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Living at Nature's Pace : Farming and the American Dream
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.
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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Chelsea Green Publishing
February 20, 2008
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