A few days before Tropical Storm Irene roared through Vermont, Ryan came across this passage from Wendell Berry: "Soil is not usually lost in slabs or heaps of magnificent tonnage. It is lost a little at a time over millions of acres by careless acts of millions of people. It cannot be solved by heroic feats of gigantic technology, but only by millions of small acts and restraints."
If Mr. Berry had visited our farm during Irene, he would have had the rare opportunity to see soil being lost in "heaps of magnificent tonnage." We watched in disbelief as the Mill River topped its banks and cut a new permanent riverbed through our fields, ripping away our crops, our equipment, our land, and our livelihood.
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