On a warm day last summer on his farm in Henry County, Wendell Berry sat on the front porch, and read what has become perhaps the quote he’s best known for.
“Eating is an agricultural act,” he read.
This is a quote that Berry doesn’t particularly like repeating.
“I suppose it’s the sentence I’ve written that’s been most quoted out of context, in isolation,” he said. “At first I was flattered by this, but now I’m dismayed by it. Because out of context, it strikes me as a rather stupid oversimplification, like all bumper stickers. And I have never been by intention, a composer of bumper stickers.”
Over the past five decades, Berry’s written countless books, essays and poems, and he's kept a farm. Two years ago, a center was founded in his name to continue his family’s work in agriculture, and next weekend the center will hold its first conference in his honor.
The conference will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Berry’s book, The Unsettling of America, and introduce the Berry Center’s work to the public.