Last Person Rural

Niel Perrin, Author, Noel Perrin, Author, Allyn Massey, Illustrator
Niel Perrin, Author, Noel Perrin, Author, Allyn Massey, Illustrator David R. Godine Publisher $21.95 (199p) ISBN 978-0-87923-914-5
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Deft essayist Perrin is a Vermont organic farmer, a mulcher, a dowser and a Dartmouth professor. In this fourth collection in a series that began with First Personal Rural , he writes engagingly about such practicalities of farming as felling trees, buying equipment and maintaining a farm pond. Extolling the nonutilitarian pleasures of watching turkeys at dawn or of building stone walls, he also analyzes New England's soul as ``fiercely determined'' and ``fiercely protective.'' That spirit is evinced in the author as he discusses the peril of acid rain, journeys from Kansas to Massachusetts and taps the moral reserves required of a small farmer in an age of mechanized agribusiness. Perrin proposes a hefty ``pay-to-pollute'' tax on toxic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, a move that he says would create more space for healthy farming. Illustrations. (Nov.)
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