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the call of the land

Posted: January 1 2010

great new book:
The Call of the Land
Explores Surging Agrarian Movement
New book is “An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century”
“Food and farms are involved in a blitzkrieg of changes,” writes veteran journalist Steven McFadden in The Call of the Land, published this October by NorLightsPress. The book gives voice to a growing chorus of 21st century agrarians who are demonstrating a new vision for food and agriculture — a chorus that includes not just sustainable farmers and gardeners, but also Slow Food, Real Food, Locavore and food security activists in cities, suburbs, countryside, churches, companies, and campuses in North America.
Picking up where Food Inc., the recent documentary on the industrial food system leaves off, the tightly written, affordably priced primer presents basic theory and then offers readers dozens upon dozens of creative responses to the many challenges confronting our farms and food and to establishing a wide and wholesome culture of land and food security.
Subtitled “An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century,” the sourcebook documents a broad range of positive pathways to food security, economic stability, environmental health, and cultural renewal. To McFadden and others, the call of the land now is an SOS. The surging range of creative, innovative responses — from individuals, communities, cities, churches, colleges, and other institutions — is both practical and inspirational. These models can — and need to be — widely emulated now.
The new book features dozens upon dozens of positive pathways that can be emulated by households, neighborhoods, suburbs, cities, churches, schools, colleges and corporations. Because the book is a primer, is an ideal tool for educating both students and the general public about the many related positive possibilities in the realm of economy, environment, work, diet, and community integrity.
Among the positive solutions featured in the book:

· The Food Depot of Santa Fe, NM, encourages home gardeners to plant an extra row for the hungryand donate the produce to local food pantries.

· Canada’s City Farmer teaches people how to plant and harvest edible rooftops.

· A Pasadena, CA family’s urban homestead grows 6,000 pounds of produce on a mere fifth of an acre.

· Milwaukee’s Growing Power empowers inner-city youth to raise healthy foods and reduce their community’s risk of obesity and diabetes.

· American Farmland Trust protects over 1 million acres of farmland.

· Sharing Backyards in Vancouver, B.C., links property owners with landless gardeners.

· North American gardeners and farmers can extend the growing season with cold frames, hoop houses, and high tunnels.

· Farmers markets and CSAs can accept food stamps to increase access to fresh produce.

· Food-shed co-op distribution sites help small-scale farmers reach their markets while avoiding costly deliveries.

· Appalachia’s Growing Minds serves local foods in the schools, offers farm field trips and nutrition education, and hosts a school garden.

· Portland, OR’s Fruit Tree Project gathers untended fruit before it falls and donates the harvest to those who need it most.

Steven McFadden is co-author of Farms of Tomorrow (1991), America’s first book on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The volume helped inspire the movement to grow from two farms in the late 1980s to thousands, with hundreds of thousands of shareholders, in 2009. Whole Earth News named Farms of Tomorrow “the best book to access the CSA movement.”
Steven also coauthored the second book about CSAs -- Farms of Tomorrow Revisited (1998) which details the many lessons learned.
A journalism graduate of Boston University, McFadden also authored six other non-fiction titles, including: The Legend of the Rainbow Warriors; Profiles in Wisdom: Native Elders Speak About the Earth; and The Little Book of Native American Wisdom. His epic Odyssey of the 8th Fire chronicles a prophetic transcontinental walk in 1995-96 (www.8thFire.net).
A longtime resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, McFadden now resides in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is promoting The Call of the Land with his partner, writer and editor Elizabeth Wolf, founder of Good Medicine Media.
To order The Call of the Land:
For more information:
Author’s blog: http://www.thecalloftheland.com