Farmed Out

As machinery replaces human hands, agriculture is losing touch with the land it depends upon.

March 20, 2015

“We can suppose that the eyes-to-acres ratio is approximately correct when a place is thriving in human use and care. The sign of its thriving would be the evident good health and diversity, not just of its crops and livestock but also of its population of native and noncommercial creatures, including the community of creatures living in the soil. Equally indicative and necessary would be the signs of a thriving local and locally adapted human economy. The great and characteristic problem of industrial agriculture is that it does not distinguish one place from another. In effect, it blinds its practitioners to where they are. It cannot, by definition, be adapted to local ecosystems, topographies, soils, economies, problems, and needs.”

From “Farmland Without Farmers,” Wendell Berry's Atlantic piece on the ways in which industrial agriculture deprives the land of environmental and cultural stewards


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