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 almost through reading Carl Safina’s seminal text Song for the Blue Ocean, which surveys the state of Bluefin Tuna in the Northeast of the United States, salmon in the Northwest, and coral reefs in the Pacific. More than fifteen years ago Safina’s voice artfully, evocatively raised an alarm about the real thought that needs … Continue reading Bluefin Tuna to Palm Oil: Sustainability is the Word: Three Books And A Blog.
This afternoon I’m drinking a Wasatch Devastator Double Bock (creamy, malty, yeasty and bananany) as I simmer diced onion and bacon (Revival Farms) in charred leftover bits of sirloin (Augustus Ranch). Grounded in the kitchen? Dwelling and being. I stir the pan and think through rural America, national parks, salmon on the Columbia River, returning … Continue reading Savoir-Vivre: Some Thoughts On Culture In A Bowl
In Chapter Three of The Unsettling of America, “The Ecological Crisis as a Crisis of Agriculture,” Wendell Berry pointedly defends the primacy of “wilderness” within the conservation movement in America. What has to be acknowledged at the outset is that wilderness conservation is important and that it has a place in any conservation program, just … Continue reading Wilderness, Good Oak, And Moby Dick
Born in Royal Oak, Michigan, raised in Troy, I really didn’t interact with the city of Detroit until I went to Wayne State University located in mid-town, south of Grand Boulevard and what used to be the General Motors Building, and north of Cass Corridor and dire poverty. My whole stay in the Metro-Detroit area … Continue reading From Small Goat Farms To Megafarms: The Shared Reality of Urban and Rural America.
Grant Wood’s 1930 painting of a pitchfork-wielding farm couple heralds our return to Wendell Berry’s The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. How to interpret this portrait? How to interpret American Gothic, which to my mind means the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Through the lens of The Unsettling of America, an interpretation becomes … Continue reading Unsettling America