"A compelling agricultural story skillfully told; environmentalists will eat it up." - Kirkus Reviews When Bob Quinn was a kid, a stranger at a county fair gave him a few kernels of an unusual grain. Little did he know, that grain would change his life. Years later, after finishing a PhD in plant biochemistry and returning to his family’s farm in Montana, Bob started experimenting with organic wheat. In the beginning, his concern wasn’t health or the environment; he just wanted to make a decent living and some chance encounters led him to organics. But as demand for organics grew, so too did Bob’s experiments. He discovered that through time-tested practices like cover cropping and crop rotation, he could produce successful yields—without pesticides. Regenerative organic farming allowed him to grow fruits and vegetables in cold, dry Montana, providing a source of local produce to families in his hometown. He even started producing his own renewable energy. And he learned that the grain he first tasted at the fair was actually a type of ancient wheat, one that was proven to lower inflammation rather than worsening it, as modern wheat does. Ultimately, Bob’s forays with organics turned into a multimillion dollar heirloom grain company, Kamut International. In Grain by Grain, Quinn and cowriter Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground, show how his story can become the story of American agriculture. We don’t have to accept stagnating rural communities, degraded soil, or poor health. By following Bob’s example, we can grow a healthy future, grain by grain.
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About the Author
Bob Quinn is an organic farmer near Big Sandy, Montana, and a leading green businessman. He served on the first National Organic Standards Board, and has been recognized with the Montana Organic Association Lifetime of Service Award, The Organic Trade Association Organic Leadership Award, and Rodale Institute’s Organic Pioneer Award. His enterprises include the ancient grain business Kamut International and Montana’s first wind farm. Liz Carlisle is a Lecturer in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. Her first book, Lentil Underground, won the Montana Book Award and the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature.
Table of Contents
Prologue by Liz Carlisle Introduction: Food on the Cheap Chapter 1. Roots and Growth Chapter 2. Better Farming through Chemistry? Chapter 3. Beyond Commodities Chapter 4. Going Organic Chapter 5. King Tut’s Wheat Chapter 6. Growing Partners Chapter 7. A Cowboy in Europe Chapter 8. Creating a New Standard Chapter 9. The Value of Limits Chapter 10. Taste of Place Chapter 11. Recycling Energy Chapter 12. Bringing Rural Jobs Back Chapter 13. The Gluten Mystery Chapter 14. Food as Medicine Chapter 15. One Great Subject Chapter 16. Rejecting the Status Quo Chapter 17. Conclusion: A New Generation of Growers and Eaters Acknowledgments Notes Index