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How to write a cookbook like locally delicious for your bioregion
This is the How-To guide for Locally Delicious
Please contact us the authors/editors of Locally Delicious: Recipes and Resources for Eating on the North Coast at firstname.lastname@example.org for a more thorough discussion of our process, struggles, and recommendations for putting together this type of collaborative community project.
1. Don’t expect that this will be done quickly. A big part of the process and a lot of the fun involves community building. Plan for about 1 1/2 to 2 years from concept to printed books in hand.
2. Build a team We had a team of six with diverse skills: caterer, high school teacher/hardcore locavore/good cook, retired professor/good cook, retired public relations person/food activist/good cook, retired editor/good cook, retired craft book publisher/OK cook.
3. Organize and attend a few community potlucks featuring local foods and link local producers to consumers. A farmer’s market organization, Community Alliance with Family Farmers or a community Cooperative can be the springboard for this operation. Have lots of fun and quirky contests for local food recipes. Try to pull in local communities of varying cultures so the recipes will be varied and appealing to everybody in the larger community.
4. Collect the best recipes from the potlucks and from prominent producers and consumers. Make sure they contain local foods and be sure to taste test. Talk to chefs in local restaurants. Schmooze and enjoy!
5. Test and edit the recipes.
6. Edit the recipes some more, and select the final ones to be included.
7. Meanwhile collect the most current information on all the categories in the book. Producers, restaurants, sources. This takes a long time to verify and the information is mutable. Check out www.localharvest.org to start finding organizations, farmers’ markets and farms.
8. Develop a comprehensive chapter on the history of agriculture in your spot. The farm agent, if you have one, can help, also universities and old timers. Check in with the County Agriculture Commissioner, County Farm Bureau, history departments in your local library and history section of nearby University libraries. Do a web search for agriculture and your county name.
9. Solicit essays from the community on the importance of local agriculture and local consumption and include them. Be inclusive.
10. Establish a database of community members involved in local agriculture, commerce and consumption. Get lots of pictures, and always record the names of people in the photos and those taking them for later ease with photo credit. Find a really good photographer to collaborate.
11. Take pictures of the selected recipes. It helps to have a fantastic food stylist on the team.
12. Get somebody with a good eye and good software to do layout. The book needs to look appealing as well as be useful in the kitchen. Decide if you want a full color book or a black and white for a lower cost.
13. Have systematic professional quality public relations for the launch of the book so that the message gets out to the public clearly and repeatedly. Have photos of team members available for the press releases.