Nature Book Review: Rambunctious Garden

As I said last week in my review of Changes in the Land, Rambunctious Garden is the perfect follow-up book.  Changes in the Land was written, after all, in 1983.  William Cronon in his introduction critiques the equilibrium approach in ecology and … [Read more...]

Nature Book Review: Changes in the Land

When I was in graduate school in sociology many years ago there was a woman who wanted to specialize in environmental sociology.  In the heart of the Midwest at Indiana University, most of us–graduate students and professors, alike–would just give … [Read more...]

Gardening Book Review: Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook

During the month of May I’m team-teaching a class on the philosophy and sociology of food with 13 students who do things like move chickens, plant seeds, cook greens, make garlic aioli and bake bread.  We’ve been talking a lot about the process of … [Read more...]

The duck and the whale

Driving back from a visit to see my family in Kentucky this Sunday, I witnessed a recurring tragedy or just another day on the road, depending on your point of view.  There’s a lake or inlet on the north side of U.S. 50 right outside of Aurora, … [Read more...]

A Year on Trail 3: February

In your average year, an extra day of February would be enough to make you want to stay in bed.  But this February in southern Indiana just skipped on by like a small girl on a spring day, and if February is like this, one more day is just fine.  The … [Read more...]

A Year on Trail 3: January

January is almost over, and I came dangerously close to failing on my New Year’s resolution less than 30 days into the new year.  As I wrote at the beginning of this month, I resolved to walk the same trail–Trail 3–in Clifty Falls State Park at least … [Read more...]

My hands smell like turkey (redux): reflections on a long-time vegetarian eating meat

It's Thanksgiving week, and so I decided to re-post this reflection on a vegetarian eating turkey in honor of the holiday.  Though I had started this blog before this post, it was a rather attenuated thing, and so I like to think of this as my first … [Read more...]

The things we forget: rain

Literally, it seems you can forget rain. In southern Indiana in August, the world just seems to dry up. Last fall was the worst, with a drought that lasted well into September and October. This year, August was dry enough to finally do in the … [Read more...]

The things we forget: nature

As time grinds slowly towards the first day of classes like the inside of one of those huge clocks, it’s a good time to think about the things that restore. The things we forget sometimes.I live a life packed around with people. I live in a house … [Read more...]

Sunday Salon: Porn for gardeners–seed catalogues

A few weeks ago on a gloomy February day, I went online and searched for seed catalogues to order. As reported, I had spotted some actual green things emerging from the earth in the front flower bed. This week, I spotted multiple crocuses (should … [Read more...]