Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289m as Jury Rules Weedkiller Cause of Man’s Cancer.” Sam Levin reports on the remarkable finding of a San Francisco jury against Monsanto. Obviously this verdict will be appealed, but it’s certainly a setback for the agribusiness giant.

Renewing a Vision for Rural Prosperity.” Mary Berry and Debbie Barker address a tough question: “How do we begin to build local, healthy farm and food models that are economically viable in the shadow of an entrenched giant, globalized ag industry?”

What I Learned in Secretarial School.” Frank Bruni writes about the benefits of apprenticing yourself to an unforgiving discipline: “sometimes there really is a right way, and it’s learned through complete submission and unquestioning practice.”

22 Noteworthy Food and Farming Books for Summer Reading—and Beyond.” Civil Eats has a healthy list of new books related to food and sustainable agriculture.

The Art of the Stroll.” Gracy Olmstead commends the habit of walking and describes how her grandfather modeled this art: “My grandfather’s walks were—or at least, with time, became—a ritual of love, a daily recitation of devotion to Moscow, one block at a time.”

Letter of Recommendation: Urban Fly-Fishing.” James Pogue manages to enjoy fly-fishing even in New York City and Los Angeles.

Community Plumbing: How the Hardware Store Orders Things, Neighborhoods, and Material Worlds.” Shannon Mattern explores the important role that local hardware stores continue to play: “The hardware store owner, the one who curates this collection of generative and reparative parts, understands ‘the importance of the constant and daily care necessary to make this slowly eroding world hold up a little longer.’” I often walk to our neighborhood hardware store for help with my home projects, and every time we check out, the cashier offers my daughter a piece of candy. I suppose even candy can serve a reparative function.

Renewing Localism for the 21st Century.” Ryan Streeter confronts some of the pitfalls that localism faces while arguing that localism still provides the best path forward.

Going Big, Going Small.” Alan Jacobs responds to an ongoing conversation about American universities. His conclusion is spot-on:

This is what I counsel in relation to fixing the university: see what is to hand, make your interventions locally, see where they take you, and “try to let that circle of duty gradually and natural expand itself.” This is not a matter of “think globally, act locally”: you are thinking and acting locally. But if you do so faithfully and consistently, then maybe over time your “local” becomes rather more expansive.

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