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More from "Fields of Plenty"


...Rethinking how our society
participates in the food system, where food is produced and by whom, and what scale it is grown on.

Aaron says that he thinks the best way to get America back into agriculture is to turn it into a spectator sport.

These two quotations go back to a point of Sohodojo's that I have often mentioned in my blog posts: that shopping can and should be an experience in itself. Michael Ableman, the author of "Fields of Plenty" firmly believes in this himself. He stresses the importance of knowing who made your food, how it was made, where it was made. There should be a connection, he says, between yourself and your food.

"Fields of Plenty"

Just a note to say that I am busy reading Michael Ableman's "Fields of Plenty: A Farmers' Journey in Search of Real Food and the People Who Grow it." Similar to Jenny Kurzweil's "Fields that Dream," Ableman uses the stories and methods of many individual farmers to provide a context for the current state of American agriculture. Having read about half of Ableman's book so far, I would say that Kurzweil's is a better read--the stories of the farmers she tells are more gripping, and overall she makes a better case for the use of local foods. Ableman's book, though, has its advantages. He travels the country to interview many farmers from different areas, and his thoughts on each visit are detailed at each stop.

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Use Case Observations from Grinnell Farmers' Market

From my visit to the Grinnell farmers' market on August 11, 2006, I designed both a template for interactions between vendors and customers, and a set of use cases depicting these interactions.

"Fields That Dream: A Journey to the Roots of Our Food"

Fields That Dream: A Journey to the Roots of Our FoodFields That Dream: A Journey to the Roots of Our FoodI have spent some time over the last couple days reading Jenny Kurzweil's Fields That Dream: A Journey to the Roots of Our Food. Kurzweil describes the state of state of American agriculture through the lives of a number of small-scale farmers.

In addition to being well-written, Kurzweil's portrayal of the lives of these farmers is striking. From a Mexican family who immigrated to the States to make enough money to survive, to a chef who left his home and job to pursue life on a farm, to a couple who cannot leave their house for more than two hours at a time for fear of leaving their animals without care, each farmer has a story to tell.

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