wendell berry

SGT Book Club Recap: Wendell Berry's Bringing it to the Table

It was a cold night, but a hearty group came out to Linden Hills Co-op last week to discuss Wendell Berry's Bringing it to the Table for the latest meeting of the SGT Book Club. The book, an anthology of some of Berry's best-known and best-loved essays, was a winner, to say the least. The book is divided into three parts -- Farming, Farmers, and Food -- and the discussion ranged over all of these aspects, as we looked at Berry's writing and ideas specifically and also talked more generally about our own experiences with local food and farming and our own ideas and concerns for the future.


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SGT January Book Club: Come Discuss Wendell Berry on January 30th

The SGT Book Club is back, and we want you to come join us! We will be meeting at the Linden Hills Co-op on Wednesday, January 30th from 6:30 - 8 p.m. to discuss the legendary farmer, writer, and activist Wendell Berry. Berry's writing is not only beautiful, but also incredibly thought-provoking; he does not pull any punches when it comes to his (very strong) beliefs about our society. We would love to see you at what is sure to be an engaging discussion.


For the January book club, we'll be reading Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food, an anthology of many of Berry's best-known and best-loved essays. But if reading a whole book is too much for you (and we know it's short notice), we've also found some essays that are available in full online (free) that will give you a good taste of Berry's writing: 

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Spring, Sheep, and Responsible Husbandry

Spring is a time of never ending chores, but also a season of re-awakening as daylight hours lengthen and temperatures climb. The darkness of winter is washed away in the spring rains and as new life emerges, so does the fresh hope of the season. Hope, faith, and trust in the earth are what encourage farmers to continue a risky business in which a bout of inclement weather can bust a season and wash profits down the drain.

Farming is also an incredibly sensory experience. The rich aroma of soil ready to be planted, the sun kissed, fertile earth opening to accept seed, the cool breezes carrying calls of returning flocks of birds, all of these beckon in spring. I am enveloped by “the peace of wild things” and “for a time, I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” (Wendell Berry) 


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On Becoming a Farmer

Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes that’s the prime thought in my mind, especially when I’m staring at a bushel basket of carrots and the prospect of a day of canning ahead of me when I’d much rather be doing ANYTHING else. Well, this is what I wished for and dreamed about for years, and for the most part, I am not sorry I made the decision to move from the suburbs to the country.


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Take Action- Your Food Dollars Build Just Communities

A typical pre-dinner conversation in our household might go something like this:

  Me: What do cows eat?

Four year old: Grass!

Me: Are you sure it’s not corn?  

Four year old: No!  Cows eat grass!

  Father: Where does this meat come from?

Four year old son: It was a cow

Father: Where did we get it?

Four year old son: The farmer grew it and then the butcher killed it


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CAFO the Book: Hard to Look At, Impossible to Ignore

The book CAFO - The Tragedy of Industrial Agricultural Factories, sits in my basement bookshelf, in a place where I'm confident my kids won't notice it. It's not that the book is gruesome; a book on the subject of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) could easily have been more bloody. And it's not that my kids don't know the difference between "happy meat" and Happy Meals. Maybe it's simply the fact that the terrific book CAFO -- all 300 gigantic, photo-filled pages of it -- shows a side of human nature that I'm still trying to protect my elementary schoolers from. A side that I, like many others, would prefer to keep in the basement -- just out of reach of children.

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April's Simple Good and Tasty Book Club Pick: "Bringing it to the Table" by Wendell Berry

Author Wendell BerryAuthor Wendell BerrySpring, glorious spring! As our farmers’ markets start to ramp up for the season, our Simple, Good, and Tasty book club pick reminds us to stay in tuned with the who, what, where, and how of our food.  Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food, by Wendell Berry, is a collection of essays about farms, farming, and eating throughout our modern history with food.

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