The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food

by Amy Cotler

Reviewed January 2010 by Margaret Christie, Special Projects Director

Eating locally, says author Amy Cotler, has “pleasure and connection at its core.” Her new book, The Locavore Way, is full of both pleasure and connection-recipes, stories from real farms and markets, and snapshots of Cotler’s own life (“my marriage vows: I cook, you clean”). It’s a small, readable volume, but provides an introduction to a wide range of topics-beginning with farmers markets and CSAs, but moving on to gardening, buying local from supermarkets, and local foods activism.

Cotler was the founding director of Berkshire Grown, CISA’s sister buy local group in the Berkshires. She’s trained chefs, home cooks, and food service professionals, and has written for a wide variety of food publications. With the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, Cotler wrote Fresh from the Farm: The Massachusetts Farm to School Cookbook. Every school district in the Commonwealth received a copy, and it’s available free on-line.

All of this experience is evident in Cotler’s new book. The prose is breezy and approachable, but doesn’t ignore the complexities and challenges of sourcing locally grown food year round. For example, Cotler suggests starting a farmers’ market if there isn’t one near you-but includes a brief discussion of the challenges of start-up markets and the value of supporting a fledging market, even if it doesn’t yet supply all the products you’d like to see. There’s lots of practical tips for people ready to move local eating from an occasional farmer’s market visit to a practice integrated into their everyday, year-round life. If you’d like a wide-ranging, solid introduction to local eating-or want to introduce a friend or relative to the idea-this book is a good place to start.

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