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At Nature's Pace
     

At Nature's Pace

by Gene Logsdon
 
Seminal, environmental and agricultural essays by the acclaimed journalist and Ohio farmer, Gene Logsdon, who has written regularly for publications such as Orion, Whole Earth Review, Mother Jones, The Utne Reader, Organic Gardening, and New Farm.

Overview

Seminal, environmental and agricultural essays by the acclaimed journalist and Ohio farmer, Gene Logsdon, who has written regularly for publications such as Orion, Whole Earth Review, Mother Jones, The Utne Reader, Organic Gardening, and New Farm.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this collection of essays reprinted from a variety of farm journals, a fourth-generation farmer in north-central Ohio looks at the current state of the family farm with cautious optimism. But Logsdon is sharply critical of agricultural education, charging that land grant colleges pay more attention to agribusiness and technology than to the moderate-size family farm. In one essay, he explores the relationship between farming and nature, tracing a cowpat full cycle to show how pastures and livestock complete the food web. The author talks to Amish farmers who illustrate exemplary care of the land; he describes small specialty farms, urban gardeners and organic farmers. He advocates a traditional farm with mixed livestock, crops, garden and orchard. Readers who garden or farm will be heartened by these essays. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Logsdon is a farm writer and keen observer of the trends in American agriculture. In this collection of essays, written over a 12-year period (1980-92), he identifies the factors responsible for the decline of American agriculture and the demise of rural communities. Using his native Ohio as an example, he holds farmers, land grant colleges, farm organizations, and government officials accountable for sacrificing the long-term good in favor of short-term gains by operating farms that are labor- and chemical-intensive and economically and environmentally unsound. He predicts a rebirth of small-scale, profitable farms around the country using sustainable practices that will change the nation's attitudes concerning agriculture. Logsdon spent time observing an Amish community and was impressed by their formula for survival--a mixture of self-sufficiency, sustainable farming business acumen, and family life. Recommended for all readers who long for a return to traditional farming practices. --Irwin Weintraub, Rutgers Univ. Libs., Piscataway, N.J.
Roland Wulbert
Logsdon is as impersonal as a politician seeking office in these essays on the small commercial farmer. The operant word is "commercial", for Logsdon is no gentleman farmer. Although he writes about the spiritual rewards of farming, he always counterposes to them the thoroughly material woes suffered by the small "food and fiber producer"--his term for farmer. Such attention to terminology bespeaks Logsdon's resistance to the conventional wisdoms of the agribusiness executive, the noble ecological farmer, and even his constituency, the vanishing commercial farmer. It indicates, too, three pervasive features of his writing: tough-mindedness, historical perspective, and close attention to particularities. Thus, when he discusses the decline of the small commercial farmer, he invokes not some vague urban alienation but the changing curriculum in the department of agriculture at Ohio State; and when he writes about small farmers, he describes in detail--skillfully enough to shame most professional ethnographers--extended conversations in the Pour House restaurant. So we take seriously his prophecy that small farming will revive. Even should it fail, his writing documents with rare honesty and perspicacity a calling that has become all but invisible to most of us.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679427414
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/25/1994
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 8.66(h) x (d)

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