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The Natural World

Agriculture

Fiction

Tiny Bells

I am a dream. Once I was a man. Once I dreamed as you now dream, woke as you will awaken. I used to walk the world between earth and sky. Now I am a memory. If you awake to memories of a life you never lived, it is because you have let me enter your dreams.

The Sun Interview

Biting The Hand That Feeds: How Globalization Cripples Small Farms

An Interview With Vandana Shiva

This year farmers started to commit suicide in Uttar Pradesh, the richest agricultural state in India. Some of the most fertile soil in the world can be found there, and the region has never had agricultural problems. But the first rule of globalization says, “Don’t grow food for yourself; grow export crops.” So the farmers there all grew potatoes. And then potato prices collapsed. The potato-chip makers have walked off with super profits, and the farmers have been left with huge debts.

Photography

The Task At Hand

In my wanderings through small villages around the world, I have often sat and marveled at how people in other cultures perform their daily work. There is an acceptance of the tasks at hand and a pride in exerting excellence. At the end of a day their harvest is contentment and sweet sleep.

Quotations

Sunbeams

This was the dawn of plastic eating in America. . . . We doted on Velveeta. Spam. Canned ravioli. Instant puddings. Instant anything. The farther a thing was from the texture, flavor, and terrifying unpredictability of real food, the better.

Shirley Abbott

The Sun Interview

Earthly Delights

Cultivating A New Agricultural Revolution: An Interview With Michael Ableman

When we focus on regional production and regional distribution, the issues around the use of chemicals and other materials resolve themselves. It’s as simple as standing across the table at the farmers’ market from the person who’s growing your food. Ultimately the basic health of the food system is not about laws; it’s about relationships: interpersonal, ecological, and biological. The people who eat my food don’t need a legislative act to know that what I’m providing is safe to eat. They know me, and they know my farm. That, to me, is the best form of certification. It’s based on outdated ideas like honor and trust.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Wicked Birds

The Saturday my fingers were mauled I distinctly recall black birds everywhere. They clung to the electrical wires that draped from the several small outbuildings to the large red barn in the center of the farm. The birds called from the walnut trees and hopped among the combed-over swatches of fescue in the steaming pasture.

The Sun Interview

Amid Plenty

Anuradha Mittal On The True Cause Of World Hunger

The United Nations estimates that around 830 million people in the world do not have adequate access to food. Numbers, though, distance us from the real pain felt by the hungry. Hunger is a form of torture that takes away your ability to think, to perform normal physical actions, to be a rational human being. There are people in my own country, India, who for months have not had a full stomach, who have never had adequate nutrition. This sort of hunger causes some to resort to eating anything to numb the pain: cats, monkeys, even poisonous roots.

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