . . a spirited look at the lives of small, eco-conscious farmers.
— Publishers Weekly

[Turning] to Grayson’s book is like taking a sunny walk on the first spring day after a long, harsh winter. Yet her mostly upbeat profiles play out within a grim subtext. In the coming decade, she writes in the introduction, nearly half of all U.S. farmland will be up for grabs as current owners retire or die. In each of the 10 chapters of A Call to Farms, Grayson delivers richly reported profiles of projects meant to overcome these challenges…But Grayson never loses sight of the harsh economic realities — high land and labor costs, price-sensitive consumers — that make such projects so rare and economically vulnerable. Nor does she focus solely on the latest generation of white back-to-the-landers. A Call to Farms features sensitive portraits of the people behind Black Snake Farm, a cooperative tribal-led operation that arose during the pandemic to supply vegetables and meat to the Catawba Nation in South Carolina; and FarmaSis, a farmer-incubator program for Black women, also in South Carolina.

— Los Angeles Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9781682688465
ISBN-10: 1682688461
Publisher: Countryman Press
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English

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