Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Lots of talk lately about locavorism -- eating food that's locally grown, typically within a 100-mile radius of the eater.  The Houston Chronicle today featured an article by Julie Trainer for Urban Harvest called "Why You Should Be A Locavore."  Ms. Trainer cites laudable health benefits as well as benefits to the local farming community.  Hey, I'm all for that!  I shop at farmer's markets and dabble in vegetable gardening.  But here's my question:  how do you reconcile locavorism with the growth of communities in areas that won't support food production?  I can just about guarantee that the agricultural area within a 100-mile radius of Houston won't support the dietary needs of the local citizens.  And subsistence farming hasn't been popular around here for decades. So what does locavorism really mean for our community at large -- not just those with the resources to pay top dollar for locally grown specialty produce?  I'm afraid the difficult answer may well be that for our society now -- industrialized, modernized and above all, populated -- large-scale farming has got to be part of the solution.  Right-thinking people with the best of intentions may do well to engage the agricultural industry as a whole, rather than try to quit cold-turkey.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth--You're our winner! Emily Wilson, editor of Elizabeth Lawrence's letters, selected your comment to win a free book. Could you get in touch with me with your mailing address (not a PO Box)? Email me at amy at amy stewart dot com.

    Amy Stewart