Food fight

The Farmer’s Diner in Barre, Vermont, serves the foods you would expect at a diner—ham and eggs, home fries, hamburgers, milkshakes. And it serves them at prices you would expect—the average check is about $7.50. Almost all of the food comes from within a 50-mile radius—which you also might expect, given that Barre is surrounded by good farmland, supporting pigs, chickens, potatoes, steers and dairy cows. But the fact that the food it serves is locally grown actually makes this place decidedly weird, the strangest diner in the country.

To open his restaurant Tod Murphy had to buck every trend in American agriculture, He had to buy his own smokehouse, persuade schoolkids to raise pork and find someplace to get chickens slaughtered. He had to try to relocalize farming.


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