From Publishers Weekly
81597265REVIEW:Arguing for a systematic overhaul to the modern American way of growing and processing their food, city planner Nordahl condemns "petrophile agribusiness" as no less than a threat to national security. To combat the growing crisis in health and consumption, Nordhal advocates a common-sense reassessment of local food practices, in which forgotten public spaces like empty lots and curbsides are reclaimed and seeded with fruits and vegetables; public gardens and parks, too, can easily blend aesthetically pleasing plant-life with functional food producers. Considering practical questions of policy and maintenance, Nordahl introduces innovative ways to feed a locality while helping "build revenue and community pride"; he cites cases like U.C. Davis, where groundskeepers transformed the campus's problematic olive trees (a perennial, path-slicking hazard for bicycles) into a profitable olive oil label. The paradigm shifts necessary to transform a community's relationship to agriculture are, in Nordhal's explanation, simpler than most would think, beginning with easy steps like public "food festivals" and city measures encouraging the planting of fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Nordhal's vision of a quiet revolution is vividly outlined in this volume, which should doubtless catch on among the slow food, locavore, and community gardening movements.
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"Darrin Nordahl, director of Iowa's Davenport Design Center, has written a paean to urban agriculture in Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture. Nordahl is an advocate of "fresh produce grown on public land, and thus available to all members of the public-for gathering or gleaning, for purchase or trade." Nordahl deals effectively with issues such as food literacy, maintenance, and aesthetics."
"This vital book shows how growing food on public land can transform our civic landscape, sprouting the seeds of biodiversity, sustainability, and community."
(Alice Waters Chez Panisse)
"A thought-provoking work about the food-producing potential of urban public space, and a worthwhile read for everyone who does food policy work."
(Benjamin Thomases Food Policy Coordinator, City of New York)
"Nordahl is a visionary who shows how easily cities could promote urban agriculture to the great benefit of all concerned. This book is at the cutting edge of today’s food revolution. Read it and get your city council to sign up!"
(Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU; author of What to Eat)
"What Darrin Nordahl envisions in this lively book is nothing short of a revolutionary way of seeing cities, a kind of edible urbanism. This is a book that will likely shape the urban agenda for years to come."
(Timothy Beatley Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia)
"Public Produce is a wonderful primer for students, planners, designers, and activists for food security and urban produce. Nordahl's personal and down-to-earth style will educate and inspire the average citizen interested in food policy or urban design, and his expertise in urban issues will give clarity to professional planners and designers on this complex subject."
(ASLA Book Review)