Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I live near a community farm, near the site of one of the earliest post-industrial urban farms (i.e. after it was normal for pigs to roam the streets). And I’ve written a little about current urban agriculture experiments.
I have a certified black thumb and no backyard, so this won’t be me anytime soon, but I do think there is a relationship between the desire to farm and “crafting” in general. In an article I mostly liked, Peggy Orenstein equated this impulse with a flavor of third (or is it fourth) wave feminism. While I do think there is something about being pregnant-- or perhaps just having to take care of a small child-- that brings out the nesting/creating/providing instinct, I don’t think it’s just about women. So I'm really enjoying (so far) Shop Class as Soulcraft. From the introduction:
“... the overlapping territories intimated by the phrases ‘meaningful work’ and ‘self-reliance’. Both ideals are tied to a struggle for individual agency, which I find to be at the very center of modern life. When we view or lives through the lens of this struggle... as workers and as consumers, we feel we move in channels that have been projected from afar by vast impersonal forces...”
In other words, it’s not "the economy, stupid", it’s the economy + our disenfranchising technology.