Growing a Garden City

Praise for Growing a Garden City

Fact & Fiction Top Titles of 2010

Booklist Top 10 Books on the Environment: 2011

Food Tank “Must Read”: Spring 2014

“The voices represented here are fresh, they are passionate, they are incredibly committed, and they are part of a movement that is healing our world one handful of seeds, one bucket of compost, one garden, one meal at a time.”

—Michael Ableman, founder of the Center For Urban Agriculture and author of Fields Of Plenty

“I love this book. It proves that every one of us, and every patch of soil, can make a difference. The way we connect with nature, with our food, and with each other can change the world.”

—Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

“This beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated book is full of engaging stories, practical advice, wisdom, and inspiration about one of the most hopeful phenomena in today’s world: the local food movement.”

—Daniel Kemmis, former Mayor of Missoula, Montana and author of The Good City and the Good Life

“Hooray for the good green thumbs of the Garden City. May their example continue to spread far and wide. We’ve never needed it more badly, or wanted it as much!”

—Bill McKibben, founder of and author of Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

“Bright, vibrant, and buoyantly accessible, this effervescent celebration of the local food movement thrums with regional, national, and international implications.”

Booklist starred review

“Needs, challenges and changes are recorded so that other communities can share the success of our community-based sustainable agriculture system. What better way to celebrate the harvest season!”


“Beautifully illustrated, full of practical ideas and inspiring stories, Growing a Garden City will not only show you how it can be done, it gives you hope for the future.”

Davenport (Iowa) Public Library Staff Pick

“For newcomers to the local food movement, Growing a Garden City offers a simple, inviting overview. For those already in the trenches, the book will inspire when burnout seeps in. It belongs on the coffee table, in the classroom, and on the farm.”

Farm Fresh North Carolina

“An important book. A heart-warming book. A hopeful book. So many people can relate to parts of the story. You don't realize all these other aspects of what community gardening in its broadest sense can be.”

—The Write Question

Growing a Garden City is a Studs Terkel-like collection. In reading the book and listening to these voices, the idea of agriculture-supported community—‘a community bound…by local food and farming’—became clear.”

“At once a how-to manual and collection of personal narratives, Growing a Garden City will both inspire and teach anyone interested in food justice, food literacy, food security and community building.”

—BioCycle Magazine

“Fantastic. Growing a Garden City literally made me gasp to see what one city has accomplished as an integrated urban agriculture prototype for the nation.”

FoodShed Planet

“Provides an apt resource for any city looking for a meaningful food model and offers a powerful read about just how unifying community gardens can be.”

Missoula Independent 2010 “Best Read”

“Jeremy N. Smith shows how his town, and any place, anywhere, can find community through a new kind of interdependence: everyone relies on each other, everyone is necessary, everyone belongs.”

Real Dirt Radio

“Smith busts myths: Local food is not too expensive, not too time-consuming, does not need a California climate, and it’s not elitist.”

The Montanan

“A delightful education on what can be accomplished for the common good.”

—Montana Quarterly

“A get-started guide to transform your own town into a cornucopia of local foods. If you are a part of a local food movement, read this book.”

—Zone 4

“This inspiring story contains handsome photographs that graphically illustrate the volunteer efforts of different segments of society.”

—Chicago Botanic Garden

“A wonderfully innovative project that has taken on a life of its own with multiple benefits.”

Naturally Vibrant Living

“Shares stories and ideas on how to create smaller-scale neighborhood partnerships that connect you with your community, and keep you engaged.”

—Brooklyn Food Coalition

"Smith’s inspiring stories show how anyone can be a leader in their community, get their hands a little dirty, & produce the best possible ingredients for cooking.”

SmartBlog on Restaurants

“Shows that growing your own food and sharing it with others has a great effect on the community.”

Salt Lake City Examiner

“A testimonial to the power and potential of the sustainable food systems movement to transform not just the lives of the Whole Foods set, but of a diverse group of people.”

Left Eye on Books

“An uplifting look at people who’ve taken their food supply into their own hands.”

Riffle Home and Garden

Fifteen people—plus a class of first graders—tell how local food, farms, and gardens changed their lives and their community. And how they can change yours, too.

This 240-page book is an oversized, 8-by-10-inch, full-color hardcover, including over 80 photographs, and makes a great read, reference, or gift. Foreword by legendary author and environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Growing a Garden City includes:

  1. Fifteen first-person stories of personal and civic transformation from a range of individuals, including farmers and community garden members, a low-income senior and troubled teen, a foodie, a food bank officer, and many more

  2. Seven in-depth “How It Works” sections on student farms, community gardens, community supported agriculture (CSA), community education, farm work therapy, community outreach, and more

  3. Detailed information on dozens of additional resources from relevant books and websites to government programs and national non-profit organizations

  4. Over 80 full-color photographs showing a diverse local food community at home, work, and play

Read Growing a Garden City to:

  1. Learn how people like you, with busy lives like yours, can and do enjoy the many benefits of local food without having to become full-time organic farmers

  2. Gain the information you need to organize or get involved in your own "growing community” anywhere across the country and around the world

Excerpts from and more info about the book:

  1. Table of Contents

  2. Foreword and Introduction

  3. The Teenager,” “The Counselor,” and “How It Works: Farm Work Therapy

  4. Local Food, Farms, and Gardens: Fact and Fiction

  5. Who are “The New Faces of Local Food”?

  6. Watch the book video trailer and see early praise

  7. Watch a short news report about the book and author

  8. “Taking Root: Growing a Garden City digs through local food system,” author Q&A in the Missoula Independent

  9. “Go to Jail or Go to a Farm: How One Community Is Growing More Than Just Food,” AlterNet book review

  10. Jeremy N. Smith on The Write Question radio show

  11. “How to Grow a Garden City” public talk on NPR Utah

Make contact and buy today

Please contact me about the book, including how to order copies at a special rate or set up an event.

Growing a Garden City can also be ordered now at your local independent bookseller or at


Video trailer: Growing a Garden City in 60 Seconds

KECI News covers Growing a Garden City

Previous Events

• Garden City Harvest Book Release Party and Signing

Thursday, October 7, 2010, 7 p.m.

Historic Roxy Theater

718 S. Higgins Ave., Missoula, MT 59801

• Reading and Q&A with Photographer Chad Harder

Thursday, October 14, 2010, 7 p.m.

Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers

103 S. 3rd St. W., Missoula, MT 59801

• Reading and Q&A with Photographer Sepp Jannotta

Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 7 p.m.

Chapter One Book Store

252 Main Street, Hamilton, MT 59840

• Cooks and Books with Farmer Greg Price

Thursday, October 21, 2010, 7 p.m.

The Good Food Store

1600 S 3rd St W., Missoula, MT 59801

• Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO): Annual Meeting Closing Keynote Address

Sunday, October 24, 2010, 12 p.m.

Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds

98 West Custer Avenue, Helena, Montana 59602

• The Montana Festival of the Book

Friday, October 29, 2010, 2:30 p.m.

Holiday Inn Montana Boardroom

200 S. Pattee St., Missoula, MT 59802

Garden City Celebration: Author Talk, Photos, and Food

Friday, December 3, 2010, 5:30 p.m.

Fact and Fiction

220 North Higgins Ave., Missoula, MT 59802

The Alpine Artisans

Saturday, February 26, 2011 7:00 p.m.

The Grizzly Claw Trading Co., Seeley Lake, MT 59868

Go Grow! Georgia Organics Conference & Expo

Friday, March 11, 2011, 8:15 a.m.

International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, GA

• Busboys & Poets @ 14th & V

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

2021 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

• The Horticultural Society of New York

Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 6-8 p.m.

148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018

• Messiah Brooklyn in Greenpoint

Thursday, March 17, 2011, 7 p.m.

129 Russell Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222-4203

• Urban Agriculture Forum

Friday, March 18, 2011, 10 a.m.

148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018

• Harvard University

Sunday, March 20, 2011, 6 p.m.

Lowell House Common Room

10 Holyoke Place, Cambridge, MA 02138

  1. Slow Food Boston with The Food Project and Friends

Monday, March 21, 2011, 6 p.m.

Voltage Coffee & Art

295 3rd St, Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

  1. University of Colorado at Boulder

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 3 p.m.

270 UCB, Hellems 251, Boulder, CO 80309

  1. Naropa University Green Lecture Series

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 6 p.m.

2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302

  1. Left Hand Books with Transition Colorado

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

1200 Pearl Street #10, Boulder, CO 80302

  1. The Tattered Cover with Grow Local Colorado

Thursday, April 7, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

Tattered Cover Book Store in Lower Downtown

1628 16th St., Denver, CO 80202

  1. Grow Together: Building Community through Food

Saturday, April 23, 2011, 3:30 p.m.

Rocky Mountain Grange

1 mile south of Hamilton, MT on Highway 93

  1. New West Festival

Friday, May 6, 2011, 2 p.m.

Holiday Inn

200 S. Pattee St., Missoula, MT 59802

• Moran Prairie Library

Monday, May 23, 2011, 2 p.m.

6004 S. Regal Street, Spokane, WA 99223

• Klindt’s Booksellers

Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 4 p.m.

315 East Second Street, The Dalles, OR 97058

• Cousins Country Inn

Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

2114 West 6th Street, The Dalles, OR 97058

• Oregon State University

Thursday, May 26, 2011, noon

Ag & Life Sciences Building, Room 4000, Corvallis, OR 97331

• Grass Roots Books

Thursday, May 26, 2011, 7 p.m.

227 SW 2nd, Corvallis, OR 97333

• Amazon Community Center

Friday, May 27, 2011, 6 p.m.

2700 Hilyard Street, Eugene, OR 97405

• Powell's City of Books

Sunday, May 29, 2011, 4 p.m.

1005 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209

• McReavy House

Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 7 p.m.

10 E. 2nd St., Union, WA 98592

• Highline Community College Sustainability Seminar

Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 2:30 p.m.

Building 3, Room 102

South 240th St. & Pacific Highway S, Des Moines, WA 98198

• Rainier Valley Community Center with Readers to Eaters

Thursday, June 2, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

4600 38th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

• The Village Green on Orcas Island

Saturday, June 4, 2011, 11:30 a.m.

Eastsound, WA 98245

• San Juan Island Library

Saturday, June 4, 2011, 5:30 p.m.

1010 Guard Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

• Lopez Island Library

Sunday, June 5, 2011, 2 p.m.

Lopez Island, WA 98261

• Spokane Food Access Coalition with Auntie’s Bookstore

Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 6 p.m.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane

4340 West Fort George Wright Drive, Spokane, WA 99224

• Food & Agriculture Under the Big Sky Conference

Thursday, June 9, 2011, 11 a.m.

Orchard Gardens, 210 N Grove Street, Missoula, MT 59804

• Salt Lake City Public Library

Thursday, Aug 11, 2011, 7 p.m.

210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111

• Philanthropy Northwest Annual Conference

Thursday, September 22, 2011, 2 p.m.

Orchard Gardens, 210 N Grove Street, Missoula, MT 59804

• The University of Montana

Friday, October 21, 2011, 1 p.m.

Education Building, Room 312

32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812

  1. 18 Reasons, Urban Sprouts, Garden for the Environment

Thursday, November 3, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

593 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

  1. San José State University

Friday, November 4, 2011, noon

Clark Hall 240 (Communication Studies Lab)

One Washington Square, San José, CA 95192

  1. Full Circle Farm

Friday, November 4, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

The Library at Peterson Middle School, home of Full Circle

1380 Rosalia Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94087

  1. Growing Home on Maui

Thursday, January 12, 2012, 5-8 p.m.

Ala Kukui Retreat Center

4228 Hana Highway, Hana, HI

  1. ServeMontana Symposium

Friday, February 24, 2012, 12:30 p.m.

The Red Lion Colonial Hotel

2301 Colonial Drive, Helena, MT 59601

  1. 21st Century Community Learning Centers Conference

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Hilton Garden Inn

3720 North Reserve Street, Missoula, MT 59808

• The Inland Empire Gardeners

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 6:30 p.m.


2426 N Discovery Pl, Spokane Valley, WA 99216