I found the Connecticut Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty book at the library, and took a few weeks to read it.
The book opens with an introduction and I was saddened & shocked to learn that Connecticut’s farmland is disappearing at an unbelievable and alarming rate of 8000 acres a year! The author, Emily Brooks, states that it is one of the fastest in the country! In less than 20 years, CT has lost 21% of their farmland; residential and commercial building is taking over.
She also states that farms require less than 50 cents in town services for every dollar they generate in local taxes while residential development costs towns more than 1 dollar for every dollar of revenue generated.
That statement puzzled and intrigued me, so I did some research. With the cost of schools/education, police/fire, road maintenance, towns that have a choice to purchase & save open space vs allow commercial/residential development, are much better off in the long run choosing to save the open space. Real estate taxes go up for everyone to recoup the cost of more children attending schools.
Here is a great link I found while searching:
When I think about it though, we can’t blame the farmers for selling out to developers. The local farmer is overworked and vastly under-appreciated.
That’s why this book is so important. It shines the well-deserved light onto local Connecticut farmers.
The book is divided by county. Each farm is highlighted with a few pages, including their location info and a full description/interview with several photos.
There are many different types of farms including many that grow vegetables, several that raise animals, and some even operate a fishing/shellfish business.
I was amazed that there were also a few maple syrup producers, although the book states that only tenth of % of all maple trees in Connecticut are actually tapped for their syrup.
This is not necessarily a cookbook although there are lovely recipes using some ingredients that the highlighted farm sells. It’s more like a history book with stories from each farm with photos so you can really see each farmer and the land they work.
Some stories are heart warming and some are heart breaking. For instance, the owners of Futtner’s Family Farm (3 generations) are going through financial problems due to health issues. They are drowning in medical bills. Theirs is a sad but hopeful story of family and deep love for each other and farming.
I wish we lived just a little closer to Connecticut and some of these marvelous farms.
It’s exciting that the author is currently writing a ” target=”_blank”>similar book for NYC. I really hope she considers a Massachusetts version in the future! It’s something that could be a fantastic reference for every state!
If you live nearby to Connecticut, I recommend finding a copy of the Connecticut Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty book, even if it’s from the local library. It’s a great resource to learn more about specifically where your food comes from!
I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks, which means I’d rather put my own spin on a recipe than follow it exactly. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.