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Literature of the Land Book Club - Fall 2013


Public ProduceJoin us for the Fall 2013 session of Literature of the Land, a book club series hosted by the Helen Fowler Library. We delve into literature related to the land and to nature, discussing topics that may range from environmental issues to the culture of food and drink, from the American dust bowl to the cinnamon trees of Southeast Asia.  We’ll read three books over three months, focusing on a specific topic of interest. This fall we’ll explore community food movements and urban agriculture projects.

We’ll start in September with Darrin Nordahl’s Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture and learn about food growing efforts in public spaces and how these efforts can work to make fresh produce more available to the public while instilling a sense of place and community. In October, we’ll discuss The Town that Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food by Ben Hewitt. Hewitt recounts the tale of a struggling community in Vermont that jump started its economy by attempting a new agricultural strategy and by building a vibrant local food system that supports a large number of food-based businesses. For our last book, we’ll read Novella Carpenter’s Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, “A unique and hilarious memoir about one woman living on a farm in downtown Oakland”. We’ll finish off the program with a visit to a restaurant that serves mostly local and organic food to everyone who walks through their door, regardless of economic status--a true example of community working together through local food and agriculture.

Discussion times:The Town that Food Saved

Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture by Darrin Nordahl
Wednesday, September 11, 7-8:30 p.m. or
Friday, September 13, 10-11:30 a.m. or
Thursday, September 19, 7-8:30 p.m.

The Town that Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food by Ben Hewitt
Wednesday, October 9, 7-8:30 p.m. or
Friday, October 11, 10-11:30 a.m. or
Thursday, October 17, 7-8:30 p.m.

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
Friday, November 8, 10-11:30 a.m. or
Wednesday, November 13, 7-8:30 p.m. or
Thursday, November 21, 7-8:30 p.m.

Register here today--space is limited. Registration is mandatory as attendance will be limited in number to allow for interactive discussion in a friendly group setting.

I leave you with this heartening quote taken from a speech given by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1841:

When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and

health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me

what I should have done with my own hands.


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