Vintage HandPicked: The Good Food Revolution

Tomiko Peirano

Tomiko Peirano › Tomiko has amassed decades of experience in the food industry, from her family's restaurant in Oregon's ...


Editor’s Note: The good food revolution is alive and well. We learned of Will Allen and his vertical urban farm when HandPicked Nation was just beginning. We are so happy that his genius continues to be recognized. So we thought we’d make it easy for you to buy his book! What a great way to provide real food to many.

Will Allen. Former professional basketball player. Former corporate executive. Current urban farm pioneer and living legend. Now author of the new The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities (Gotham Books)

Mr. Allen has written both a touching autobiography and a compelling history of this country’s dynamic food landscape in one fell swoop. Born to sharecroppers who moved north in the 1930s, Mr. Allen recalls a childhood textured with vague souvenirs of an agricultural life left in the south. Although he once felt “ashamed” of his parents’ past as sharecroppers, Mr. Allen eventually shucked his corporate suit in favor of work boots and dirty hands and became the man who revolutionized an inner-city community with a 3-acre farm.

I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system. -Will Allen

He says of his transformation:

I fought my family’s history. Yet the desire to farm hid inside me. It hid in my feet. They wanted the moist earth below them. It hid in my hands. They wanted to be callused and rough and caked with soil. It hid in my heart. It missed the rhythms of agriculture. (from The Good Food Revolution)

Mr. Allen is now one of the leading ambassadors of the real food movement, and his driving philosophy is simple:

If people can grow safe, healthy, affordable food, if they have access to land and clean water, this is transformative on every level in a community. I believe we cannot have healthy communities without a healthy food system. (from

Mr. Allen’s story is incredible, his prose is straightforward and heartfelt, and his new book is definitely worth a read.

Do you find Mr. Allen’s story compelling? Is there urban farming happening in your community?

Photo credit: Spark Project


Hardcover, Gotham Books

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