In Praise of Fertile Land: new anthology benefits the Farmland Fund

by Jody Aliesan, PCC Farmland Fund President and Operating Officer

This article was originally published in July 2003

PCC Farmland Fund logo

(July 2003) — In Praise of Fertile Land, a new anthology of poetry, parable and story published by Seattle’s Whit Press, celebrates farmland, independent farmers and the food they provide.

Whit Press has donated 1,000 copies of the book to the Farmland Fund.


“Full value from the sale of these copies will go directly to the protection of farmland,” says Claudia Mauro, editor and executive director.

In addition, the Fund will receive all royalties from sales of the anthology nationally and internationally. Whit Press will provide copies free of charge to all King County libraries and to selected schools.

This generosity is possible thanks to support from the King County Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, The Brenneman-Jaech Foundation, The Seattle Foundation and individual contributors.

Authors showcased in the anthology include the ancients Basho and Virgil; literary icons e e cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Patrick Kavanagh, Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Maria Rainier Rilke, Dylan Thomas and William Butler Yeats; and Northwest masters Denise Levertov, Theodore Roethke and William Stafford.

In Praise of Fertile Land also features work by contemporary writers Wendell Berry, Lucille Clifton, Alicia Gaspar De Alba, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Peter Fallon, Rafael Jesus Gonzalez, Donald Hall, Joy Harjo, Seamus Heaney, Linda Hogan, Yoshiro Ishihara, Galwell Kinnell, Amitava Kumar, Maxine Kumin, Li-Young Lee, Naomi Shihab Nye, Marge Piercy, Ntozake Shange and Mary TallMountain.

The book’s preface reminds readers that, “Most of the surface of our planet is seawater, ice, rock, desert and forest. A very small proportion can support the growing of food. In Praise of Fertile Land educates, inspires and spurs us to protect these lands for the sake of our survival.”

In Praise of Fertile Land ($14.95) is coming soon to all PCC Natural Markets.

Girl on a Tractor

I knew the names of all the cows before
I knew my alphabet, but no matter the
subject, I had mastery of it, and when
it came time to help in the fields, I
learned to drive a tractor at just the right
speed, so that two men, walking
on either side of the moving wagon,
could each lift a bale, walk towards
the steadily arriving platform and
simultaneously hoist the hay onto
the rack, walk to the next bale, lift,
turn, and find me there, exactly where
I should be, my hand on the throttle,
carefully measuring out the pace.

— Joyce Sutphen
from In Praise of Fertile Land (Whit Press, 2003)

Farmland Fund highlights

2 million kilograms of toxic chemicals would be removed from the environment each year if U.S. homeowners reduced their use of pesticides by 10 percent. (World Watch)

Easy giving — you can make a donation to the Fund at checkout in all PCC stores!

Looking for a job on an organic farm? Know someone who is? The Tilth Placement Service page of the Tilth Producers Web site has been updated with the most current listings of farms seeking apprentices. Go to www.tilth and click on the Tilth Placement Service link.

Donor Roster (May 1 — 31, 2003)

Anonymous: 2
Nadine Bailey
Aen Brauer
Michael B. Carrick
Debra Daniels-Zeller, Tom Zeller
Teresa M. Dean
Thomas J. Dean
Kay E. Doolittle
Diane Eileen
Pam & Scott Engler
Gary & Joann Gertig
Sally Goodwin, M.D.
Gretchen Graybeal
B. Hasbrook
Mary Jane Helmann
Susan Henderson
Sandra Kahler
Robert W. & Nancy W. Kent
Helen & Peter Lauritzen
Ronald D. Long
Chris Luboff
Dorothy Lundahl
Rachel Matthews
Laurie McMillan
Patricia Merrill
Robert Messina
Carolyn S. Mueller
Pamela J. Murphy
Ed Newbold
Mickey & Diane Nichols
Rita D. Pfeifer
Ruth M. Pickering
Christina Purdy
Stella & Lawrence Rogovoy
Mark and Nancy Tucker
J. L. Viniko
Linda Waterfall & Bob Searle
Jack Young

In honor
Doris J. Dean

In memory
Aileen Gertig
Barbara Glass
Joan E. Perry

PCC Staff
More than one hundred PCC staff members make voluntary payroll deductions twice a month.

Businesses and Organizations
Choice Organic Teas
Good Nature Publishing Company
Microsoft Matching Gift Program
TalkingRain Beverage Company
Wildwood Harvest Foods

The PCC Farmland Fund works to secure and preserve threatened farmland in Washington State and move it into organic production. For more information, see the PCC Farmland Fund.

Also in this issue

Your co-op, July 2003

Bylaws revisions proposed by board of trustees, July membership drive, Board of Trustees meeting report, and more