Friday, October 1, 2010

agriculture as art

Really it's the first art. We've come to see agriculture in terms of production, simply because that's being the way of our civilization for the past few hundred years - to make everything more and more efficient, more and more standardized, more and more scientific, more and more technological. But agriculture was the first and most daring art, the art of taking up the materials of nature and making something out of it. Making gardens out of wild earth. Taming the beasts of the plains. And yes, turning the natural fecundity of living things to our purposes. Ranching is large-scale landscape art, among other things. And being part of the constant conversation between the soil, the grasses, the sky, the weeds, the animals, the very stones in the fields, and the people. It's just not an art that you can fit into a box and mount on your wall. It's not consumer art. It's much bigger than that.

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