Belonging to our Places. Liberty Hyde Bailey and My Explorations in Urban Naturalism

Liberty_Hyde_Bailey_1858-1954

Today is the birthday of Liberty Hyde Bailey...Bailey was one of the preeminent American botanists and horticulturists in the early twentieth century.  He also was an agrarian writer who wrote quite a bit about nature -- nature poetry, nature education, conservation, etc. -- and his work was deeply influential on Wendell Berry, and other more recent agrarian writers.Berry pays tribute in his essay "A Practical Hamony," (LGT: the part of this essay on Bailey via Google Books)  Bailey's classic apologia for creation care, The Holy Earth, mentioned by Berry in the above essay is available … [Read more...]

Agrarian News…

Ellen-Davis

It's no secret that agrarian thought has deeply shaped both John and I in our thoughts about Slow Church. Wendell Berry, the foremost agrarian of our times, is essential to this project, as is the work of Norman Wirzba, Ellen Davis, Wes Jackson and others... I wanted to share a number of new resources with you that will be helpful in understanding agrarianism and how it relates to Slow Church...At its heart, agrarianism is about reconciling with the land and with all creation (or to borrow the title of Norman Wirzba and Fred Bahnson's recent book, Making Peace with the Land.)If you … [Read more...]

What if Columbus and Cortez had their own Reality TV Show?

jungle-gold

We were staying with relatives this weekend and while flipping through the channels on Friday night, we stumbled upon the premier of the new Discovery Channel show, Jungle Gold. The premise of the show is that two Americans, who are in over their heads in debt (to the tune of over a half million dollars) after trying to get rich in Real Estate before the housing bubble burst, are headed to Ghana to make quick money mining gold.  A trailer for the show is available above. … [Read more...]

What is Sustainability?

Seedling

Tomorrow I have the opportunity to go an hour or so up the road from here to talk with some students at my alma mater, Taylor University.The primary question that we will tackle will be what is sustainability?  And how do we pursue it?I'm sure we'll have some good conversation along the way.  I will argue that our best hope of a sustainable way of life is in the revival of parish life, (a term I'm borrowing from the good folks at the Parish Collective), by which I mean a rich and distinctive local culture that is catalyzed (but not controlled) by the churches in a particular place. … [Read more...]

Let’s Celebrate Interdependence Day!

Farmers_Market

A major facet of the Ecology section of our Slow Church book, is coming to the realization that creation is an inter-connected and interdependent whole. Several years ago, my friends Ragan Sutterfield, Brent Aldrich and I brainstormed a long list of ideas for celebrating July 4th as INTERdependence Day.  This list was eventually published on the Sojourners blog with an intro by Shane Claiborne.As we come again to the 4th of July, I think it would serve us well to take another look at this list. And to imagine what a slow church might look like that bore witness to the interdependence of … [Read more...]


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