The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century
According to Hinrichs and Lyson (2007), lessons learned from the university and the field are increasingly helping us to participate in a flourishing movement to transform the North American food system. Readers new to this movement sometimes struggle to identify a primer that is accessible and grounded in real-world examples. The Call of the Land: An Agrarian Primer for the 21st Century lends itself as a tool for such readers, as it not only illustrates a foundational agrarian ethos historically argued by Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson, but it also outlines a variety of practical models and approaches to inform the practice of local food system development. For most of the book, McFadden draws upon the lived experiences of various practitioners, farmers, and educators to reveal his agrarian philosophy and subsequent suggestions to better “live with the land” (p. 32). The result is a broad overview of issues affecting the trajectory of food and farming development, and an introduction to several approaches we might take to alter this unsustainable path. McFadden’s ethical stance for agrarian transformation strongly influences these issues and strategies for change.
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