“Can Dirt Save the Earth?” Moises Velasquez-Manoff’s long essay is worth reading. A taste: “If you focus on the health of the soil and not on yield, eventually you come out ahead, not necessarily because you grow more corn or wheat per acre but because the reduction in spending on fertilizer and other inputs lets you produce each bushel of grain more cheaply.”
“The Collapse of Manners.” Gracy Olmstead commends the forgotten art of mannerliness: “The virtues my dad practiced in conversation—gentleness, humility, quietness—require us to lay aside whataboutism. They mean we have to assume that our own words are not the most important, and that being right is not the end or culmination of conversation.”
“The Earth Day Journal.” The Berry Center released the first issue of this journal, which includes updates on their programs, a new essay by Wendell Berry, and more.
“A Farewell to Pat McManus, One of Outdoor Life’s Most Beloved Writers.” If you’ve never read Patrick McManus’s side-splitting outdoor adventures, get thee to a bookstore.
“Dear Humanities Profs: We Are the Problem.” Eric Bennett worries that politicizing and relativizing the humanities has destroyed them: “Beauty became ideology; poetry, a trick of power, no more essentially valuable than other such tricks — sitcoms, campaign slogans, magazine ads — and no less subject to critique.” Note also his reference to Dwight Macdonald, and keep an eye out for a forthcoming essay at FPR on what Macdonald might have to say to our contemporary condition. (Essay recommended by Jason Peters.)
“Paradise Found?” Eric Miller spoke at Spring Arbor University this past week about the role place should play in how we imagine and enact citizenship.