From Publishers Weekly
Through the last decade the Northern Vermont town of Hardwick, population 3200, gradually evolved into a nationally respected source of local food and began to reap benefits. Hewitt, an area resident and family farmer, previously wrote about the area as a potential example of localized agriculture and economics, especially for a population whose residents' median income was below state average. But curiosity and healthy skepticism, along with his own investment, spurred him to this deeper investigation into the local personalities (and characters) driving the movement, and to observe, participate and reflect upon such odiferous activities as pig slaughtering. The resulting blend of analysis and reflection highlights the possibilities and perils of what Hewitt argues will impact the agricultural and economic future for better or worse. (Apr.)
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A microscopic burg in northern Vermont may just be the epicenter of a new food movement, a scenario that alternately amuses, enthuses, and enrages its 3,200 residents. With a hardscrabble reputation left over from its heyday as a mining metropolis, Hardwick has had to rely on a can-do/can-do-without stoicism before, though the current economic downturn is certainly testing its mettle. Enter a group of young, energetic agribusinessmen—agripreneurs is Hewitt’s newly minted term—whose vision for a revolutionary farm-to-table locavore movement aimed at turning Hardwick’s, and possibly the nation’s, food crisis around has captured national media attention and garnered local skepticism. The irony plays out in Hewitt’s beguiling profiles of the players at the heart and on the periphery of dovetailing associations; from the charismatic media darling who produces heirloom seeds to the craggy erstwhile hippie couple who offer a mobile slaughtering service. Adroitly balancing professional neutrality with personal commitment, Hewitt engagingly examines this paradigm shift in the way a community feeds its citizens. --Carol Haggas