July 3, 2008

Wendell Berry: Why Small Farms and Strong Communities Still Matter

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. 

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