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The Sun Magazine

The Natural World

Agriculture

The Sun Interview

Sowing Dissent

Lunatic Farmer Joel Salatin Digs In

A farm should be aesthetically, aromatically, and sensuously appealing. It should be a place that is attractive, not repugnant, to the senses. This is food production. A farm shouldn’t be producing ugly things. It should be producing beautiful things. We’re going to eat them.

The Sun Interview

Farmed Out

Wes Jackson On The Need To Reinvent Agriculture

We must turn our attention to the water and the soil and ask, “How do we insure that the bread we eat does not come from grains that are grown in eroding soil and that load our water with nitrogen and pesticides?” Soon people will realize that annuals are poor managers of soil nutrients and water, and that agriculture will need to turn to perennials to better manage those resources.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Grandpa’s Vessel

Before he developed Alzheimer’s, my grandfather was stern and taciturn, but after the plaque started to build up around his synapses, he turned into a different man, and in many ways a better one. He started to laugh at things, like the way one of our pigs would chew bubble gum, or how the barn kittens played in the hay.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

After All This Is Over

We got dressed up to go to the courthouse. It was strange to be out of school, and even stranger to be heading off to appear before a judge to prove that our family was broke, but our mother insisted we kids come along. My brother and I sported polyester suit coats handed down from our cousins in Terre Haute, and the girls wore the same dresses they had worn for our grandparents’ funerals.

The Sun Interview

Prophet Of Modest Profit

Woody Tasch On How Not To Get Rich Quick

We use the power of entrepreneurship but support the entrepreneurs who design businesses to solve social and environmental problems and are committed to bioregions and communities. I’m especially interested in agriculture as a place to create that change. We’re not investing enough in small-scale, organic agriculture. Rapid economic growth has created tons of cheap food with a long shelf life, but it’s destroyed family farms, which are vital to rebuilding and preserving soil fertility.

Fiction

The Mere Mortal

Carla happened to be kneeling outside the poultry enclosure when she heard her daughter Amanda in the milking barn telling the new boyfriend, “My father is a beatnik. He hates life up here. He calls us ‘montagnards.’ He really loves North Beach. And he’s in the right place, too, in North Beach. Because he’s into porn — something I approve of.

The Sun Interview

Countertop Culture

Something Is Fermenting In Sandor Katz’s Kitchen

The revolution I would like to see is a devolution of agriculture. We have to let go of the notion of mass-producing food. It just doesn’t work. Cars and computers may lend themselves to mass production, but with food it has been a disaster. We have to revive small-scale food production and relearn the art of food processing, including fermentation, so we can stop relying on these huge and vulnerable food infrastructures.

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