Maybe I should say I’m reading a new book, because since last July I’ve only been re-reading things: The Dune series, the young adult The Dark Is Rising series, M.F.K. Fisher, Hemingway, some Anne of Green Gables–whatever I picked up from the shelf.
I was at a different library a couple of weeks ago, though, and saw Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, her non-fiction account of trying to grow whatever her family eats for a year, starting with “enough knowledge to muddle through. Or starting with baby animals and enough sense to refrain from naming them.”
I’m only three chapters into it but I highly recommend it. (When one dreams of a hobby farm and a big garden and fiber animals and posts pictures of goats on one’s blog, that’s probably a given.) Here’s something to think about today:
“In two generations, we’ve transformed ourselves from a rural to an urban nation. […] The baby boom psyche embraces a powerful presumption that education is a key to moving away from manual labor, and dirt–two undeniable ingredients of farming. It’s good enough for us that somebody, somewhere, knows food production well enough to serve the rest of us with all we need to eat, each day of our lives.
“If that is true, why isn’t it good enough for someone else to know multiplication and the contents of the Bill of Rights? Is the story of bread, from tilled ground to our table, less relevant to our lives than the history of the thirteen colonies?”