Wendell Berry on Small-scale Farming in Good Times and Bad

Published by Tuesday, October 25, 2011 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

Quote from Wendell Berry‘s Bringing it to the Table, On Farming and Food, introduction by Michael Pollan

In the time when my memories begin –the late 1930s — people in the country did not go around empty-handed as much as they do now. As I remember them from that time, farm people on the way somewhere characteristically had buckets or kettles or baskets in their hands, sometimes sacks on their shoulders.

Those were hard times — not unusual in our agricultural history — and so a lot of the fetching and carrying had to do with foraging, searching the fields and woods for nature’s free provisions: greens in the spring-time, fruits and berries in the summer, nuts in the fall. There was fishing in warm weather and hunting in cold weather; people did these things for food and for pleasure, not for “sport.” The economies of many households were small and thorough, and people took these season opportunities seriously.

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