7.17.2015

Food Issues Book Club - A Good Farmer of the Old School from Bringing It to the Table

Hello all!  Welcome to the NOiG Food Issues Book Club, wherein I read books about food stuff, summarize each book by chapter, and then attempt to apply that book chapter's ideas to the New Orleans food environment and/or my own experiences.  Fun right?!  Check out previous installations here.  I'd love it if you'd read along and join in!  And now, without further ado...

Bringing It to the Table: A Good Farmer of the Old School, 1985

Summary and Thoughts:

This essay speaks to the farming practices and wisdom of a farmer named Lancie Clippenger.  He impressed Berry with his animal practices; specifically:
  • he let pigs reproduce naturally and allowed their "shoats" to forage in a corn field in a year when corn prices were particularly low, then sold the shoats for a premium
  • he would only keep 25 milking cows at a time, because if he had more than that he wouldn't really "see" them
  • he plowed with horses at the rate of one acre per day per horse, thus saving on fuel without exhausting his animals
Berry was also impressed with Clippenger's crop practices, stating that his farm was "ordered and used according to its own nature and carrying capacity."  Essentially, Berry uses Clippenger's farm as a case study in what can be produced with what he deems "proper" farming methodology.  The specificity of the essay and its dealings with animals make it a tedious and painful read, so I shan't discuss it further.

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