- About Us
- On Farm Programs
- Tool Shed Blog
The following interview with Wendell Berry has a few of great quotes from this great man that we would like to share with you:
(In response to questions about Roger Cohen’s New York Times op-ed calling organics the “the romantic back-to-nature obsession of an upper middle class able to afford it.” )”
“My objection to organic is that it has always been defined negatively. That is, in terms of things that you don’t do. I think good agriculture is always going to be defined in terms of things you do do: you make the farm provide as much of its own fertility and operating energy as you can.”
“If we can’t afford to take good care of the land that feeds us, we’re in an insurmountable mess. And at present, we’re not affording it….For people just to wave good agriculture away as something only an elite can afford – as if it were some kind of a prissy fashion – is just missing the whole point.”
“I tell the young: you can’t get into this on the assumption that you’re going to win, even in your lifetime. You have to get into it because you know it’s right and have all the fun you can while you work.”
A conversation with environmental campaigner Wendell BerryBy: Emma Brockes Published: The Guardian, 11 October 2012
Wendell Berry doesn’t come to New York very often. The 78-year-old lives in Kentucky, where his family has farmed for five generations.
When he flies to the city next week, it’s to collect a Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation for over half a century of campaigning for better methods of food production. During his career, Berry has demonstrated against everything from Vietnam to nuclear power, from mountain-top coal mining to the death penalty. Most famously, he has campaigned against what he sees as bad farming methods, particularly industrialized farming.
“I’m a writer more than I am a talker,” he says when I call him prior to his trip. In a life of extraordinary productivity, as well as his campaigning, Berry has authored more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and essays – he is most frequently compared to William Faulkner. And, in 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal.
Berry is still a committed activist, arguing these days for a 50-Year Farm Bill to address such deeply unfashionable issues as soil degradation and sustainable agriculture. Here are some of his thoughts on the state of the environment, and how the US, at any given moment, is nearer to a food crisis than most people imagine.