Living at Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream

Living at Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream

by Gene Logsdon
     
 

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For decades, Logsdon and his family have run a viable family farm. Along the way, he has become a widely influential journalist and social critic, documenting in hundreds of essays for national and regional magazines the crisis in conventional agri-business and the boundless potential for new forms of farming that reconcile tradition with ecology.

Logsdon

Overview

For decades, Logsdon and his family have run a viable family farm. Along the way, he has become a widely influential journalist and social critic, documenting in hundreds of essays for national and regional magazines the crisis in conventional agri-business and the boundless potential for new forms of farming that reconcile tradition with ecology.

Logsdon reminds us that healthy and economical agriculture must work "at nature's pace," instead of trying to impose an industrial order on the natural world. Foreseeing a future with "more farmers, not fewer," he looks for workable models among the Amish, among his lifelong neighbors in Ohio, and among resourceful urban gardeners and a new generation of defiantly unorthodox organic growers creating an innovative farmers-market economy in every region of the country.

Nature knows how to grow plants and raise animals; it is human beings who are in danger of losing this age-old expertise, substituting chemical additives and artificial technologies for the traditional virtues of fertility, artistry, and knowledge of natural processes. This new edition of Logsdon's important collection of essays and articles (first published by Pantheon in 1993) contains six new chapters taking stock of American farm life at this turn of the century.

Editorial Reviews

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.
From the Publisher

"To love farming--real farming--in this day and time requires what a lot of people like to call crankiness but is in fact courage. . . . I have been reading Gene Logsdon for many years, and I have always taken courage from him. I thank him, and I shake his hand."--Wendell Berry

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603580496
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
02/01/2000
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
257
File size:
829 KB

Meet the Author

A prolific nonfiction writer, novelist, and journalist, Gene Logsdon has published more than two dozen books, both practical and philosophical. Gene’s nonfiction works include Holy Shit, Small-Scale Grain Raising, Living at Nature’s Pace, The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening, Good Spirits, and The Contrary Farmer. His most recent novel is Pope Mary and the Church of Almighty Good Food. He writes a popular blog, The Contrary Farmer, as well as an award-winning column for the Carey Ohio Progressor Times, and is a regular contributor to Farming Magazine and Draft Horse Journal. He lives and farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. You can visit his blog at http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/.

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