I’ve always appreciated Wendell Berry’s reflections on the land and our human activity on it, but it has gone a bit deeper this past year with my family’s investment in a small farm on the southern end of Prince Edward County, adjacent to the bird sanctuary of Point Petre. I must say I have benefitted from seeing farm land anew, the changing seasons up close, the roaring lake nearby, and the myriad of stars at night.
In a recent interview in The New Yorker, Berry reminds us of the preciousness of our living earth and how he has been passing his time here over his 87 years. First, prolifically writing books (52 and counting without the help of a computer!) on themes of the connection between the authentic human and caring for Mother Earth. Second, tending a small farm in Kentucky where he has a 5 acre vegetable garden growing asparagus, squash, carrots, cucumbers, celery and lettuce. He raises livestock (sheep and hogs) on another 70 acres—all to keep himself rooted in the earth and deeply conscious of his dependence on the land.
A few of his insights that speak to me right now:
“Eating is an agricultural act.”
“Rats and roaches live by competition under the law of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.”
“I do not see that computers are bringing us one step nearer to anything that does matter to me: peace, economic justice, ecological health, political honesty, family and community stability, good work.”
Thanks Lorraine. Yes, I use an I-Pad as well but I do hear what he is saying about our addiction to gadgets. At times it can be a bit too much!
Like the post Alan, computers, no, but 'tablets' a big YES! zoom family dinners during Covid. Messenger, another way to stay connected. Being able to harvest your own produce would be so rewarding so I hope for many years your family will have the pleasure!