Chelsea Green is proud to announce a new collaboration with Grist.org called “A Farmer Speaks”! This series will take on current food and agricultural issues from the point of view of the Chelsea Green farmer him/herself. (Special thanks and kudos to Grist’s Food Editor, Tom Philpott, who is also a farmer and writer.)
To kick off the very first installment, we interviewed Gene Logsdon, whom Wendell Berry calls “the best agricultural writer we have.” And considering Michael Pollan thinks Berry is the best agricultural writer we have, it’s doubly true that Gene Logsdon is a writer/farmer to be reckoned with.
Gene Logsdon is one of the clearest and most original voices of rural America. He’s a farmer in Ohio not far from his boyhood home, and is a writer to boot; he’s published more than two dozen books; some of which include Living at Nature’s Pace: Farming and the American Dream and The Contrary Farmer. Wendell Berry calls Logsdon “the best agricultural writer we have,” and his farm a slice of Eden. But most importantly, Logsdon loves farming. So now that more and more people are seeking out locally grown foods, I asked Gene a few questions about one of his specialties: small-scale grain raising.
M.M.: In Small-Scale Grain Raising you write that, “We have become a nation dangerously dependent on politically motivated and money-motivated processes for our food, clothing, and shelter.” In light of the current economic crisis, how can growing your own food help people achieve a greater sense of independence?
G.L.: The politicians and corporate puppet masters have been successful over the past century in convincing people that ‘independence’ is an idea for the country as a whole, if even that, which is what enables the government to protect our ‘independence’ by spying on its own citizens. Or on defining it as the freedom to buy a bunch of crap as prices that can only support slave wages. Happily, nearly any of us can see through this with just a little prodding-and our Latest and Greatest Depression does the trick pretty well, or the prospect of something like Peak Oil for that matter. Independence only really means something when it applies to individuals, to families, to communities. That’s what people are yearning for, and growing your own grains is about as basic to true independence as you can get. And anyway, industrial food doesn’t even taste all that good!
Describe your concept of the garden “pancake patch.”
The pancake patch is just a sort of cute way to refer to plots of grain grown for homebaked goods. The concept is what the whole book is about.
Read the entire article here.