Sow What: A Grist special series

Imagine a place where residents pull together to create a thriving store and restaurant serving fresh, local food. Imagine a place where the money appears, the dreams become real, the produce and pastured meat taste like home. Imagine a place where officials support these dreams with policies that fund organic farmers and encourage the purchase of local food.

You can stop imagining. It’s happening in Woodbury County, Iowa.

It may seem an unlikely place for a food revolution, but in some ways it’s absolutely fitting. Surrounded by an increasingly industrial landscape, the people here decided they were hungry for change, and now they’re making themselves a better — and healthier — way.

Click the play button above to see images by Mark Hirsch that show what this sustainable-food revolution looks like in the flesh, and to hear Grist’s Tom Philpott share some behind-the-scenes reflections on his visit. (To read more about Tom’s trip, check out “A Tale of Two Counties.”)