Wendell Berry: Why Small Farms and Strong Communities Still Matter

Via on Jul 3, 2008

Portrait of Wendell Berry by Rob Setterly

The Sun has long been one of my favorite independent magazines. Not only have they remained independent for over 35 years, but they’ve done so based solely on contributions and subscription sales—they stopped printing advertisements in 1990. 

Their feature interview with farmer, poet, activist and ele-idol Wendell Berry gets to the root of why “local” and “independent” matter. Though his message can’t help but lean in an environmental direction, it starts in a place that everyone (hippie, conservative, grad student or blue collar worker) can respect: a deep appreciation for people. For Berry, “local” means paying attention to and supporting the details and idiosyncrasies of a place, a combination of nostalgia and ever-present attention to the quirks that make a community come alive. 

About Merete Mueller

Merete is a writer and filmmaker, and was once-upon-a-time the Managing Editor of elephant journal's print incarnation, from 2006-2008. Today, you can find her on Twitter @meretemueller and on her blog To The Bones. Her first documentary, "TINY: A Story About Living Small", about people who have downsized their lives into homes the size of a parking space, premiered at SXSW in March 2013.

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