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Publisher's Summary

The story of the "Lentil Underground" begins on a 280-acre homestead rooted in America's Great Plains: the Oien family farm. Forty years ago, corporate agribusiness told small farmers like the Oiens to "get big or get out." But 27-year-old David Oien decided to take a stand, becoming the first in his conservative Montana county to plant a radically different crop: organic lentils.

Unlike the chemically dependent grains American farmers had been told to grow, lentils make their own fertilizer and tolerate variable climate conditions, so their farmers aren't beholden to industrial methods. Today, Oien leads an underground network of organic farmers who work with heirloom seeds and biologically diverse farm systems. Under the brand Timeless Natural Food, their unique business-cum-movement has grown into a million dollar enterprise that sells to Whole Foods, hundreds of independent natural foods stores, and a host of renowned restaurants.

From the heart of Big Sky Country comes this inspiring story of a handful of colorful pioneers who have successfully bucked the chemically based food chain and the entrenched power of agribusiness's one percent. Journalist Liz Carlisle weaves an eye-opening and richly reported narrative that will be welcomed by everyone concerned with the future of American agriculture.

©2015 Elizabeth Carlisle (P)2017 Tantor

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Fingers on the pulse of sustainable ag

Lentils. Not what most would consider an incredibly exciting topic. HOWEVER, Dr. Liz Carlisle takes you on an amazing journey that will leave you simmering for weeks. It's not often you get to peel back the facade and peer into the inner workings of American farms struggling to deal with a myriad of economic and ecological challenges. In this book the author immerses you in a way that leaves you emotionally invested in the well-being of the people, soil, and lentils you meet along the way. Highly recommend.