Friday, June 25, 2010

The Need to Go to Nature

So long as the sun shines and the fields are green we shall need to go to nature for our inspiration and our respite; and our need is the greater with every increasing complexity of our lives. L.H. Bailey, The Nature-Study Idea

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Fresh Air Interview: Filmmaker Josh Fox - 'Living In The Middle Of A 'Gasland' : NPR

So bountiful hath been the earth and so securely have we drawn from it our substance, that we have taken it all for granted as if it were only a gift, and with little care or conscious thought of the consequences of our use of it; nor have we very much considered the essential relation that we bear to it as living parts in the vast creation. Liberty Hyde Bailey, The Holy Earth

    Josh Fox lives in the Upper Delaware River Basin, on the border straddling Pennsylvania and New York State. In May 2008, he received a letter from a natural gas mining company. The company wanted to lease 19.5 acres of land from Fox — and would pay him $100,000 to do so.
    "[They say] 'We might not even drill,' " he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " 'We don't even know if there's gas here. It's going to be a fire hydrant in the middle of a field — very little impact to your land. You won't hardly know we're here.' "
    Instead of saying yes, Fox decided to travel around the country to see how the process of natural gas drilling affected other communities and homeowners. The result, his documentary Gasland, premieres on HBO on June 21. See more with the link above.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Seasonal Sundaes this Saturday

It's all local and good!
Ice Cream & Fruit Festival at
the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum,
903, Bailey Avenue, South Haven, MI 49090, A National Historic Site
Saturday, June 19th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM
South Haven's own Sherman's Ice Cream covered with locally grown Michigan strawberries$5 donation.

Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible

This book examines the theology and ethics of land use, especially the practices of modern industrialized agriculture, in light of critical biblical exegesis. Nine interrelated essays explore the biblical writers' pervasive concern for the care of arable land against the background of the geography, social structures, and religious thought of ancient Israel. This approach consistently brings out neglected aspects of texts, both poetry and prose, that are central to Jewish and Christian traditions. Rather than seeking solutions from the past, Davis creates a conversation between ancient texts and contemporary agrarian writers; thus she provides a fresh perspective from which to view the destructive practices and assumptions that now dominate the global food economy. The biblical exegesis is wide-ranging and sophisticated; the language is literate and accessible to a broad audience.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Two Ways of Knowing a Tree

There are, then, two ways of knowing a tree. One is the way of human feeling and sympathy, through which a tree becomes a part of one's self, as the sunshine does. It is identified with every hallowed experience. The influence of its benignant branches throws a savor into the commonest nooks and comers of our lives. Another way to know the tree is the botanical or analytical way. This method sternly scrutinizes every detail. This is essential to truth, but not to feeling. It is so likely to restrict and dwarf the vision and the sympathies as to make the tree but a laboratory filled with curiously fashioned mechanisms. Some persons are slaves to facts. There are botanists, no doubt, who know all the kinds of trees, but who have never seen the greenness and verdure and sublimeness of the woods. Yet, despite the narrow vision which may come from the analytical study of plants, there is no inherent reason why the person who traces the veins in the leaf, counts the seeds in the pod, and unravels the structure in the wood, may not also see the tree of which all these charming details are but the various parts. L.H. Bailey, introduction to "Familiar Trees and their Leaves"