Harmony / by Karie Luidens


Farmer and writer Wendell Berry says it so well, I’m just going to let him sum things up for me today. 

If our war against nature destroys the health of water and soil, and thus inevitably the health of agriculture and our own health, and can only lead to our economic ruin, then we need to try another possibility. And there is only one: If we cannot establish an enduring or even a humanly bearable economy by our attempt to defeat nature, then we will have to try living in harmony and cooperation with her.

By its adoption of the healthy ecosystem as the appropriate standard of agricultural performance, The Land Institute has rejected competition as the fundamental principle of economics, and therefore the applied sciences, and has replaced it with the principle of harmony. In doing so, it has placed its work within a lineage and tradition that predate both industrialism and modern science. The theme of a human and even an economic harmony with nature goes back hundreds of years in the literary record. Its age in the prehistoric cultures can only be conjectured, but we may confidently assume that it is ancient, probably as old as the human race. (Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food pp 177-178)