cover image At Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream

At Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream

Gene Logdson, Gene Logsdon. Pantheon Books, $23 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-42741-4

In this collection of essays reprinted from a variety of farm journals, a fourth-generation farmer in north-central Ohio looks at the current state of the family farm with cautious optimism. But Logsdon is sharply critical of agricultural education, charging that land grant colleges pay more attention to agribusiness and technology than to the moderate-size family farm. In one essay, he explores the relationship between farming and nature, tracing a cowpat full cycle to show how pastures and livestock complete the food web. The author talks to Amish farmers who illustrate exemplary care of the land; he describes small specialty farms, urban gardeners and organic farmers. He advocates a traditional farm with mixed livestock, crops, garden and orchard. Readers who garden or farm will be heartened by these essays. (Feb.)