Literary Musings on Farming and Food

Literary Musings on Farming and Food

The act of growing food, the experience of living on a farm, and the process of cooking have all inspired writers to ponder how the cultivation of land has influenced the stories we tell and the moments we remember. Farming is a rich part of the Western Massachusetts New England tradition. The rich soil of the Connecticut River Valley is a community asset and important to preserve as farmland. Both the pastoral and wild landscapes of Western Massachusetts are an important piece of our New England history, identity, and sustainability. These are the landscapes that inspired poets like William Cullen Bryant and painters like Thomas Cole to champion the American landscape as being different and separate from Europe’s established cities and their developed environment. Our land is a part of our story and history. Agriculture connects us to the land. It is how we define our relationship between our everyday lives and the soil. 

In addition to Michael Pollan’s book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, here is a short list of literature inspired by farming and food to add to your reading lists:

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
  • Blessing the Hands that Feed Us by Vicki Robin

Download our May/June edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

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