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December 2009
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February 2010

Blog Watch: Letter to Mr. Wendell Berry

Letter to Mr. Wendell Berry « Family Cow Farmstand's Blog.
January 31, 2010

Dear Mr. Berry:

I had trouble sleeping tonight. It could be on account of the big moon outside or that my mind keeps coming back to Mr. Dean Pierson. He was a dairy farmer in Copake, NY. A few days ago he shot all 51 of his milkers then took his own life right there with them in the barn. Corporate control of our food system is literally breaking the backs of farmers. Maybe he had deep emotional troubles. But I wonder if things might have turned out differently for Mr. Pierson if he had been getting a fair price for his milk. Here in the northeast, farmers have been getting paid around a $1 per gallon for their milk for a while now. The price of equipment and cows is way down on account of everyone getting out at the same time. The situation is bleak. READ MORE ...

"Imagination in Place" reviewed

new Wendell Berry: Imagination in Place (Hearts & Minds Books).
Imagination in Place is, on the face of it, popular literary criticism. Each chapter is about a poet or novelist or writer he admires. However, there is a deeper theme here (although even a random collection of Berry's admiration of and friendship with different writers would itself be great.) Each of the writers he describes here are writers of place. Wallace Stegner on the American Southwest, or Ernest Gaines and his Louisiana plantations, or Donald Hall's New England are the sorts of well-known novelists or poets he celebrates. Berry laments (the dust jacket says) "today's dispossessed and displaced, those writers and people with no home and no citizenship, but he argues that there is hope for the establishment of new local cultures in both the practical and the literary sense." READ MORE ...

Reminder: WB in Florida on Monday » Blog Archive » Wendell Berry to give free lecture at Stetson Feb. 1.
Noted conservationist, poet, cultural critic and essayist Wendell Berry will discuss the impact of economic globalization on the way we live when he presents a lecture at Stetson University at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, in the Lee Chapel of Elizabeth Hall, 421 N. Woodland Blvd. [Deland, Fl]. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.  READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: Wendell Berry doesn't help

"Foodie Farmering": A stitch it time saves nine.
Mad at myself for piss poor management of the situation I pull out my calving books to look for some sort of sign I missed that would have made me want to be more vigilant or would have made me do the right thing. I already know I picked up on all of the signs and this was just pure laziness and poor stewardship with a little missed teamwork mixed in. I pour another big whiskey and I turn to Wendell Berry (an agricultural poet and writer) for solace. This usually helps in times like this. I open the book to a random page and to this…

“To live, we must daily break the body and spill the blood of creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily destructively, it is a desecration.”

Wendell Berry – The Gift of Good Land

Well, that didn’t help…..


Blog Watch: Reflecting on Berry/Pollan conversation

Finding Our Bearings « The Comma.
It was, of course, a wonderful conversation. Berry talked about good work and about his writing, and noted that he still does not own a computer. That’s where the irony I mentioned earlier comes in. Last year I was introduced to and fell in love with some of the newest technologies available, and this year I was called back to what holds us as human; deeper than technology, and sometimes in direct opposition to it. Not just Berry and Pollan, but also the conference itself, which featured Matthew Fox, talking with us about the relationship between spirituality and religion, were inviting me to remember my soul. READ MORE ...

WB influences Kentucky photographic project | Photo exhibit looks beyond Kentucky's iconic images.
Baldridge said she did a lot of research and drew on the writings of iconic Kentucky writer Wendell Berry and on her childhood memories of growing up near Covington.

"I realized that the most interesting facet of tobacco that I'd found was in the dichotomy that existed between the old and new," said Baldridge, who will give a gallery talk Feb. 10. "It tied everything together, images and the information I'd learned. So I began editing to show the relationship between the changing industry and the tradition tobacco maintains in Kentucky." READ MORE ...

Mountaintop mining update

EPA crackdown on mountaintop coal mining criticized as contradictory -
On Inauguration Day, the EPA began a crackdown on "mountaintop" coal mines. The agency has scrutinized about 175 proposed mines, where peaks would be blasted off and valleys filled in with the rubble. It has signed off on only 48.

EPA officials -- repeating a refrain from a fast-marching first year in which they also took on greenhouse gases and the seemingly eternal problems of the Chesapeake Bay -- say they're just following the law. That, they say, means keeping poisonous things from the inside of a mountain out of streams on the surface.

But to many people in Appalachia, the orders coming out of Washington, especially one this month, have appeared contradictory and mysterious, signing off on some mines and blocking others. Environmentalists are unhappy because they fear federal officials are losing their nerve to take on the powerful coal industry. The coal industry is unhappy because it thinks the administration is on the brink of giving in to the green crowd. READ MORE ...

Flourish on WB's "Gift": Rowley

Thomas Rowley on Wendell Berry's — Flourish.
“Let us speak of things at hand.”

With that phrase, Berry both warns us against abstraction (What does it mean really to “care for the environment”?) and calls us to the skillful tending of a particular place. In “The Gift of Good Land” he illustrates this with agriculture: “The trouble is that “world hunger” is not a problem that can be solved by a “world solution.” READ MORE ...