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February 2010
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April 2010

'Bringing it to the Table' reviewed

Bringing it to the Table by James Trimarco — YES! Magazine.
Pragmatic and passionate insights appear in each of the 24 essays in Bringing it to the Table, which manages to convey the essence of 40 years of activism in just a few hundred pages. The organization of the collection is superb. The first section on farming lays out Berry’s principles, which are supported in the second part by profiles of particular farmers. The third section consists mostly of selections from Berry’s novels, which show the preparation and consumption of food in the eminently sociable context where Berry feels it belongs. READ MORE ...

"Jayber Crow" makes Kentucky's First Lady's reading list

The Amplifier Online .::. South Central Kentucky's Entertainment Monthly.
Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry (Ages: 15-18) Mr. Berry is one of the Kentucky’s greatest living residents, and his contributions to literature cannot be understated. An advocate for nature, agrarianism and preservation, his gift for the written word spans the breadth of poetry, prose and non-fiction. Jayber Crow, part of his Port William fiction collection, continues to paint the portrait of a Kentucky community with humor and thoughtful reverence. READ MORE ...

Progress concerning W.Va strip mine

EPA proposes veto of largest W.Va. strip mine's permit  - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Obama administration on Friday moved another step toward blocking the largest mountaintop-removal mining permit in West Virginia history.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a "proposed determination" that Arch Coal's Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County would cause "unacceptable adverse impacts." READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: What's a WB quote without a Source?

Here's a blogger with a heap of WB quotations. That's good. But naming the source or sources from which the statements have come would have been even better.

Wendell Berry Quotes.
If I solve my dispute with my neighbor by killing him, I have certainly solved the immediate dispute. If my neighbor was a scoundrel, then the world is no doubt better for his absence. But in killing my neighbor, though he may have been a terrible man who did not deserve to live, I have made myself a killer—and the life of my next neighbor is in greater peril than the life of the last. In making myself a killer I have destroyed the possibility of neighborhood. READ MORE ...

WB inspires Brooklyn farmer

In Brooklyn, Lettuce, Not Steel, Scrapes the Sky - Food - The Atlantic.
At 20 years old, when I was a very susceptible young thinker, I read Wendell Berry's essay "The Pleasures of Eating." To this day, it remains the most powerful essay I've ever read about food.

Beginning with the simple assertion that "Eating is an agricultural act," Berry deftly unfolds the tragedy of the modern American food system, then lays out a short charter of actions for the ecological eater. He ties our good health to food sovereignty: the ability to grow our own food, or at least understand where it comes from. He links food quality to healthy soil, healthy soil to good farming, and better farming stewardship to the sustainability of our watersheds, our country, and the planet. To eat well is as simple as maintaining a healthy curiosity about the connection between dirt and dinner.

The essay concludes with a list of common-sense ways an eater can do this. He asks that we cook for ourselves, try to grow our own food, make friends with farmers, and investigate the stories of our favorite plants. I can remember exactly what I did next when I finished the article: everything, precisely as he suggested. READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: Review of "Jayber Crow" audio

Review: Jayber Crow - David Michael Bruno.
This is a quick review. I just don't have the time to go in depth.

First, read it. Definitely read Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. You might consider listening to Jayber Crow, too. This time through, that's what I did. Overall, the audiobook version of the Jayber Crow is marvelous. Wonderful! There is, however, one complaint I'll get to in a minute. READ MORE ...

Of Interest: "Farming as a Spiritual Discipline"

Flourish Book Review: Farming as a Spiritual Discipline by Ragan Sutterfield — Flourish.
Sutterfield describes what should be our correct relationship with nature: that of creatures of a loving God who, by extension and Imago Dei, should love creation. Practically speaking, Sutterfield says that farming is a route to reconnecting with the ways of loving creation that we have forgotten.

When it comes to growing food and farming, Sutterfield says that we can react to the changeability of nature in two ways: artificial control, or cultivation. Either we “attempt to overcome the variables” of the environment with cruel and harmful means, or we use a way of farming that forces us to order our lives around the unpredictability of the changing seasons and weather. Farmers who don’t cater to the pressure of consumerism and expansion live out the disciplines of humility and frugality, virtues that Sutterfield believes are “paths to find our way back to a true understanding of what is valuable.” READ MORE ...