It’s Tuesday! Quick, a tease!

From Wendell Berry’s Bringing it to the Table..

One could argue that the great breakthrough of industrial agriculture occurred when most farmers became convinced that it would be better to own a neighbor’s farm than to have a neighbor, and when they became willing, necessarily at the same time, to borrow extravagant amounts of money. They thus violated the two fundamental laws of domestic or community economy: You must be thrifty and you must be generous; or, to put it in a more practical way, you must be (within reason) independent, and you must be neighborly. With that violation, farmers became vulnerable to everything that has intended their ruin.

You have got to farm with both plants and animals in as great a diversity as possible, you have got to conserve fertility, recycle wastes, keep the ground covered, and so on. Or, as J. Russell Smith put it seventy years ago, you have got to “fit the farming to the land”—not to the available technology or the market, as important as those considerations are, but to the land. It is necessary, in short, to maintain a proper connection between the domestic and the wild. The paramount standard by which the work is to be judged is the health of the place where the work is done.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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