The Book

Farmer Jane by Temra CostaWomen are passionate advocates for sustainable food and farming and have been changing the way America eats and farms for decades. 

Farmer Jane tells 30 such stories of some exceptional women leaders that are working on this change by farming, educating, advocating, and/or transforming how we eat through their food businesses.

But it’s not just about being a woman. (Stay with me here.) It’s about the impact that femininity has in changing businesses for the better. Women lean towards relationships and long-term strategies that prioritize future generations, and the good news is that this viewpoint is starting to become valued in the emerging green economy. It’s all about systems thinking and perspectives of what the new (triple) bottom line should be – that of environment, people, and prosperity (health, and economic). Beyond their role in shifting business, women are raising the next generation of leaders, of farmers, of gardeners, of aware human beings that will care for this place long after we’re gone.

Meet the Women of Farmer JaneThis book is not just a celebration of the profiled women, but of all women that vote for sustainability every time they shop, eat, farm, and advocate for change. The biggest hope for this book is that you’ll be inspired to do the same.


Temra Costa is a tireless advocate for small-scale and sustainable farming in California.  It is through this work that she has met and worked with the collection of inspiring, unrelenting women featured in this book.  Farmer Jane is a work about good stewardship of the land and it is a joy to see so many peers, colleagues and friends honored in this wonderful anthology.

-- Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse and author of The Art of Simple Food

They say women hold up half the sky. They also hold down half the farms. Temra Costa's look at the growing sisterhood of women farmers and land activists is a revelation. Full of passionate, eccentric, off-the-chart kitchen visionaries, these resilient and outrageous women light the path for us to think about who is growing the food we eat and how they tend to the land and their communities. Even if you never thought of farming, or even gardening, it's full of tips on how to eat well, and make your community thrive.

-- NPR's Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva)

As night and day are fundamental to our survival, the leadership of women is absolutely essential if we are to have a livable and sustained planet earth. With respect to agriculture and sustenance, the 20th century has been called the 'locust years,' a time when the industrial logic of machinery and chemicals supplanted the mythos of life and stripped away complex webs of family farms under the moniker of husbandry. Farmer Jane heralds a growing "womandry" movement that restores people, place, and nurturance back into the heart of our culture. It is a scrumptiously written testament to the role of women in bringing back the life of our soils and daily fare— a roll call of pathfinders, a heralding description of how women are stepping forward to cultivate biological farming, vibrant communities, and meaningful livelihoods. 

-- Paul Hawken, author, Blessed Unrest

The sustainable food movement is largely a women's movement--women run many of the farms, staff the non-profits, provide the vital intellectual and physical energy that propels the movement forward. This has been a largely untold story--and Costa has provided a critical corrective by documenting, at long last, to the massive contribution women have made to transforming our food system.

-- Tom Philpott, Food editor, Grist; co-founder, Maverick Farms

"Personal, political, practical and powerful, Farmer Jane is beautiful field-guide to the future paths of the food movement. It works so well because it brings together everyone from farm worker organizers to fresh food activists and, with wit and wisdom, sparks the conversations and concrete actions that we'll need to transform our food system together. A wonderful book."

--  Raj Patel, New York Times Bestselling Author of Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved

In these crisp, vivid pages, noted food activist Temra Costa introduces us to the women who are tilling the ground for a healthier, more sustainable future.  Their stories are inspiring and important: the answers to our industrial food disaster are all here, if we'll only listen.

-- Christopher D. Cook, author of Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis.

Privacy  |  Site Map  |  Credits

Scroll to Top