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Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agricultureby Wes Jackson
Synopses & Reviews
Locavore leaders such as Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and Barbara Kingsolver all speak of the need for sweeping changes in how we get our food. Also a longtime leader of this movement is Wes Jackson, who, for decades, has taken it upon himself to speak for the grasses and the land of the prairie, to speak for the soil itself. Here, he offers a manifesto toward a conceptual revolution: Jackson asks us to look to natural ecosystems — or, if one prefers, nature in general — as the measure against which we judge all of our agricultural practices.
Wes Jackson believes the time is right to do away with monocultures, which are vulnerable to national security threats and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs. Soil erosion, overgrazing, and the poisons polluting our water and air — all associated with our contemporary form of American agriculture — foretell a population with its physical health and land destroyed.
In this eloquent and timely call to arms, Jackson asks us to look to nature itself to lead us out of the mess weve made. We do this by consulting with the natural ecosystems that will tell us, if we listen, what should happen to the future of food.
Book News Annotation:
Founder of The Land Institute in Kansas, Jackson is a stalwart advocate of sustainable practices, organic agriculture, and environmental scientific understanding. Here he proposes natural ecological systems as models from which to reconstruct modern agriculture into a sustainable practice. His topics include the 3.45-billion-year-old imperative and the five pools, the loss of cultural capacity, a 50-year farm bill proposal goes to Washington, analyzing the resistance, away from the extractive economy, and thoughts on the natural history of Eden. He has not indexed his work. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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