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‘WHO’S YOUR FARMER?’

  • Written by Valley View Staff

Local farmers highlighted in Jerry Mader’s latest book

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jerrymCarnation author Jerry Mader signs a copy of his book “Saving the Soil” at the Duvall Farmers Market Farm and Holiday Artisan Fair on Nov. 1. Photo by Lisa Allen.

Jerry Mader didn’t let any grass grow under his feet, so to speak, after completing “Carnation Verbatim—A Snoqualmie Valley Memoir,”  a close-up look at some of Carnation’s oldest residents.

The local author went to work immediately on his next project – a book about local farmers, which has just been released.

In researching “Saving the Soil – The New American Farmer,” he interviewed several Snoqualmie Valley farmers to get a grasp of the challenges they face today and the reasons why they tackle such an obviously difficult job.

Mader says that among all the issues concerning Americans today, the quality and safety of the food we buy every day for our families is near the top of the list.

“We want to know where our food comes from and the identity of the people who produce it,” he says. “Yet most of us feel it is impossible to find out. Who your farmer really is remains a mystery.”

In the book, Mader succeeds in clearing up much of that mystery, at least as it relates to local food production, as he shares the experiences and histories of nine of the Valley’s local farmers who produce everything from vegetables to milk.

He says the farmers, although most of them came to farming from non-agricultural backgrounds, all share in wanting to grow healthy food and have a relationship with the community that eats it, through farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.

“Saving the Soil” is a 350-page coffee table book (81/2” X 11”) with 272 black and white photos.

Mader is also the author of “The Road to Lame Deer,” an anthropological memoir about tribal life on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana in the early 1970s.

“Saving the Soil—The New American Farmer” is available for $39.95 directly from Tolt River Press, or by calling (425) 333-6989.

Mader says he is in the process of  interviewing the subjects for his next book – the local Hmong people (many of them also farmers) who came to the area from Laos as refugees decades ago.

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