Magazine article The Christian Century

The Family of Writer and Farmer Wendell Berry Has Lived among the Hay Fields and Rolling Knobs of Central Kentucky for Nine Generations

Magazine article The Christian Century

The Family of Writer and Farmer Wendell Berry Has Lived among the Hay Fields and Rolling Knobs of Central Kentucky for Nine Generations

Article excerpt

The family of writer and farmer Wendell Berry has lived among the hay fields and rolling knobs of central Kentucky for nine generations. Now, the 81-year-old writer wants to pass on his farming legacy.

He has selected a small Catholic liberal arts college about an hour's drive from Louisville, run by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The sisters have been part of this community since 1822, teaching and farming on their own 550-acre stretch of land. That impressed Wendell Berry's daughter, Mary Berry.

"When I went to St. Catharine's, their first question to me was not about my father's reputation and how it might serve their desire to raise funds," Mary Berry said.

Instead, the school asked how the Berry family's work fits with the four pillars of the Dominican life: prayer, study, ministry, and community.

"The Berry Farming Program really maximizes each of those," said Claire McGowan, an environmental activist and Dominican sister.

Berry proved a good fit for the sisters, too.

"Wendell Berry is a deeply soulful man," McGowan said. "He lives his life out of deep spiritual convictions and always has, and has a simplicity and a love for everything that's wild, everything that's natural, and at the same time for people, particularly simple people who are trying to build a relationship with the natural world."

The Berry Farming Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to agriculture, combining fieldwork with philosophy and studies in agricultural science and agribusiness with classes on literature, history, and culture. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.