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I got this book from the library again just to I could quote this one section page 35 With industrialization has come a general depreciation of work As the price of work has gone up, the value of it has gone down, until now it is so depressed that people simply do not want to do it any We can say without exaggeration that the present national ambition of the United States is unemployment People live for quitting time, for weekends, for vacations, and for retirement over, this ambi I got this book from the library again just to I could quote this one section page 35 With industrialization has come a general depreciation of work As the price of work has gone up, the value of it has gone down, until now it is so depressed that people simply do not want to do it any We can say without exaggeration that the present national ambition of the United States is unemployment People live for quitting time, for weekends, for vacations, and for retirement over, this ambition seems to be classless, as true in the executive suites as on the assembly lines One works not because the work is necessary, valuable, useful to a desirable end, or because one loves to do it, but only to be able to quit a condition that a saner time would regard as infernal, a condemnation This is explained, of course, by the dullness of the work, by the loss of responsibility for, or credit for, or knowledge of the thing made What be the status of the working small farmer in a nation whose motto is a sign of relief Thank God it s Friday He discusses at length the importance of the family farm, the reason that they are fulfilling for both the farmer and the land and the community and our country From the next page The family farm is failing because it belongs to an order of values and a kind of life that are failing There is too much to quote here, but it is worth reading I love this book The middle section about Farming is the only section I wouldn t necessarily recommend to my foodie friends, but one which was valued by me This book consisted of three sections Farms, Farming and Food The first section were essays which were mainly examples of good stewards of the land they were given Many of the farmers stories had the same theme I remember using horses and oxen , use tractors minimally if at all, practice permaculture and sustainability wherever possib I love this book The middle section about Farming is the only section I wouldn t necessarily recommend to my foodie friends, but one which was valued by me This book consisted of three sections Farms, Farming and Food The first section were essays which were mainly examples of good stewards of the land they were given Many of the farmers stories had the same theme I remember using horses and oxen , use tractors minimally if at all, practice permaculture and sustainability wherever possible, build up the soil and honor your family These attributes are things that I would love to live by, but don t think I ll have a chance of in my lifetime The best I think I can do is read and practice these ideas in an urban area and pass on the knowledge and philosophy to children.The second section is in regards to farming This section has a lot of technical information about fertilizers, pest management, economics of the farm and marketing Once you have the qualitative goals in mind after reading the first section, section two will add some quantitative factors to the mix Finally, the third section about food Wendell Berry admits that he isn t a great cook and has only written about food in his fiction writing So this section is a number of excerpts from his fiction I wasn t as much interested in this section except the fact that all of the stories are about sharing what you have with people who don t It seems that the consumption part of agriculture is the biggest disconnect even after Jamie Oliver visits one s school Sure, these kids now know what a tomato really looks like on a vine, but what about the emotional experience attached to preserving and preparing foods, and then sharing them with unexpected guests The sharing experience is one that is almost gone from our culture This is probably what most attracted me to agriculture from the roots the result of hard work is a friendly experience reminiscent of youth for me Youth is something that isn t as subjective as one would think It s what it means to be taken care of It s sharing mashed potatoes and Twix at a sleepover.Bringing It to the Table is a collection of essays from one of the finest writers on agriculture in recent history Reading Wendell Berry is as easy as reading Dr Seuss but as informative as Noam Chomsky He is a true craftsman and an inspiration While this book didn t change my life like other reviewers, it did add to the fire of getting back to peasantry Bringing It to the Table is a treasure house of Wendell Berry s work, an important collection of essays and excerpts gathered from his essays and fiction A cantankerous, argumentative, eloquent writer who knows farming and food from field to table, Berry has been writing forthan forty years about the sadly declining state of American agriculture, the dangers of industrialized food farming, and the importance to the human community and to the human body, mind, and soul of good husbandry I Bringing It to the Table is a treasure house of Wendell Berry s work, an important collection of essays and excerpts gathered from his essays and fiction A cantankerous, argumentative, eloquent writer who knows farming and food from field to table, Berry has been writing forthan forty years about the sadly declining state of American agriculture, the dangers of industrialized food farming, and the importance to the human community and to the human body, mind, and soul of good husbandry If you ve been reading Berry over the years my husband and I chose an excerpt from The Unsettling of America for our wedding ceremony in 1986 , you ll find some jewels here, all the richer for their association with other pieces in the collection If you re new to Berry s work, you ll be astonished at his prescience as Michael Pollan writes in his introduction, Berry is among the very first to point out the dangers of our American industrial agriculture and our disastrous separation of food production from food preparation and consumption.Bringing It to the Table is divided into three sections In Farming, the essays 1971 2004 provide a compelling review of the central argument of all Berry s work that we must adopt nature as measure and create farming practices that deeply connected to the nature of the particular place Industrial agriculture arming ignores and attempts to overcome the natural limits of place, seasons, soils, and resources It is, Berry warns, a failure on its way to being a catastrophe This place focus continues in the second section, Farmers It includes seven elegiac essays that describe true farmers, not dependent on fossil fuels or large farm debt, in touch with their soils, their climates, their animals people who understand and work within the limits of responsible husbandry These farmers range from the traditional Amish to the Land Institute, where a radical new science adopts the natural ecosystem as the first standard of agricultural performance The third section, Food, brings farm husbandry and farm housewifery together, with excerpts from Berry s fiction people sitting down to eat the food they have planted, raised, harvested, cooked, and served It is beautifully illustrated by the cover image Grant Wood s Dinner for Threshers The painting frames Berry s argument that eating is an agricultural act, that we must eat what is grown locally and prepared in our own kitchens, not prepackaged, precooked, premasticated It also demonstrates what, in Berry s view, is the central stablizing force and foundation of the agricultural partnership that women and men work together to unite household and farm, and that traditional farm housewifery helping with the work of the farm, preserving the harvest, and preparing the family s food is the essential contribution of women to the farm household economy Within this context, it is an honored contribution, not to be belittled as women s work As we face climate change, resource depletion, financial insecurity, and health issues created by poor food choices, the sustainable production and consumption of our food will undoubtedly be one of the most challenging issues of the twenty first century Wendell Berry has been trying to tell us this for many decades It s high time we began to listen This was not what I expected, after seeing poetic Wendell Berry quotes all over for years This collection of essays on Agriculture is a short, intense intro to Berry And he is mad, frustrated and right I m super glad I read this excepting part 3, which really could just contain his essay, The Pleasures of Eating , even though it wasn t an easy swallow I feeleducated and aware of what I m participating in, as an eater and human And that s the start of any big change. Wendell Berry is one of our most important contemporary writers, for his criticisms of the materialist worldview at the foundation of modern America His criticisms focus on agriculture, place, and industrialism, symbolic of how we ve wandered from the ways of our fathers.We moderns have sacrificed the intangible for what we perceive as tangible believingis always better, efficiency rules, and anyone who gets in the way is a luddite or crank Our measures of success are in terms of GDP, do Wendell Berry is one of our most important contemporary writers, for his criticisms of the materialist worldview at the foundation of modern America His criticisms focus on agriculture, place, and industrialism, symbolic of how we ve wandered from the ways of our fathers.We moderns have sacrificed the intangible for what we perceive as tangible believingis always better, efficiency rules, and anyone who gets in the way is a luddite or crank Our measures of success are in terms of GDP, dollars per share, test scores, and approval ratings But there is an inherent compromise in accepting these terms Berry writes, To regard the economy as an end or as the measure of success is merely to reduce students, teachers, researchers, and all they know or learn to merchandise It reduces knowledge to property and education to training for the job market p 171But people aren t merchandise, nor value mere economics He writes that if you want to evaluate the agriculture of a region, you must begin not with a balance sheet, but with the local water How continuously do the small streams flow How clear is the water How much sediment and how many pollutants are carried in the runoff Are the ponds and creeks and rivers fit for swimming Can you eat the fish p 177Industrialists and agribusinesses do not want to measure these things because they conflict with their balance sheets If they are accountable for the availability of water, the quality of it, the pollutants they spill into our waterways, or the fish that live in them, they would compromise they would lose their competitive balance I write this, not as one advocating for further environmental regulation, but as one in favor of giving individuals and communities equal protection under the law, rather than favoring large corporations with special interest funds and agendas.Berry is a bit confused here the role of government in the problem, and the solution to the industrialization of American culture He does acknowledge that agribusiness is in bed with the government when he writes, the advocates of factory farming are not advocates of farming They do not speak for farmers What they support is state sponsored colonialism government of, by, and for the corporations p 15 Statements like this do approach the problem in the right way, in articulating the destructive nature of corporatism.But he also argues the price of farm products, as they leave the farm, should be on a par with the price of those products that the farmer must buy In order to achieve this with minimal public expense, we must control agricultural production supply must be adjusted to demand Obviously this is something that individual farmers, or individual states, cannot do for themselves it is a job that belongs appropriately to the federal government p 43 But the very next page he writes, It may be that the gravest danger to farmers is their inclination to look to the government for help, after the agribusiness corporations and the universities to which they have already looked have failed them In the process, they have forgotten how to look to themselves, to their farms, to their families, to their neighbors, and to their tradition p 44This is one of Berry s most glaring weaknesses He has a knack for seeing problems that we collectively ignore, but his worldview has some glaring inconsistencies, like this inability to fully understand the government s role in fostering the industrialization of American agriculture.The disconnection of man from the land, which is what happened when millions of families moved away from family farms throughout the 20th century, has caused us to lose our sense of connectedness to the land and the production of food Berry says it well, when he writes that the family farm, died for want of people with the motivation, the skill, the character, and the culture to keep them alive They died, in other words, by a change in cultural value p 58 Berry doesn t use the word materialism often, but it is clear this is his target We think little of what we feed our livestock because they are only calories We think little of what we put onto our crops, because they are only chemicals We think little about what is in the soil, because it is only raw material.It is here that we begin to see some of the consequences For decades now the entire industrial food economy, from the large farms and feedlots to the chains of supermarkets and fast food restaurants, has been obsessed with volume It has relentlessly increased scale in order to increase volume in order presumably to reduce costs But as scale increases, diversity declines as diversity declines, so does health as health declines, the dependence on drugs and chemicals necessarily increases As capital replaces labor, it does so by substituting machines, drugs, and chemicals for human workers and for the natural health and fertility of the soil The food is produced by any means or any shortcut that will increase profits And the business of the cosmeticians of advertising is to persuade the consumer that food so produced is good, tasty, healthful, and a guarantee of marital fidelity and long life p 231We ve traded freedom from farm life and the perceived drudgery of traditional farming for a decrease in health and an increase in health care costs and reliance on pharmaceuticals But farming should not be drudgery, but a life in harmony with the natural order.Here is where we see Berry at his best describing the beauty of the pastoral life His novels are a vivid picture of this in action Farmers farm for the love of farming They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants They love to live in the presence of animals They love to work outdoors They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable They love to live where they work and to work where they live If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self employed, to live at least a part of their lives without a boss p 74It is hard to imagine agriculture returning to something like what it was, prior to the mass industrialization of it, but it is also difficult to imagine it continuing as it is Modern farming isakin to mining p 66 than it is to traditional farming How can such a thing persist in perpetuity What is the solution I don t think any individual has the answers, but we can learn together by assimilating the best ideas of men like Wendell Berry to build a future that is closer to the cadence set in motion by our Creator That means slowing down and acknowledging, and working within the rhythms of God s order, not man s At times the portraits patined of farmers feel terribly idealistic and dismissive of the pain uncertainty that lifetime farmers endure for most of their lives There s a spiritual draft to most of the arguments that is never allowed to develop, leaving a few of the essays regrettably sentimental and that s coming from a Port William fan Even still, the poetic imagism of mid century farming practices and the overview of routine decision making on behalf of the land is refreshing and grounding At times the portraits patined of farmers feel terribly idealistic and dismissive of the pain uncertainty that lifetime farmers endure for most of their lives There s a spiritual draft to most of the arguments that is never allowed to develop, leaving a few of the essays regrettably sentimental and that s coming from a Port William fan Even still, the poetic imagism of mid century farming practices and the overview of routine decision making on behalf of the land is refreshing and grounding pun un intended |DOWNLOAD ⚖ Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food ⚐ 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 pra While looking for books about gardening, I happened to pick up this book on a whim I d been familiar with Wendell Berry through some poetry and quotes of his work picked up over the years, but had never taken the time to read his work In the pages of his collected essays on farming, food, and agriculture, I found well formed ideas, practices, fears and beliefs and frustrations I ve heard from many once farming families in Wisconsin I was surprised how moved I was, a city girl in Milwaukee, re While looking for books about gardening, I happened to pick up this book on a whim I d been familiar with Wendell Berry through some poetry and quotes of his work picked up over the years, but had never taken the time to read his work In the pages of his collected essays on farming, food, and agriculture, I found well formed ideas, practices, fears and beliefs and frustrations I ve heard from many once farming families in Wisconsin I was surprised how moved I was, a city girl in Milwaukee, reading this book, but as he says, To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd If you eat, you should read this book Bringing It to the Table is an insightful compilation of essays written by Wendell Berry in which he emphasizes a loud warning about the state of the modern food we eat and how it is produced The book is grouped into three sections Farming, Farmer and Food.Berry describes in the first two sections how farming has changed over the last few generations, from small, land loving, self sufficient farmers and their families to large industrial farming whose chief concern is quantity and profit Th Bringing It to the Table is an insightful compilation of essays written by Wendell Berry in which he emphasizes a loud warning about the state of the modern food we eat and how it is produced The book is grouped into three sections Farming, Farmer and Food.Berry describes in the first two sections how farming has changed over the last few generations, from small, land loving, self sufficient farmers and their families to large industrial farming whose chief concern is quantity and profit The life source of the land is being abused and deteriorating quickly What does Berry suggest we do He is quite vocal and passionate about his answers For example, on page 39, he writes, As a nation, then, we are not very religious and not very democratic, and that is why we have been destroying the family farm for the last forty years along with other small local economic enterprises of all kinds.We have said, Get big or get out We have said, Adapt or die And we have washed our hands of them He says this attitude must change.He further states, The industrial farmer consumesthan he produces and is a captive consumer of the suppliers who have prospered by the ruination of such farmers So far as the national economy is concerned, this kind of farmer exists only to provide cheap food and to enrich the agribusiness corporations, at his own expense Page 127.The last section, Part III, FOOD, contains excerpts from a variety of Berry s novels and an essay The Pleasures of Eating This section is very touching because it relates stories of the old farm life and the importance of good food In his notes, Berry writes, All the episodes from my stories and novels are not about food only, but about meals You can eat food by yourself A meal, according to my understanding anyhow, is a communal event, bringing together family members, neighbors, even strangers At its most ordinary, it involves hospitality, giving, receiving, and gratitude Page 185.In the last essay, Berry writes, The current version of the dream home of the future involves effortless shopping from a list of available goods on a television monitor and heating precooked food by remote control Of course, this implies and depends on a perfect ignorance of the history of food that is consumedThe dreamer in this dream house will perforce know nothing about the kind of quality of this food, or where it came from, or how it was produced and prepared, or what incidents, additives, and residue it contains Unless the dreamer wakes up In short summary, Berry defends that consumers no longer understand where and how their food is produced This is all to the detriment of the land, the livestock and the health of those who eat that is you and me and our parents and our children He passionately pleads that we should pay attention before it is too late.This book interested me because my husband is a retired farmer, a farmer who loves his land and is actively conserving it I understand Berry s viewpoint Just look at the farms and the farming communities today Do you see any resemblance to yesteryear If this topic interests you and you would like to read Berry s suggestions to farm on a small, self sufficient manner, I recommend this book Important book True, good, and beautiful, in typical Wendell Berry fashion.