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Living at Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream

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For decades, Logsdon and his family have run a viable family farm. Along the way, he has become a widely influential journalist and social critic, documenting in hundreds of essays for national and regional magazines the crisis in conventional agri-business and the boundless potential for new forms of farming that reconcile tradition with ecology. Logsdon reminds us that he For decades, Logsdon and his family have run a viable family farm. Along the way, he has become a widely influential journalist and social critic, documenting in hundreds of essays for national and regional magazines the crisis in conventional agri-business and the boundless potential for new forms of farming that reconcile tradition with ecology. Logsdon reminds us that healthy and economical agriculture must work - at nature's pace - instead of trying to impose an industrial order on the natural world. Foreseeing a future with -more farmers, not fewer, - he looks for workable models among the Amish, among his lifelong neighbors in Ohio, and among resourceful urban gardeners and a new generation of defiantly unorthodox organic growers creating an innovative farmers-market economy in every region of the country. Nature knows how to grow plants and raise animals; it is human beings who are in danger of losing this age-old expertise, substituting chemical additives and artificial technologies for the traditional virtues of fertility, artistry, and knowledge of natural processes. This new edition of Logsdon's important collection of essays and articles (first published by Pantheon in 1993) contains six new chapters taking stock of American farm life at this turn of the century.


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For decades, Logsdon and his family have run a viable family farm. Along the way, he has become a widely influential journalist and social critic, documenting in hundreds of essays for national and regional magazines the crisis in conventional agri-business and the boundless potential for new forms of farming that reconcile tradition with ecology. Logsdon reminds us that he For decades, Logsdon and his family have run a viable family farm. Along the way, he has become a widely influential journalist and social critic, documenting in hundreds of essays for national and regional magazines the crisis in conventional agri-business and the boundless potential for new forms of farming that reconcile tradition with ecology. Logsdon reminds us that healthy and economical agriculture must work - at nature's pace - instead of trying to impose an industrial order on the natural world. Foreseeing a future with -more farmers, not fewer, - he looks for workable models among the Amish, among his lifelong neighbors in Ohio, and among resourceful urban gardeners and a new generation of defiantly unorthodox organic growers creating an innovative farmers-market economy in every region of the country. Nature knows how to grow plants and raise animals; it is human beings who are in danger of losing this age-old expertise, substituting chemical additives and artificial technologies for the traditional virtues of fertility, artistry, and knowledge of natural processes. This new edition of Logsdon's important collection of essays and articles (first published by Pantheon in 1993) contains six new chapters taking stock of American farm life at this turn of the century.

30 review for Living at Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Gowan

    Gene Logsdon is a terrific writer concerning the agrarian lifestyle, as Wendell Berry points out and "Living at Nature's Pace" is not an exception generally speaking. The book is another of Logsdon's essay collections not unlike his collection concerning contrary farming. However, this collection differs in that many of the essays are complaints and statistics concerning the agribusiness and Logsdon's dealings with them as a small farmer. Logsdon's style does not shine here as much as it does in Gene Logsdon is a terrific writer concerning the agrarian lifestyle, as Wendell Berry points out and "Living at Nature's Pace" is not an exception generally speaking. The book is another of Logsdon's essay collections not unlike his collection concerning contrary farming. However, this collection differs in that many of the essays are complaints and statistics concerning the agribusiness and Logsdon's dealings with them as a small farmer. Logsdon's style does not shine here as much as it does in his essays concerning the Amish and about his own farming ideals. In this essay, Logsdon seems more frustrated and pushes his frustration rather than his easy-going style that makes him such a good writer. Here, Logsdon is the farmer at the coffee shop talking to other farmers. While there are countless reasons for farmers such as Logsdon to be frustrated, here I think that those reasons do not make for good writing. I like the books by Logsdon that I have read in general. HIs style and obvious knowledge concerning pasture-based agrarianism is unquestionable. That knowledge does shine here. Living at Nature's Pace seems like an odd title for this particular collection of essays. Perhaps a more fitting title would have been simply: "Farming and the American Dream"? Either way, I respect Logsdon, his views and consider him an excellent writer on the topic of agrarian lifestyles. While this book is not a shining example of his work, it still deserves a read by those (like me) who are tired of the modern, consumer-lifestyle, and like to know that there are people (like Logsdon) who are doing their best to counter act what is commonly and mistakenly called progress.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I would give this book one hundred stars if I could.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan Cunningham

    Re-read this book after learning the author had passed away. A bit dated but still inspiring and a tribute to rural life. One thing that struck me was late in the book he noted how farmland was disappearing from population growth. I recall how two generations of women were told to have only two children in order to conserve our natural resources. The birth rate dropped but the loss of farmland by developers continues due to massive immigration... I guess the social engineers really wanted the re Re-read this book after learning the author had passed away. A bit dated but still inspiring and a tribute to rural life. One thing that struck me was late in the book he noted how farmland was disappearing from population growth. I recall how two generations of women were told to have only two children in order to conserve our natural resources. The birth rate dropped but the loss of farmland by developers continues due to massive immigration... I guess the social engineers really wanted the resources reserved for the newcomers. But as I put the book down in late 2019 I see You Tube alarmists saying the weather this year is impacting farm production negatively. The day may come when we might wish we had kept more land uncovered by concrete and asphalt and swimming pools. If Mr. Logsdon were still alive it would be great to listen to his insights from decades of feeling the pulse of farmers, rural life and big government intervention into farming. He saw more than a few farm crises and reported how some somehow got by. He was especially supportive of the Amish and their low tech farming. However today many Amish have turned to small manufacturing because they have run out of farmland to spread into.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    Wendell Berry calls Logsdon (who writes & blogs as the Contrary Farmer) "the most experienced and best observer of agriculture we have." Who am I to argue? He is an intelligent, passionate advocate for the small family farm, and actually makes me wish we were farmers. It takes character to farm well, and I found much to admire in his profiles and descriptions of farmers he knows, most of all the Amish. (Seriously, this book makes me wish we were Amish.) Logsdon's respect for small-scale farmers Wendell Berry calls Logsdon (who writes & blogs as the Contrary Farmer) "the most experienced and best observer of agriculture we have." Who am I to argue? He is an intelligent, passionate advocate for the small family farm, and actually makes me wish we were farmers. It takes character to farm well, and I found much to admire in his profiles and descriptions of farmers he knows, most of all the Amish. (Seriously, this book makes me wish we were Amish.) Logsdon's respect for small-scale farmers is perhaps matched by his contempt for the industrialized farm producing much of our food. Logsdon is hopeful, though, that the future promises a reverse -- more small-scale farming, more people who love the land and animals and a less materialistic way of life. Logsdon's tempting descriptions and evangelistic zeal for the traditional farming life are surely helping make his hopes a reality.

  5. 4 out of 5

    George Heller

    This book is a collection of essays concerning the health and future of the American farm. Gene Logsdon, a 4th generation farmer and prolific author has a passion for agriculture, which really means the family farm. He pulls no punches in his criticism of "factory" farms and the current state of agricultural education. At Ohio State the trustees involved with agricultural education are in the outside world, realtors and land developers. It begs the question as to what is their true concern. Mr. This book is a collection of essays concerning the health and future of the American farm. Gene Logsdon, a 4th generation farmer and prolific author has a passion for agriculture, which really means the family farm. He pulls no punches in his criticism of "factory" farms and the current state of agricultural education. At Ohio State the trustees involved with agricultural education are in the outside world, realtors and land developers. It begs the question as to what is their true concern. Mr. Logsdon questions many preconceived notions about farming in America as the health of the nation both physically and economically are at risk.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chad Waite

    Great book about the culture of farming

  7. 5 out of 5

    Helen Lyons

    This was a wonderful book! It will never leave my library shelf!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jena Buckwell

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This is a collection of essays from roughly the 1990's, give or take a handful of years. It wasn't particularly remarkable writing, but overall I enjoyed it (and finished it) and some bits have been sticking in my mind for weeks, like the story of when he went to sell his lambs, and the way he loose-piles hay in the pastures for winter forage. This is a collection of essays from roughly the 1990's, give or take a handful of years. It wasn't particularly remarkable writing, but overall I enjoyed it (and finished it) and some bits have been sticking in my mind for weeks, like the story of when he went to sell his lambs, and the way he loose-piles hay in the pastures for winter forage.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lewis Brown

  13. 4 out of 5

    McKenzie

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rich

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Mertaugh

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nick Barnes

  19. 4 out of 5

    Deb

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  21. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Miller

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bre

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stu

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erik

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ross

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