Logsdon—whom Wendell Berry once called “the most
experienced and best observer of agriculture we have”—has a
notion: That it is a little easier for gardeners and farmers to accept
death than the rest of the populace. Why? Because every day, farmers
and gardeners help plants and animals begin life and help plants and
animals end life. They are intimately attuned to the food chain. They
understand how all living things are seated around a dining table,
eating while being eaten. They realize that all of nature is in flux.
|Gene Everlasting contains
Logsdon’s reflections, by turns both humorous and
heart-wrenching, on nature, death, and eternity, all from a contrary
He recounts joys and
tragedies from his childhood in the 1930s and ‘40s spent on an
farm, through adulthood and child-raising, all the way up to his recent
bout with cancer, always with an eye toward the lessons that farming
has taught him about life and its mysteries.
Whether his subject is parsnips, pigweed, immortality, irises, green
burial, buzzards, or compound interest, Logsdon generously applies as
much heart and wit to his words as he does care and expertise to his
A Contrary Farmer's Thoughts on Living Forever
by Gene Logsdon
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014
in The Book Stall.
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