Today, October 12, is National Farmers Day. Unusual for me on a Saturday, I didn't make it to my local farmers market. In truth, I didn't even leave the house. However, the first thing I read this morning was a profile of Wendell Berry, farmer, poet, truth-teller. His arguments on farming, technology, and the urban-rural divide have taken on a new urgency.
"...Instead of continuing to ignore their plight, Berry suggests, we ought to acknowledge the plundering of these rural regions by their urban neighbors. 'Rural America is a colony,' Berry wrote, 'and its economy is a colonial economy.'
...'People who eat have a moral responsibility to the sources of their food,' Berry says now. 'People from the city should do an honest, full accounting of the food that they eat. The first thing they’ll discover is that they can’t do it. They don’t know the ecological cost or the cost to the people who did the work of production, what it costs the rural communities.'
His daughter, Mary, agrees. Urban dwellers are 'dependent on [farming] whether they know it or not,' she says. 'We’ve got a land-based economy, whether we know it or not, whether we’re living like we are or not.' We’re getting to the point, she says, where 'urban places prospering on the decline of rural places won’t work.' . . "
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