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Reviews

God's Gang, Chicago

God’s Gang, Chicago

Press for Farm Together Now:

  • GRIST.org Top 10 Food Books:  Michael Pollan picked Farm Together Now“My favorite book of the season is Farm Together Now: A Portrait of People, Places, and Ideas for a New Food Movement, by Amy Franceschini and Daniel Tucker. It consists of interviews with a wide range of farmers (and activists) who you haven’t heard of. Inspiring without being romantic in the least, it advances the whole conversation about sustainable agriculture and access.”
  • Beyond the Plate: “The Q&A format draws us into each story, and the world of each interviewee, collectively creating a portrait that, in the authors’ words, reflects “the complexity of farming in the United States today”. The challenges faced are candidly presented, yet each tale is one of hope and inspiration, that despite the fractured and overworked state of America’s food supply today, change is possible, and these pages bear testament to that vision.” (see the full review here)
  • Treehugger (by Matthew McDermott): Inspirational, informational and just a pleasure to hold, thumb through, or sit with and read more slowly, Farm Together Now catalogs the diversity of small farms and food producers across the United States…Most of the time I have nits to pick with most books that come across my desk for review, but with Farm Together Now I just don’t…[it] belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in sustainable farming and wanting a glimpse of what the future of food may well look like.” (read the full review here).
  • Farmbrarian: “Everyone needs to eat, and these stories illustrate how food issues permeate all aspects of society. Read Farm Together Now and get to know those who are making great strides towards improving access to clean, healthy food, achieving social and environmental justice, and preserving food and farming traditions. You’ll gain a greater understanding of the impact individual efforts can have on improving our food system. An even greater impact can be made if we work to farm together–now!”  (See the full review here.)
  • Gastronomica (by Naomi Starkman): “If the country’s good food movement continues to thrive, it will be largely due to our nation’s farmers—the original futures investors engaged in an often precarious practice of endless beauty and decay, triumph and loss. As the new book Farm Together Now clearly conveys, this movement for real food and sustainable agriculture is comprised not only of farmers but also of urban activists, seed savers, beekeepers, and the many other groups who are building gardens to build communities and growing food to promote justice, some on borrowed land or borrowed time. Showcasing twenty of these American heroes, artist and designer Amy Franceschini and organizer and documentary maker Daniel Tucker—aided by the arresting photographs of Anne Hamersky—create a tapestry of the visionaries who are making a new food system.” (See full review here)
  • Real Food For All blog: (by Chef Kurt Michael Friese) “Enter Farm Together Now. Here we find not rock stars but real people, true agrarians in the old sense of the word who understand that food, farms and fertility actually matter in a post-industrialized world. Twenty in-depth interviews with farmers of all types from across the country, accompanied by the illuminating and personal photography of Anne Hammersky, make for a revealing set of portraits – an album of the evolving American farm…These stories provide a convincing argument for the proposition that there is indeed life beyond chemical and confinement farming, and that the solution to the problems of agriculture lies in many strong hands working together to bring food to their neighbors.” (read the full review here)
  • Among the Weeds: (by Megan Eliza) “…Although it technically is copyrighted 2011, was definitely the most inspiring food/garden book I read in 2010…The folks who put together this book obviously put a lot of thought into the diversity of approaches in sustainable food and farming – breaking this book into mini-sections such as: “Alongside Conventional Farmers”, “In Intentional Community”, “Up and Out of Poverty”, and “Market/CSA Farms”…And yet, all so inspiring in terms of fostering plant diversity, neighbourhood rebirth, community health, small-scale local economies, greater access to local food choices and new ways of viewing our world and how we live in it. This is a great snapshot of many of the currents in the movement around local food today (struggles and successes included) – and I came away with lots of micro-ideas to try in my own community involvement as things unfold around our little Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood for 2011.” (See full Review here)
  • The Chicago Reader (by Martha Bayne): “From the rural Nebraska family man who started a co-op of sustainable meat growers to the young members of God’s Gang who started out raising worms and tilapia in the Robert Taylor Homes and now grow vegetables on borrowed land in Michigan, Tucker and Franceschini’s subjects share a deep, articulated commitment to social and environmental justice and political change. ” (see full review)
  • Bookslut “The portraits in this book are as varied as the problems that plague our corporatized farming and food systems, but what I found heartening was the display of creativity and energy with which people are meeting those problems. This is not a prescriptive book at all, there’s no one problem, and hence no single solution. What this book does describe instead is just the tip of a big network of farmers and activists and educators who are working to fix whatever part of the broken system they’ve got their hands on. The sheer variety of ideas presented here is enough to offer some shred of hope to nearly all of us.” (read the full review here)
  • Taking Root bloggers reflect on the Seattle FTN book event “What was unusual and heartening about the event was that Daniel Tucker, one of the co-authors, used the talk not merely as a plug for the new book, but as a platform for a discussion about the myriad ways that people can contribute to fixing our food system. In fact, he only briefly introduced the book and read a short excerpt before he turned over the remainder of the event to a panel of people who were all deeply engaged in rethinking our food system…As someone who spends a great deal of time thinking about food, I left the talk with a new sense of how enormous this thing we call “the food system” really is. It’s no wonder that finding problems is so easy and that finding long-term, sustainable solutions can seem so difficult. How can we possibly understand the problems and take meaningful action on issues as varied as water rights, the commodities market, public and private housing policies, transportation, social justice, access to food, the environment, defense, international aid, production of nearly everything we use, and education? I’ve asked myself over and over about how I can be part of finding real, workable solutions. What I’ve decided is to take my cue from the panelists and use my own interests as a gateway to the larger discussion…”
  • About.com’s Lauren Ware says that FTN is “a vibrant, inspiring read for a snowy winter’s day”
  • Food Politics blogger Marion Nestle shouts out FTN and says “The book should inspire anyone to get out and farm.”
  • Leite’s Culinaria says “Sustainable this, local that. Those words are all over the place these days, but what do they mean? Amy Franceschini and Daniel Tucker take a look at the farmers and activists living the buzzwords and pushing for change in America’s food production and safety standards.”
  • Slow Money Texas blogger Evita Montes discusses FTN and AquaRanch
  • Smile Politely interview with Daniel as a preview to a reading of FTN at the Common Ground Food Cooperative
  • The Morning News interviews Daniel about FTN and his past projects
  • Photo Arts Monthly profiles Anne and talks about the process of making FTN
  • Bay Area Bites (by Sarah Henry) (see the review)
  • The Greenest (by Derek Denckla) Urban Farming Roundup
  • Mecozy (by Kerstin Svendsen) Farm books and bills
  • EJ Magazine interviews Daniel on the process of making FTN (see pdf)
  • CUESA reprints an interview with Sam Comfort from FTN
  • Thriving Too profiles Amy and the FTN project
  • LEO Magazine recommends a FTN reading in Louisville, KY
  • Design Sponge recommends FTN as winter “eco” reading
  • Rocky Mountain Land Library Recommends FTN
  • Serge The Consierge recommends FTN
  • Blue Kitchen recommends FTN

Radio Interviews:

Amazon.com Reader Reviews:

  • Ryan says “I love picking up this book! They say “the best argument is a good example,” and this book really shows why. Every time I read one of its stories I am awed by what people are doing in this country. I love living in the city, but reading this really makes me want to be a farmer. The authors show that I can do both! All the photos are incredible, just like the people they feature…”
  • Thomas says “A unique book with an awesome design: Inspiring profiles of people from across the country engaged in the politics of food in the most meaningful ways. Very accessible and very rich. Full of beautiful photographs. This book gives us insight into the work of a range of people from Dairy Farmers in Wisconsin to Urban Gardens in Oakland.”
  • Erin says “The interview style of the book as well as the amazing photography make this an intimate and moving look at how local initiatives can make a difference. One goal of Farm Together Now is to illustrate that an even greater impact can be made if we work to farm together. After reading this book that is exactly what you’ll want to do!”
  • Sarah says “I absolutely love this book :) If only everyone posessed the information this book holds… what the world could be. “
  • Ryan S. says “This is a well designed, very attractive book. I wish I had a coffee table to display it at. If you are interested in the agriculture/food reform movement, this is a great addition to your literature collection and a great way to share your interest with others. It doesn’t come across as teen angsty, which I really like.”
  • Alecia says “There are some great color photos in this book that give you a real feel for the people and projects described.”

Advance Praise for Farm Together Now:

  • “…a small but increasing number of farmers, represented in this book, [are] combining traditional ways with contemporary knowledge to search for and come up with a series of new systems that produce good food while treating the environment, animals, workers, and consumers with respect. Doing this while still making a living, in fact having a good life, is the great agricultural challenge facing the world in the 21st century.” — from  “Farms Matter” the foreword to Farm Together Now by Mark Bittman, Author of Food Matters and How to Cook Everything
  • “The sunshine of the future illuminates this wonderful account of the ‘other agriculture.’  Indeed, let’s plant sorghum in the suburbs and bring the bee-hives back to Manhattan.” –Mike Davis, author of In Praise of Barbarians: Essays Against Empire
  • “When fifty million Americans go hungry and agribusiness seems to be running federal food policy, you’d think we were living in dark times. Through thoughtful interviews, beautiful pictures and intelligent conversation, Farm Together Now shows just how vibrant the fight for a better U.S. food system is. Anyone who cares how we might eat tomorrow should read this beautiful compendium today.” –Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy
  • “This book honors the real heroes of our time—farmers who refuse to disappear, farmers who refuse to torture their animals, farmers who refuse to mine their soils. The stories in this book tell us how, from the heart of industrial agriculture, a living agriculture is emerging and shaping another future.” –Dr. Vandana Shiva, author of Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply
  • “To the barricades” was the old cry of the revolutionary, but this gorgeous book suggests that for the revolution we’re amidst it might be instead “To the beehives” or to the compost heap. Food has been how a lot of people have tried to put back together what has been shattered in the postindustrial world, in ways the fascinating farmers here–ranging from straight-arrow midwesterners to latter-day communards–describe vividly.” — Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster
  • “This gorgeous book is a celebration of America’s agricultural revival. It features a brilliant diversity of farms and related projects which have sprung from a broad spectrum of visions, including food justice, preserving biodiversity, reinventing local food systems, education, empowerment, and skill-building. For anyone thinking about becoming part of the local food revival, this book will be a source of great inspiration.”  — Sandor Ellix Katz Author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved

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