Back To The Land, New York Times Style


The article starts off really badly, with a picture of farmer Dan Gibson's modest little farmhouse with a porte cochère big enough to park a combine harvester, and a description of how the former VP of Starwood Hotels raises Angus cattle but spends his spare time in house that "has a theater that wouldn't be out of place in a Steven Spielberg residence, a wine cellar and a log cabin annex with a magnificent dry stack stone fireplace, a billiards table and a stuffed bear and bobcat glowering down between beams made of North Carolina pine — each beam an entire mature tree."

It gets slightly better though, as Ralph Gardner describes how "In recent years, as the local food movement has grown and farmers' markets have proliferated, a new breed of back-to-the-landers has emerged."


Some give up a lot and work really hard; Sheila Flanagan and Lorraine Lambiase (shown above fuelling the wood stove) moved from San Francisco to the Adirondacks to make goat cheese. "I think you get so much better awareness with this life," Ms. Flanagan said. "You take things like heat and water a little bit more for granted in a metropolitan area. Whereas out here it's a daily challenge. You come to appreciate what's really necessary to keep life's necessities going."

Organic farming has become all the rage, and The Omnivore's Dilemma is the new bible.

"At an organic farming association fund-raiser in April, some 300 attendees — most of them looking very much like classic Upper East Side ladies who lunch, to whom "buying local" may have previously meant shopping at Bergdorf's — sat in rapt attention as a panel of farmers and environmentalists described the perils of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers."

I suppose it is nice to have farmers who don't need to work at six jobs, and who can buy their machinery for cash. As long as the dilettantes don't displace the real deal. ::New York Times

More on Organic Food and Farming
Green Basics: Organic Food
Organic Milk Really is Healthier
Organic Ketchup Prevents Cancer!