Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture

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Counterpoint Press, 2011 - Nature - 272 pages
Locavore leaders such as Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and Barbara Kingsolver all speak of the need for sweeping changes in how we get our food. A longtime leader of this movement is Wes Jackson, who for decades has taken it upon himself to speak for the land, to speak for the soil itself. Here, he offers a manifesto toward a conceptual revolution: Jackson asks us to look to natural ecosystems--or, if one prefers, nature in general--as the measure against which we judge all of our agricultural practices.

Jackson believes the time is right to do away with annual monoculture grains, which are vulnerable to national security threats and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs. Soil erosion and the poisons polluting our water and air--all associated with agriculture from its beginnings--foretell a population with its natural fertility greatly destroyed.

In this eloquent and timely volume, Jackson argues we must look to nature itself to lead us out of the mess we've made. The natural ecosystems will tell us, if we listen, what should happen to the future of food.
 

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Contents

introduction
3
one mans education
19
earth is alive
64
the 3 45Billionyearold imperative and the Five pools
73
the rise of technological Fundamentalism
85
the most Serious loss of all
100
chemicals on the landscape
131
the loss of cultural capacity
135
a 50year Farm Bill proposal goes to washington
177
an appeal to the russians
188
were ants the First agriculturists?
201
analyzing the reSiStance
207
analyzing the resistance
208
PartV away From the extractive economy ChaPter 15 away From the extractive economy
218
thoughts on the natural history of eden
238
coda
243

how a little change can mean a lot
140
reverSing the Damage
145
consulting the genius
146
acknowledgments
250
references and notes
254
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