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Upcoming: Bill Moyers Speaks to Wendell Berry on PBS

Where would the food movement be if it were not for Wendell Berry? His book, The Unsettling of America, is the seminal work looking at how our industrial food system has effected our land and our culture. At 79 years old, he is still dedicating himself to shifting our environmental consciousness. This week, Bill Moyers profiles Berry, one of America’s most influential writers, a passionate advocate for the earth, whose prolific career includes more than 40 books of poetry, novels, short stories, and essays, in Wendell Berry: Poet & Prophet. Read more

Emperors Need Mentors, Too: A Review of My Empire of Dirt

Manny Howard’s new book, My Empire of Dirt, is haunted by the living ghost of Wendell Berry.  First there’s the epigraph by Berry in which he instructs us on how to “use land well,” and it includes knowing and loving the land, and using the right tools. (To paraphrase a master, poorly.)

Then, early on in Howard’s recounting of a season spent trying to turn his south Brooklyn backyard into a homestead, the voice of Wendell Berry comes to him, offering further wisdom. Only problem is, Howard confesses in the epilogue that “On the Farm, Wendell Berry girded me.  Not that I had ever read a word he’d written until I was back at my desk, trying to make sense of the year.” Huh? Read more

Review Of Wendell Berry’s New Collection Of Essays, What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth

In much the same way that Michael Pollan has told us in recent years not to trust our nutrition to the nutritionists, essayist, sage, and father of modern agrarian thought, Wendell Berry, instructs us that we should never have trusted our economy to economists. At least not to the ones who have been (mis)handling it for the last hundred years or so. Read more

Listening to Wendell Berry

On a cold, sunny Kentucky day at a solar-powered livestock gathering, otherwise known as the American Grassfed Association’s annual conference, I began to feel something like nostalgia. I say “something like” because it was an ironic reminiscence for a past agriculture I’ve never known yet at the same time feel connected to. Maybe this experience was not nostalgia, but instead an apparition of a sensibility returning to sow the seeds of posterity’s stake. Read more