A Few Words About Sustainable Agriculture
Farmers markets are an ancient method used by farmers worldwide to sell their produce directly to the consumer. As food production in the U.S. became increasingly industrialized, many farmers markets were replaced by brokers and supermarkets.
Fortunately, there is now a burgeoning movement to bring farmers markets back, and we in Lewes are proud to be a part of that worldwide effort. The farmers participating in our market practice sustainable agriculture farming that produces abundant food without depleting the earth resources or polluting its environment.
This type of agriculture supports vibrant rural communities and produces wholesome food for everyone. Sustainable practices lend themselves to smaller, family-sized farms. These smaller farms are most successful within local food systems, selling at least part of what is grown directly to consumers at farmers markets. It is our hope that the Historic Lewes Farmers Market helps reconnect people with one another, the land, and the source of our food.
There are many websites about Sustainable Agriculture, the Slow Food Movement, and the Greening of America. Here are a few of our favorites.
- American Farmland Trust
- Center for Inland Bays
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Environmental Working Group
- The Ethicurean
- Future Harvest – Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture
- Local Harvest
- National Center for Appropriate Technology
- National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA)
- National Young Farmers Coalition
- Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)
- SlowFood USA
- USDA National Organic Program
Want to find out more? Here are some suggestions. All of these titles can be found in your local library.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp & Camille Kingsolver.
Harper Perennial (paperback)
In this James Beard Award-winning memoir, full of her renowned candor and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver tells how she and her family abandoned their beloved Southwest to move back to an Appalachian farm she inherited, in order to live only on food they themselves or their neighbors grew. The book makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.
The Art of the Commonplace
Wendell Berry. Shoemaker & Hoard (paperback)
Twenty-one essays by writer-farmer Wendell Berry offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Through his staunch support of local economies, his defense of farming communities, and his call for family integrity, Berry emerges as a champion of priorities that serve the health, vitality, and happiness of the whole community. Berry calls us to be good stewards of the earth and our limited resources.
The Backyard Homestead
Carleen Madigan Perkins, ed. Storey (paperback)
The former managing editor of Horticulture magazine, Carleen Madigan Perkins learned her homesteading skills living on an organic farm outside Boston; here she offers a compendium of time-tested, practical advice on how to feed our families using plants and animals raised at home. From growing fruits and vegetables to churning butter and raising chickens, The Backyard Homestead has all the how-to that enterprising homeowners need to produce a complete array of food items.
Carrots Love Tomatoes
Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening
Louise Riotte. Storey (paperback)
Plants can assist each other to grow well and to repel insects. For instance grow leeks and carrots together and ward off the pests that attack each vegetable. First published in 1975, this is the classic companion planting guide.
Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket
Brian Halwell. Norton (paperback)
Did you know that since 1961 the tonnage of food shipped between nations has grown fourfold? In the United States, food typically travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to plate as much as 25 percent farther than in 1980. For some, the long-distance food system offers unparalleled choice. But it often runs roughshod over local cuisines, varieties, and agriculture, while consuming staggering amounts of fuel, generating greenhouse gases, eroding the pleasures of face-to-face interactions, and compromising food security. Halwell believes that the long-distance food habit is beginning to weaken under the influence of a young, but surging, local-foods movement.
Great Garden Companion
A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free VegetableGarden
Sally Jean Cunningham. Rodale (paperback)
Master Gardener Sally Jean Cunningham shows how to keep pests and diseases at bay with her unique companion-gardening system. The plans are earth-friendly and the guide to backyard beneficial insects is of real value.
Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen
Anna Lappe & Bryant Terry. Tarcher (paperback)
With spirited and practical how-to’s for creating an affordable easy-to-use organic kitchen and dozens of delectable recipes, Grub offers fresh ideas and easy ways to cook organic and fresh foods. More than a dozen menus are paired with soundtracks to cook (and party) by. Fun organically!
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Michael Pollan. Penguin (paperback)
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan’s hugely popular In Defense of Food, which provides well-considered answers to the questions posed in his Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
Ann Cooper & Lisa M. Holmes. Collins (hardcover)
Ann Cooper is the Iron Chef of the school lunch program in Berkeley, California. Her mission is to wean the Berkeley public school system off a diet of frozen, processed, trans-fat filled foods that are served in the school cafeterias to a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In this book the renegade lunch lady spells out how parents and school employees can help instill healthy eating habits in children. There are dozens of delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. The pages are packed with recommendations on how to eliminate potential hazards from the home, bring gardening and composting into daily life, and how parents can get involved with how their children eat and are fed both at school and at home.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma
A Natural History of Four Meals
Michael Pollan. Penguin (hardcover)
James Beard Award-winning food and agriculture writer Michael Pollan here considers the omnivore’s
dilemma as “what should we have for dinner?” It’s a simple question with dizzyingly complex repercussions. In three main parts, the book follows each of the food chains that sustain us industrialized food, alternative or “organic” food, and food that is hunted, gathered, or gardened by individuals from the ground up to the table. Each culminates in a fully analyzed meal.
“Every time you go into a grocery store you are voting with your dollars, and what goes into your cart has real repercussions on the future of the earth, but although we have choices, few of us are aware of exactly what they are. Michael Pollan’s beautifully written book could change that. He tears down the walls that separate us from what we eat, and forces us to be more responsible eaters. Reading this book is a wonderful, life-changing experience. -Ruth Reichl
The Organic Cook’s Bible
How to Select and Cook the Best Ingredients on the Market
Jeff Cox. Wiley (hardcover)
This much-needed resource demystifies the array of organic ingredients available and details how to choose, store, and prepare them. An indispensable reference for home cooks, gardeners, and chefs, this book is much more than a produce guide. It also covers meat and poultry, dairy and eggs, beans and grains, herbs and spices, and more. All are organized alphabetically within each section for easy reference. More than 250 recipes capture the great taste of organic ingredients and add variety to everyday meals.
The Case for Taste
Carlo Petrini. Alice Waters, foreword. Columbia University Press (paperback)
The Slow Food movement, inaugurated as a grassroots protest against the encroachment of fast food into the deeply traditional and wonderfully fresh Italian diet, has grown to an international phenomenon, now poised to revolutionize the way Americans think about food, shop for groceries, and prepare and consume their meals. This book recalls the origins and expansion of the movement from the view of its founder Carlo Petrini; it is also a lucid expression of the organization’s goal of engendering social reform through the transformation of attitudes toward food and eating. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse provides a foreword.
Slow Food Revolution
A New Culture for Dining and Living
Carlo Petrini & Gigi Padovani. Rizzoli (hardcover)
McDonald’s opened a franchise in Rome’s historic Piazza di Spagna in 1986. A small group, led by the charismatic Carlo Petrini, issued a manifesto in protest, firing the first shot in the Slow Food revolution against the uniformity and compromised quality of processed food. Now with some 85,000 members in 45 countries around the world, Slow Food has developed from a grassroots group into the most influential gastronomic movement in the world. This book explains the quirky history of Slow Food and its dedication to preserving traditional food production and preparation. It also contains a substantive catalog of the food sources that Slow Food protects, from the Cape May Salt Oyster to Moroccan Argan Oil.
What To Eat and Why
Nina Planck. Bloomsbury (paperback)
In the onslaught of contemporary diet and nutrition proclamations, many people fear butter and eggs will give them a heart attack. But it turns out, according to farm-raised Nina Planck, tossing out the yolk isn’t smart. In lively chapters on produce, dairy, meat, fish, chocolate, and other real foods, Planck – who created farmers markets in London and Washington, and ran New York City’s famous Greenmarket – explains how ancient foods like beef and butter have been falsely accused, while industrial foods like corn syrup and unfermented soybean oil have created a triple epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.