Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food

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Counterpoint Press, 2009 - Literary Collections - 234 pages

Only a farmer could delve so deeply into the origins of food, and only a writer of Wendell Berry’s caliber could convey it with such conviction and eloquence. Long before Whole Foods organic produce was available at your local supermarket, Berry was farming with the purity of food in mind. For the last five decades, Berry has embodied mindful eating through his land practices and his writing. In recognition of that influence, Michael Pollan here offers an introduction to this wonderful collection.

Drawn from over thirty years of work, this collection joins bestsellers The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Pollan, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, as essential reading for anyone who cares about what they eat. The essays address such concerns as: How does organic measure up against locally grown? What are the differences between small and large farms, and how does that affect what you put on your dinner table? What can you do to support sustainable agriculture?

A progenitor of the Slow Food movement, Wendell Berry reminds us all to take the time to understand the basics of what we ingest. “Eating is an agriculture act,” he writes. Indeed, we are all players in the food economy.
 

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User Review  - thornton37814 - LibraryThing

Wendell Berry was into sustainable agriculture and the local foods movement long before it became fashionable. Through a series of essays, Berry tells why more Americans should be farmers. I did enjoy ... Read full review

Contents

Nature as Measure a
3
Stupidity in Concentration a
11
Agricultural Solutions for Agricultural Problems a
19
A Defense ofthe Family Farm a
31
Energy in Agriculture a
57
Seven Amish Farms a
105
A Good Farmer of the Old School a
119
Charlie Fisher a
129
On The Soil and Health a
161
Agriculture from the Roots Up a
173
From ThatDistantLand a
187
From Hannah Coulter a
195
From TheMemory ofOldJack a
213
From Jayber Crow a
221
The Pleasures ofEating a
227
Copyright

A Talent for Necessity a
139

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About the author (2009)

Wendell Berry The prolific poet, novelist, and essayist Wendell Berry is a fifth-generation native of north central Kentucky. Berry taught at Stanford University; traveled to Italy and France on a Guggenheim Fellowship; and taught at New York University and the University of Kentucky, Lexington, before moving to Henry County. Berry owns and operates Lanes Landing Farm, a small, hilly piece of property on the Kentucky River. He embraced full-time farming as a career, using horses and organic methods to tend the land. Harmony with nature in general, and the farming tradition in particular, is a central theme of Berry's diverse work. As a poet, Berry gained popularity within the literary community. Collected Poems, 1957-1982, was particularly well-received. Novels and short stories set in Port William, a fictional town paralleling his real-life home town of Port Royal further established his literary reputation. The Memory of Old Jack, Berry's third novel, received Chicago's Friends of American Writers Award for 1975. Berry reached his broadest audience and attained his greatest popular acclaim through his essays. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture is a springboard for contemporary environmental concerns. In his life as well as his art, Berry has advocated a responsible, contextual relationship with individuals in a local, agrarian economy.

Michael Pollan is a contributing writer for "The New York Times Magazine" as well as a contributing editor at "Harper's" magazine. He is the author of two prize-winning books: "Second Nature: A Gardener's Education" and "A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder." Pollan lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.

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