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Locally Grown
(PDF 187 KB)
Locally Grown
Portraits of Artisanal Farms from America's Heartland

"An inspirational glimpse into one vibrant area of the local food movement."

-- Kirkus Reviews

Locally Grown is the story of the modern heartland farm. It explores how sustainable practices—and close ties to high-profile chefs and restaurateurs—have propelled the "locally grown" culinary movement into a central feature of life in major cities like Chicago. Anna Blessing lays out the rich stories of 20 Midwestern farms told through beautiful photography, fascinating anecdotes from farmers and chefs, and up-close looks at what makes each farm so unique.

Each chapter profiles a different farm, outlining its locale, scale, production, and inner workings while also revealing the unique background of each farmer. Blessing shows the behind-the-scenes practices that have made locally grown food an increasingly important part of America's food culture, especially in metropolitan areas like Chicago. The book also provides insights on how esteemed chefs like Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan, and Sarah Stegner, among others, scour farmers' markets for natural ingredients and develop personal business relationships with these farmers to supply their restaurants with the best and most sustainable foods.

Locally Grown shows how both longstanding and newly founded farms, along with urban farms and metropolitan nonprofit organizations like Growing Power and City Provisions, are boosting the sustainable food movement from the ground up.

Anna Blessing researched, wrote, and photographed 14 editions of the book series in addition to being a regular contributor to many other print and online publications, including Lucky, for which she was Chicago editor for six years. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.

Anna Blessing talks to Mitch Teich of Milwaukee Public Radio's "Lake Effect" about LOCALLY GROWN.


Title Locally Grown
Subtitle Portraits of Artisanal Farms from America's Heartland
Edition First Edition
Author Anna Blessing
Audience 01 General / trade
Title First Published 10 July 2012
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 288 p.
ISBN-10 1-57284-129-X
ISBN-13 978-1-57284-129-1
GTIN13 (EAN13) 9781572841291
Reference no. 978-1-57284-129-1
Publication Date 10 July 2012
Main content page count 288
Weight 25 oz.
List Price $22.95
Format PDF
Nb of pages
ISBN-10 1-57284-703-4
ISBN-13 978-1-57284-703-3
GTIN13 (EAN13) 9781572847033
Reference no. 978-1-57284-703-3
Publication Date 10 July 2012
List Price $12.99

Additional Materials

Anna Blessing chats with Jim Oliver of Wisconsin Public Radio about LOCALLY GROWN.

LG presskit ( pdf 187 KB )


Press Reviews

Chicago magazine
Aug 1, 2012
"Part cookbook, part storybook, it's an irresisitable collection of feel-good anecdotes, vivid photographs, and recipes from both chefs and farmers."
- Carly Boers

Kirkus Reviews
Jun 1, 2012
"An inspirational glimpse into one vibrant area of the local food movement."

Crain's Chicago Business
Jul 12, 2012
"[Locally Grown] spotlights entrepreneurial sustainable farmers in the Midwest and the Chicago chefs who use their ingredients.... Each farmer's story is accompanied by anecdotes from well-known

- Judith Nemes

PureWOW Chicago
Jul 20, 2012
"We love supporting the local movement, and this book has us craving a road trip to see the process firsthand."

Jul 10, 2012
"A truly engaging look at [the] Midwestern farm."
- Amy Azzarito

Jul 8, 2012
This is a great resource for any locavore, a person who is interested in eating food grown within a short distance from his or her house. … Anyone who enjoys farming stories, cooking, animals, and locally grown food will treasure this book. It's well done, interesting, and beautiful.
- Margo Dill

Daily Candy
Jul 18, 2012
"Anna Blessing's reverent new book, Locally Grown, explores Midwest farms and the people who run them, providing rich history, photographs, and seasonal recipes. Chef specialties are nice (they’re in the book, too), but we love Blessing’s inclusion of farmers’ family dishes."

Chicago Botanic Garden/Lenhardt Library
The Midwest countryside is a valuable source of fresh food for some of Chicago's top restaurants. Author Anna Blessing reports on her visits to 20 farms that provide newly picked ingredients

- Marilyn K. Alaimo

Tasting Table Chicago
Jul 27, 2012
In recent years, the term "farm-to-table" has become nearly meaningless.

Author Anna Blessing restores the term's weight in her new book, Locally Grown: Portraits of Artisanal Farms from America's Heartland ($23). She explores the relationship between Midwest farmers and their crops, spanning history, process and beyond.

Off the Water
Jul 28, 2012
This is a great piece for folks who are interested in the healthier food concept. In recent years, there has been a push for food that has not been mass-produced in an unhealthy manner. In addition, how many people would love the opportunity to spend some time on a professionally functioning farm for first-hand experiences? Many people are probably nodding as they read this. This book gives readers this perfect opportunity.
- Sharon Blumberg

Related News

"Author Anna Blessing, a freelance writer from Chicago, found [organic farmer Jude] Becker—and 19 other independent farmers—by talking to Chicago-area chefs who use organic and local products.... [Becker] agreed to be part of the book, he said, because, 'it is important for people to understand the cycle of farm to table and how committed farms, chefs and eaters need to be to make the cycle sustainable for all, and I think Anna can show this in her book.'"

Iowa farmer featured in 'Locally Grown' book
-Jennifer Miller Jun 6, 2012

It's through cooperation between farmers and restaurateurs that so much local food makes its way into Chicago restaurants.

Blessing says for the farmers, it's about more than just making money.

"They realize that there's not going to be one farmer who can provide everything for every chef," she says. "It’s like they all want to support each other."

Farmers, Chefs Collaborate to Get Local Food in Restaurants
-Annie Corrigan Aug 23, 2012

Buying fruits and vegetables at her neighborhood farmers market is one of Anna Blessing's favorite things.

The author of "Locally Grown: Portraits of Artisanal Farms from America's Heartland," Blessing says she finds the stories each farmer has to tell as intriguing as the recipes she prepares with their produce.

"These farmers are my heroes, what they are doing is literally the hardest work I have ever seen in my life," Blessing said.

Book on farms features Bare Knuckle in Northport
-Lisa Perkins Aug 23, 2012

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