• The Town That Food Saved

  • How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
  • By: Ben Hewitt
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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The Town That Food Saved

By: Ben Hewitt
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
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Publisher's Summary

Over the past several years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of three thousand residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America. Even as the recent financial downturn threatens to cripple small businesses and privately owned farms, a stunning number of food-based businesses have grown in the region — Vermont Soy, Jasper Hill Farm, Pete’s Greens, Patchwork Farm & Bakery, Applecheek Farm, Claire’s Restaurant and Bar, and Bonnieview Farm, to name only a few. 

The mostly young entrepreneurs have created a network of community support, meeting regularly to share advice, equipment, and business plans and to loan each other capital. Hardwick is fast becoming a model for other communities hoping to replicate its success. The captivating story of a small town coming back to life, The Town That Food Saved is narrative nonfiction at its best, full of colorful characters and grounded in an idea that will revolutionize the way we eat.

©2009 Ben Hewitt (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A pleasurable, almost gossipy read.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“The literary tone and humor make this book more accessible and entertaining.” (School Library Journal)

“Adroitly balancing professional neutrality with personal commitment, Hewitt engagingly examines this paradigm shift in the way a community feeds its citizens.” (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Town That Food Saved

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Trepidation turned to intruige

I started listening to this book and for the first hour or so, wasn't sure what I had gotten myself in for. It seemed (and maybe still seems, I'm not sure) a big advert for this town. However, Ben really does explore some really interesting and worthwhile questions about the whole local food economy idea that other books (including Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle) simply don't cover. Its very much an in depth view and discussion of what local food really means, what impact that has and what it means to this one small town. And Arthur (whose accent I didn't at first like and then it grew on me over time, really fitting the words from the mouths of some of the locals) really added character to each of the different people in the story, making them very distinct and separate from each other. All in all, a very good (and different book), well orated and well written.

4 people found this helpful

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Before you travel there

This is a fun story if you're familiar with the north country, aka the North East. The story doesn't really get started until after chapter 4, and there's a lot of repetition with philosophies of small farms etc. Overall, I enjoyed it and will visit soon.

1 person found this helpful

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This was not something I would listen to again

This book was not something that I had a real desire to listen too. some of the concepts were interesting, but not a real interesting book overall

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting story

Enjoyed the anecdotes, stories, and lessons. The insights into the numbers was helpful. And the reading was very relaxing

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Thoughtful analysis

Examines the wider problems of food security. I'm already aware but this added answers.

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Must read!

Perhaps lacking the swagger of Omnivore’s Dilemma, or the art of Wendell Berry, I will argue that this unassuming work is as good and just as important. With a humility at once intentional and genuine (no small feat!) Hewitt guides us through an amazingly clear view of one community’s efforts and struggles to redefine the “local” food system. How did I not find this book for over a decade?!

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Good material, well read

I thought I would listen to some then move on to the next book. Enjoyed the whole thing. Good material, well read.

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Good Info, But Too Long for Me

I am old school and very much for growing one's own food, having grown up on a farm myself. I agree with much the author has to say. However, nearly eight hours is too long for the subject in my opinion.