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edible ASPEN interviews Eliot Coleman

edibleASPEN magazine, based in Colorado, interviewed Eliot Coleman (as well as our beloved Joel Salatin) in their Fall 2010 issue. Read Eliot’s interview below and click here to see the full piece online.

edibleASPEN: What has been the biggest change in the way people perceive food in the last decade?

Eliot Coleman: Back when we started, people would come to the farm stand because they remembered farm stands from when they were young. But now, local has become such a popular concept for food the biggest change is that the customers are driving to the farms instead of the other way around. People want local. In fact, the local movement has gone to a place in about five years that it took organic 40 years to do.

EA: Why do you think that is?

EC: I suspect lots of credit might go to Alice Waters or Michael Pollan. You can’t have books read by that many people without having some effect, and we have more and more competent young growers.

EA: What is your impression of the organic farming movement in western Colorado? How does it compare to other parts of the country?

EC: I’m pretty familiar with that part of Colorado. I spent summers running a kayak camp at CRMS—there’s actually a great farm there [at CRMS, it’s perfect. You guys [have] more winter sun, and it probably gets colder up in the mountains. But the biggest hangup is water. There’s no rain! That is what would have kept me from settling there.

EA: What is it going to take to systematically change the way people eat in the United States?

EC: I think that’s happening; it’s just a case of getting the information out there. There’s always going to be a certain percentage of people that don’t change. For example, you can’t have more or stronger information about the dangers of tobacco than we have, yet 25 percent of people still smoke cigarettes. You are going to have that same percentage that are always going to eat Twinkies, but in time, companies with large plants are going to start encouraging farmers to set up farm stands at closing time, where people can buy organic produce. That would be a very smart idea. These companies are all paying huge health insurance amounts and just getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables will improve health, lower company costs and make a farmer happy at the same time. Those sorts of changes can happen.

Eliot Coleman is the author of, most recently, The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses


Ask the Expert: Andrew Mefferd

Before writing The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture, Andrew Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. Andrew has graciously agreed to offer up his expertise to our […] Read More

Top 10 favorite goat facts (with gifs)

New this month from author Gianaclis Caldwell, Holistic Goat Care is the essential resource on caring for your herd. Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter […] Read More

Chelsea Green Weekly for May 5, 2017

Ever wonder what your favorite Chelsea Green authors do between writing groundbreaking–both literally and figuratively–books? Here are the best links and resources for your weekend reading pleasure. Let’s start with The Alzheimer’s Antidote. The Alzheimer’s Antidote Amy Berger has been making the rounds on the health, wellness, and fitness circuit, explaining the theories behind her revolutionary […] Read More

Learn from Chelsea Green authors this summer at Sterling College

Each summer, the School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College in Vermont offers continuing education designed specifically for “agrarians, culinarians, entrepreneurs, and lifelong learners.” Chelsea Green is proud to partner with this program so you can learn from our expert authors in a hands-on, experiential setting at Sterling’s farm and teaching kitchen. Be sure to read […] Read More

New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More
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