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'Growing a Farm City' to pique interest in Missoula, site of June conference

Posted: January 16 2011
Missoula is featured in 'Growing a Garden City' by Jeremy Smith. The
review here, courtesy of Dan Sullivan, managing editor of BioCycle
magazine (www.biocycle.net) will run in the January issue.
"Nestled into Montana’s Bitterroot Mountain range, the picturesque
town of Missoula belies a community wracked by recent
double-digit unemployment, where many residents fall
below the poverty line and some even lack a place to live...
Single moms struggle to put food on their families’ tables, troubled teens grapple with staying in school and out of the court system, and lines at local soup kitchens may stretch for blocks. Jeremy Smith’s “Growing a Garden City” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2010) is at once a how-to manual and collection of personal narratives that tell the story of how Missoula has met these challenges head-on with imagination and heart, learning to feed itself wholesome, local and organically grown produce through a patchwork of community farms/gardens cum social-service and educational projects. Under the umbrella of “Garden City Harvest” — a moniker reflecting the town’s historic roots as an agricultural cornucopia due to it’s relatively mild climate compared to the rest of the state —staff, volunteers, college students and court-appointed community service youth produce tens of thousands of pounds of food for the traditionally underserved while building meaningful relationships between people and with the natural environment.
Projects described include a student-run farm in partnership with the University of Montana; community gardens and neighborhood farms where residents can rent a garden plot for a nominal fee and have access to tools, water, compost and the knowledge of others; a youth work-therapy program, and extensive community education. Peppered with photographs illustrating the various programs taken by collaborators Chad Harder and Sepp Jannotta and stories by the participants themselves, a compelling forward by Bill McKibben and dust jacket endorsement by Jane Goodall, among others, Growing a Garden City will both inspire and teach anyone interested in food justice, food literacy, food security and community building. “I love this book,” Goodall gushes. “It proves that every one of us, and every patch of soil, can make a difference. The way we connect with nature, with our food and with each other can change the world.”
red hook, new york