Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Activity / 2012 / The Future Is In the Dirt: A Talk by Ben Hewitt

Environmental Studies

The Future Is In The Dirt: A Talk by Ben Hewitt

Story posted September 06, 2012

Event date(s): September 20, 2012 — May 24, 2013

Talk: Thursday, September 27, 7:00pm
Lunch: 12:15-1:15 Hutchinson Room, Thorne Hall
Kresge Auditorium, Visual Art Center
This talk is open to the public free of charge 

Local Farms- Local Food, a collaboration between the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, has partnered with Bowdoin to welcome national selling author and New England Farmer Ben Hewitt

Ben was born and raised in northern Vermont, where he currently runs a small-scale, diversified hill farm with his family. He lives with his wife and two sons in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels. To help offset his renewable energy footprint, Ben drives a really big truck. His work has appeared in numerous national periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Gourmet, Discover, Skiing, Eating Well, Yankee Magazine, Powder, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and Outside.

Local agriculture can add strength and vibrancy to a community. With recent national attention focused on the climate woes of farmers throughout the country, the increase in food transportation costs, the rising unease of food related health concerns, and the growing need for economic sustainability in smaller communities, Hewitt's work focuses on local agriculture's benefits to public, economic, and environmental health.

"The devastating drought over our nation's heartland and the ongoing economic plight affecting us all are stark reminders of the vulnerabilities inherent to consolidated agriculture and financial systems," said Hewitt. "Localizing food production is the quickest, healthiest, tastiest, and downright most effective way to revitalize communities and the people who comprise them. The future's in the dirt, and that's a good thing." 

Hewitt's talk will cover how a regionalized food-based system can be used to create economic development, how weaning Americans off their dependence on industrial food improves public health, and how communities all over New England can become sustainable food hubs similar to what has been created in Hardwick, Vermont.

Ben is the author of two books, The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food and Making Supper Safe: One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth About Food Safety.

To continue the conversation in the following weeks, Local Farms-Local Food will partner with local libraries in Bath, Brunswick, and Topsham for a regional community read of Hewitt's first book, The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food. Three public book discussions for the community read will occur at:

  • Patten Free Library, Bath, Wednesday, October 17, at 4 pm in the Community Room
  • Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, Thursday October 18 at 7 pm in the Morrell Meeting Room
  • Topsham Public Library, Topsham, Wednesday October 24 at 1 pm in the Highlands Community Room

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the Sept 27 presentation at for $13.50, at the Bowdoin bookstore,and at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, the Bath Book Shop, or available for loan at the three libraries hosting public discussions.