Book review: Locally Grown: Portraits of Artisinal Farms from America’s HeartlandPublished 3:17pm Saturday, July 28, 2012
Author Anna Blessing paints an intimate account of the inner-workings of 20 Midwest farms in this awesome work of nonfiction.
Her photographs of farm life images in the Heartland illustrate in high definition. As a result, the reader can almost pass through the pages. Blessing depicts how these fresh, ingredient farms forge close working relationships with prominent Chicago chefs. These featured farms sprinkle the landscape throughout the Midwest. A number of these farms operate within our own beautiful Michigan. Audiences will be fascinated to learn more about the farmers who source our produce stands. These farmers’ goals are to grow food in the healthiest way. This is referred to as the “sustainable farming movement.” The author enables the reader to engage with the farmers’ stories, backgrounds, and daily routines.
The profiles of the farmers include recipes from chefs who form professional-working relationships with the farmers. Anecdotes of every day farm duties, elaborate on the sustainable farming movement. The outcome of the partnerships created by the farmers and chefs is a mutual reward. The recipes from well-known Chicago chefs, beg to be prepared, according to the healthy ingredients listed.
Blessing’s book is divided into four sections. The first part focuses upon farms that have been in existence for generations; the second part demonstrates how people move from the city to farm with no previous farming experience; the third part deals with farmers who take time to cultivate their farms; and the fourth part explains how the urban farming movement is an expanding one.
This is a great piece for folks who are interested in the healthier food concept. In recent years, there has been a push for food that has not been mass-produced in an unhealthy manner. In addition, how many people would love the opportunity to spend some time on a professionally functioning farm for first-hand experiences? Many people are probably nodding as they read this. This book gives readers this perfect opportunity.
Anna Blessing has been a regular contributor to a number of publications. She created 14 editions of the “eat.shop/Rather” book series. She has been a frequent contributor to many other print and online publications. This includes Lucky, where she was Chicago editor for six years. Blessing currently lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.