January's Simple Good and Tasty Book Club Pick: Farmer Jane by Temra Costa

Our first book club first pick of 2011, Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat, tells the stories of women working towards eating and farming sustainably. Author Temra Costa writes about the relationships, nurturing, and inventiveness that women bring into the “delicious revolution” that is happening in our food world. Join us on January 27 at Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op from 7:00 - 9:00 pm or in Bemidji (near Harmony Co-op) from 5:30 - 7:30 pm to dig into these stories.
from farmerjane.orgfrom
Profiling such women as Erika Allen of Growing Power, Jessica Prentice of Three-Stone Hearth, and Willow Rosenthal of City Slicker Farms, Costa tells stories that bring to life the efforts that women have made -- and continue to make -- to improve our food system. In addition, Costa welcomes others to join in -- start a farm, create an organization, or just consume sustainable food. A bonus for those of us who are based in the Twin Cities: the McKnight Foundation's Aimee Witteman (former IATP fellow and Executive Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in Washington, DC) contributed a terrific piece about the Farm Bill and activism as well.


It’s not just about being a woman [...] It’s about the impact that femininity has in changing businesses for the better. Women lean towards relationships and long-term strategies that prioritize future generations, and the good news is that this viewpoint is starting to become valued in the emerging green economy. It’s all about systems thinking and perspectives of what the new (triple) bottom line should be – that of environment, people, and prosperity (health, and economic). Beyond their role in shifting business, women are raising the next generation of leaders, of farmers, of gardeners, of aware human beings that will care for this place long after we’re gone.

To get you thinking, here are a few discussion questions for our gathering:from farmerjane.orgfrom

  • There's a lot of talk of heroes in Costa’s book. Did anyone’s story stand out to you as one of heroic proportions? Who are your other sustainable food heroes and why?
  • Is knowing where your food comes from important? What does it really mean to you?
  • Do you think women are adequately represented in agriculture? Why or why not?
  • Do women aproach issues related to sustainable food differently than men? Are there gender differences in the way women and men engage in the conversation?
  • Where do you find inspiration to eat, spend, and cook differently?
  • Would you recommend or gift this book to a friend? Why?

Want more? Check out this great interview with Temra Costa, overview of the book here, or listen to one of her “Queens is Green” podcasts

And of course, join us on January 27th to chat in person. We look forward to seeing you there!


Tracy Morgan is a frequent contributor to Simple, Good and Tasty. She also runs Segnavia Creative, a business development and marketing firm, and is co-owner of the new Kitchen in the Market.  Tracy serves on the board of directors for the Mississippi Market Natural Food Co-op in St. Paul.