As green-clad protesters filled the streets of New York City in protest of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech before the United Nations, a different set of Greens is planning to gather in Madison, Wisconsin this evening. They are farmers, and their grievance, they say, is that they have been misrepresented in Michael Pollan’s books. Pollan’s book on […]
One of the things that has blessed us in our time in this part of Wisconsin has been the chance to live close to our food. It’s not that we sat farther from our plates in the city where I grew up, of course; it’s that we sat further away from the land that was our food’s native home.
A new map of food sources within a hundred miles of Madison, Wisconsin, shows kind of connection and sharing that will allow us as human societies to learn to be conscious of and take responsibility for the earthly places in which we live and move.
Do we even know how much we’ve lost, how poisoned we are, how far away we’ve been driven from the land? By connecting the science of toxic materials with our human knowledge of childbirth in Having Faith, Steingraber gives us new knowledge; what would it mean for us to inhabit it?
One thing that Aldo Leopold did to become great was find, and use, his voice. His family was in many ways similar to mine and to thousands of others here in Wisconsin; his famous shack seemed completely familiar to us–just like Grandad’s place up north. But he made a difference in the world by figuring out what he had to say that was worth saying, and saying it wisely and well.
Here, right here, is where it happened–the Leopold family and their farm, the acorn, the rabbits, the Civil War, the covered wagons (with all the Ingalls family times), the Great Depression, the dust bowl drouths, floods, storms, fires, extinctions, and acts of government; and the lightning, and the heat from the fire.
The literacy of children thus follows the passions and engagements of the parents, and starts where they are.