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Mary Berry interviewed by In These Times

Small farmers must select which stones to throw at Big Ag. And Mary Berry, Wendell’s daughter, is helping them take aim as executive director of the Berry Center in New Castle, Ky.

Why did you and your father create the Berry Center?

The Berry Center’s goal is to institutionalize agrarian thought and make a movement towards cultural change. We’ve been developing a four-year farm degree at St. Catherine College in Washington County, Kentucky. We're also working on a farm school, in Henry County, to help new or existing farmers learn what they need to know to get out of the commodity economy and into a local food economy. We're talking about everything farmers and landowners can produce on their land—from timber to tomatoes—and how to keep them secure, and out of a boom and bust economy.

Read more at In These Times

Blog Watch: On Wendell Berry's 'Two Economies'

In Wendell Berry’s essay “Two Economies,” he explains his thoughts on the important differences between a money economy or some “little” economy when compared to what he refers to as “The Great Economy.” This difference is vital to understand especially when humans consider the components and processes of creation.

Should humans see creation’s components and processes as resources, as the extractive mindset sees them? Or should humans see them as co-residents of The Great Economy. For my purposes here, soil is the great co-resident – something that resides with – that is of utmost importance for the survival of the human species even beyond the exploitation of other components of creation, such as fossil oil or fossil water.

via Hebron Acres

Wendell Berry at road protest show

More than 500 people who paid $10 to $15 a ticket packed a sold-out show at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Center in Lexington to protest a proposed connector road that would stretch from Nicholasville over the Kentucky River to Interstate 75 in Madison County ...

Wendell Berry, who has spent a lifetime writing about rural community, read a fanciful account of the "Buzzard General Assembly." The buzzards, he said, "unanimously concluded and instructed me to tell you that they foreswear all rights and claims to the carrion, with the giblets and gravy thereof, that would be produced by said connector."

Read more here:

Read more here: Berry, who has spent a lifetime writing about rural community, read a fanciful account of the "Buzzard General Assembly." The buzzards, he said, "unanimously concluded and instructed me to tell you that they foreswear all rights and claims to the carrion, with the giblets and gravy thereof, that would be produced by said connector."


Read more here:

Blog Watch: About Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is all the rage these days among ecologists, traditional conservatives, and hipster Christians. Considering the full range of Berry’s work in the George Review, Charles Hudson says: “In an age when many writers have committed themselves to their ‘specialty’—even though doing so can lead to commercialism, preciousness, self-indulgence, social irresponsibility, or even nihilism—Berry has refused to specialize. He is a novelist, a poet, an essayist, a naturalist, and a small farmer. He has embraced the commonplace and has ennobled it.”


Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson at Oberlin College

Having just one of these remarkable great thinkers, writers, and activists with us would be an honor. So this is truly a rare event. Tonight they will discuss with Professor David Orr what progress environmentalism has made over the past 35 years, as well as specific aspects of their work.


As many of you know, Oberlin—college and town—have been working together in those areas and have made significant progress in recent years.

Our efforts center on the Oberlin Project, a joint effort of the city of Oberlin, Oberlin College, and private and institutional partners to improve the resilience, prosperity, and sustainability of our community.

The project, founded by David Orr, is one of four partners in the Clinton Climate Initiative to achieve worldwide status. Our goal it to transform our socioeconomically diverse town in the Rust Belt into a model of sustainable, zero-carbon economic development centered on education, the arts, and local agriculture, forestry and food production. Developing a 13-acre Green Arts District in downtown Oberlin at a platinum-LEED level is one of the project’s key initiatives.


See Also:

"Convocation Series Opens" (Oberlin OnCampus)

A visit with Wendell Berry

Gracing the front porch of Wendell Berry’s farmhouse outside Port Royal, Ky., two traveling companions and I enjoy a glass of ice water with the legendary writer. How we ended up there is a tale in itself. Back-and-forth correspondence with Wendell over the summer. A road trip starting at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning so we could attend Port Royal Baptist Church. But the journey is merely prelude to a conversation with Wendell - and conversation is what counts on this pleasantly warm August afternoon.

Wendell wasn’t in church that Sunday morning, although his wife Tanya was. She spotted us in the congregation and came over to greet us even as she rounded up a few extra choir members for the opening song. “This is Wendell’s Sunday to be in the woods,” she said.


Wendell Berry on Kentucky's two parties

The two-party arrangement in Kentucky really has not much to do with Republicans and Democrats. The two parties that actually matter are the Party of Coal and the Party of All Else.

The second of these, unlike the first, is not a one-interest party. It is necessarily diverse, for it includes many interests, some of which are not primarily or exclusively human. It includes most notably a substantial number of people who respect the ecological principles of wholeness, coherence, and endurance. They understand moreover that all living creatures are dependent ultimately on the integrity of ecosystems, which are unities composed of an immense number and diversity of creatures.


Read more here:

Blog Watch: Thinking about Wendell Berry

The small farmer is chiefly concerned with caring for the land; not over-farming it and preserving it for future generations. He shapes it with his work and intelligence, and it shapes and supports him: his body, his food, his emotions, his self-esteem, even his sense of immortality. Long after he is dead and forgotten, the land he cared for will remain. The symbiotic relationship is like a marriage. On the other hand, the agro-businessman with his chemical fertilizers and pesticides quickly exhausts the natural fertility of the soil, while suburbanites and city people see land in terms of real estate value and square-footage.

It isn’t just that people who do not value the land destroy it, but that they ultimately destroy themselves. Though the small farmer is as desperate to make a profit as anyone else, he knows he can only make money through his responsible love for the land. On the other hand, those who can only see the land in terms of money, and not love, end up seeing themselves and the people around them in primarily economic terms: whether or not a couple stays married, how many children they have, how they deal with their neighbors, how they treat elderly parents, and how they care for their own bodies is determined by an unconscious (or sometimes conscious) cost-benefit analysis.

via truthandtolerance