For our August 27 meeting we'll discuss LENTIL UNDERGROUND: RENEGADE FARMERS AND THE FUTURE OF FOOD IN AMERICA, by Liz Carlisle (Avery, 2015). Homemade treats will be served. You need not have attended a previous discussion to join us for this one.
The location of the discussion will be sent out a few days ahead to those who RSVP. If you haven't received it by the Sunday before the meeting, please call[masked]. We hope to see you there!
If you'd like to read ahead, our September book will be MY LIFE, MY LOVE, MY LEGACY, by Coretta Scott King, who embraced a vegan diet in 1995 due to the influence of her son, Dexter Scott King. Coretta believed that promoting animal rights was the next “logical extension” of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy of non-violence.
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 twenty-seven-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, by stubbornly banding together. Journalist and native Montanan Liz Carlisle weaves an eye-opening and richly reported narrative that will be welcomed by everyone concerned with the future of American agriculture and natural food in an increasingly uncertain world.
What does it take to farm sustainably—and make a living? Liz Carlisle tells the engrossing story of the ‘audacity rich but capital poor’ Montana farmers who thought lentils were the answer and stuck with them until proved right. Anyone who dreams of starting a farm or wants to know how organic farmers can overcome the obstacles they face will be inspired by this book.”
—Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and author of Food Politics
“These farmers demonstrate how to build democracy and build soils at the same time. What a deal!”
—Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind
“Liz Carlisle’s new book is an absolute treasure—actual stories of real farmers in a part of Montana, some of whom found that their industrial farming practices were a “losing game” and some who discovered that locally adapted organic farming could be resilient and economically successful. It is a must read for anyone interested in the future of food in America.”
—Frederick Kirschenmann, Author of Cultivating an Ecological Conscience