Above our heads in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo offers us a calm, High Renaissance view of mass extinction; whereas, The Flood (1588) by Kaspar the Elder Memberger has a darker tone. Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, with all your household, for you alone have I found righteous before Me in … Continue reading The Ark Of Corn, Uncle Tupelo, And Red Wattle Pigs.
Our third president farmed, and failed in quite a spectacular and yet illuminating way, as Modern Farmer’s Thomas Jefferson”s Farming Failures reveals–“When it comes to agriculture, few have persevered more in their failures than Thomas Jefferson.” His was a philosopher’s wonder as he walked the fields and forests of Monticello. In a letter to Lafayette on April … Continue reading Thomas Jefferson And La Fruta Del Diablo: The Promise And Problems Of Harvesting Food
Most of the artwork through this post is by Joe Jones (1909-1963) who painted midwestern wheat fields, segregation in the south, and the effects of The Great Depression on American farmers. The above painting The American Farm (1936) captures the stark ruin of soil and crops and the precarious struggle for life in rural America. … Continue reading Body and Soul: “our demands upon the earth are determined by our ways of living with one another.”
“Energy,” said William Blake, “is Eternal Delight.” And the scientific prognosticators of our time have begun to speak of the eventual opening, for human use, of “infinite” sources of energy. In speaking of the use of energy, then, we are speaking of an issue of religion, whether we like it or not. For Wendell Berry, … Continue reading The Eternal Delight Of Decay
I’m in the beer section of a market, what to have? What to have? Ah, Dogfish Head, yes they have some rather . . . oh, an almost three-thousand year old beer recipe from Italy. I’ll take it. Birra Etrusca Bronze: drinking vessels in 2,800 -year-old Etruscan tombs. I taste wine? Sauturne? Fermented pomegranate? A … Continue reading Rome: Porridge or Pig Stomach?
Much has been said and written about children fleeing Honduras for the United States, and yesterday the New York Times reported that our government seeks a remedy to the crisis by interviewing young adults and minors in Honduras to see if they may apply for refugee status on emergency humanitarian grounds. Now might be a … Continue reading The Violence Swirling Around Palm Oil: Roads and Kingdoms Travels To Honduras.
In Tracie McMillan’s National Geographic article, “The New Face of Hunger,” the nature of agribusiness, food production and government subsidies becomes a part of the puzzle of hunger in America. It’s a cruel irony that people in rural Iowa can be malnourished amid forests of cornstalks running to the horizon. Iowa dirt is some of … Continue reading We Don’t Like To Take Advice About Food–And That’s Part Of The Problem.