Farmer poet Paul Hunter's reading at Destinations Booksellers on Saturday was truly one of the most thoughtful, thought provoking presentations I've experienced since moving to New Albany. Personally, his stories and erudite phrase turns served as a reconciliation of sorts: my household's city dwelling tendencies are largely the result of shared rural roots and an urge to preserve them.
Hunter's latest work, One Seed to Another, though still skillfully presented among more anecdotal truth telling, is a little less poetry and more factual hammering.
Consider this passage from a section titled "The Great Thirst":
The most neutral way to consider our choices might be as a physics problem, energy in versus energy out. With traditional organic agriculture, depending on animal-powered or human-muscle input, once calorie of energy will grow to 4 to 6 calories of food. By contrast, using current agribusiness methods and equipment, it takes ten calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of food-- which makes traditional farming and gardening 40 to 60 times as energy efficient as petrochemical monocropping. And we include transportation, we climb aboard the fast track to absurdity.