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A “pat on the back” for locavore pioneer Eliot Coleman ’61

Among this year’s winners of the James Beard Foundation’s Leadership Awards is Eliot Coleman ’61, proprietor of Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, and one of the earliest popular advocates of organic, locally-grown food.

In an interview, Coleman says he is “flattered” to receive this “pat on the back.” “I’ve been fascinated by how rapidly the interest in local, quality food has grown,” Coleman added. “Back when I started this, I was talking another language. All of a sudden now, not only are there more producers, but there are more appreciators… Every time I’m out in the world, I’m just overwhelmed by how many young people there are [in organic farming].”

Wondering what an organic farmer studied at Williams fifty years ago? Well, according to this interview, “academics were a sideshow.” Mostly, Coleman focused on hiking, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, skiing and skating. Williams was the perfect place!

Coleman, pictured with his wife, Barbara Damrosch, on his website

Coleman, pictured with his wife, Barbara Damrosch, on his website

I hope he enjoys the food at the Foundation’s gala dinner in his honor, scheduled for October.