You are here: Home Homestead Living Culture Book Review: Small Is Possible Book Review: Small Is Possible by baughan77 January 4, 2009, 12:39 pm In the international marketplace of ideas, Lyle Estill is not a widely known expert on human-scale, local economies. He may never attain that status, if only be because he’s too busy making economic theory a sustainable reality in his little corner of North Carolina. In Small Is Possible: Life in a Local Economy, Estill chronicles the failures and victories of an ongoing movement for sustainability and local resiliency in Chatham County, located in the piedmont region of North Carolina. Estill is a legitimate source on the subject: he co-founded Piedmont Biofuels, a biodiesel co-op that went from backyard operation into an industrial plant in a few short years. He has recorded his adventures with biodiesel and other sustainable businesses in his first book, Biodiesel Power, as well as in local newspaper columns and on his own Energy Blog. The Daniels of Chatham County The characters in Estill’s world are both entertaining and endearing. Many of them show a flinty defiance, positioning themselves as courageous Daniels against the Goliaths of corporate greed and globalization. Just as important, they are also innovators and risk-takers. The author often leads the charge with business incubators, co-housing experiments, agricultural experiments, and college loan schemes that keep money in town. Keeping track of this book’s huge cast of characters is not easy. It doesn’t make for smooth reading, but it does illustrate Estill’s intimate knowledge of his neighbors and the gains he’s made to foster interdependent networks of sustainable enterprise. “Good ‘economic development’ is little more than an effective Rolodex,” he writes, thereby dispelling the mystery. What Estill calls “Hometown Security” is possible. Theory can become practice. Readers interested in academic arguments for local economies can find other books on the subject, but if they want a compelling story about noble attempts to walk the talk, Small Is Possible delivers. Image Credit: The Abundance Foundation See more Previous article Multi-purpose foods for health, happiness and planetary well-being: Chilli Crock-pot Soup Next article Living Ayurveda: A Medicine For Health And Sustainability One Comment Leave a Reply I loved this book! It was a fun, inspiring read that definitely threw up plenty of ideas worth thinking (and acting) on! Reply 2 Pings & Trackbacks Pingback:Life in a Local Economy | Red Jellyfish Pingback:Freedom Gardens and the 100 Foot Diet Challenge : Sustainablog Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Upload a photo / attachment to this comment (PNG, JPG, GIF - 6 MB Max File Size): (Allowed file types: jpg, gif, png, maximum file size: 6MB.