Posted by: Fritz | July 4, 2008

The Unsettling of America

This 4th of July I, along with many other Americans, am rediscovering Kentuckian Wendell Berry’s classic, The Unsettling of America.

Berry’s 1977 book covers a lot of ground about our relationship to the land. He talks about agribusiness,  the loss of the family farm and farming’s cultural context. He talks about the relationship between farming and energy use. He talks about how we use energy to both produce our food with machines and then to haul it long distances to our tables.

Today, gasoline is above $4 a gallon and the banner headline in Louisville, Kentucky’s Courier-Journal tells us the local gas and electric company is asking for a rate increase. Food prices are also on the rise, both in our supermarkets and around the world.

And Wendell Berry looks like the prophet and patriot he has always been, declaring farming a spiritual discipline and calling our nation to re-evaluate our agriculture & energy polices.

He believes we can use less energy in food production, and by doing so we will live simpler more sustainable lives, and take better care of the land and all of God’s creation.

I do, too.


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