How a garden grows a community

After reading “Growing a Garden City” you’d think community gardens and local food systems could save the world. And maybe they can. For sure, they can connect people on many levels – physical, spiritual, economical, environmental, philosophical.

“Garden City” is a different kind of publication, especially for this topic. It’s a mashup of a coffee-table book, a primer on local food systems, and a profile of food-minded folks in Missoula, Montana, an earthy-crunchy outpost on the northwest/central plains that houses a university and several cool nonprofits.

Author Jeremy N. Smith

Writer and Missoula resident Jeremy N. Smith explores the topic through profiles of key people involved in the story of how the city of 64,000 embraced the local food movement through community gardens and kitchens, CSAs, internships, and even farm-work therapy programs. The book’s subtitle says it all: “How Farmers, First Graders, Counselors, Troubled Teens, Foodies, a Homeless Shelter Chef, Single Mothers, and More are Transforming themselves and Their Neighborhoods Through the Intersection of Local Agriculture and Community – and How You Can, Too.” An impressive collection of high-quality color photos bring the stories to life with images of the main characters, the community, and the land.

For newcomers to the local food movement, “Garden City” offers a simple, inviting overview. For those already in the trenches, the book will inspire when burnout seeps in. It belongs on the coffee table, in the classroom, and on the farm. Check out Jeremy’s website for more info and excerpts. Hey, let’s bring him here for a presentation!

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