Tim Young emailed me awhile ago asking if I might be interested in his new book The Accidental Farmers for reviewing on this very site. I said yes but, honestly, I thought it would be like so many of the other books people send and that pile up and gather dust in the corners of my study: A perfectly fine tome but not quite in the vein of what I cover here on Local Foods.
Boy was I wrong. Young's journey from busy suburban consumer to thoughtful keeper of the land points to the sad heart of the need for food activism, for getting people back in touch with seasonal eating and knowing where their food comes from. Our food system is broken. And by broken I mean that the system as a whole is unhealthful. Unhealthful for people. Unhealthful for animals. Unhealthful for the very land on which the food is grown. The Accidental Farmers traces Young and his wife's path from starting to think about where their food came from to buying a plot of land to founding and running Nature's Harmony Farm in Georgia.
Young gives thoughtful reasons for the decisions they make - from buying the farm to figuring out how to raise their livestock - including the various points of view they consider and doubts (including "what the hell are we doing?") that creep up along the way. Whether you want to know more about the possibilities for creating a more sustainable food production system or have simply always felt the tug of the farming life, this book offers an astute window into that world.