The Scoop

Landship Foods is inspired by the conviction that growing and eating healthy food is one of the most important things we can do for both ourselves and the broader communities of which we are a part. The name comes from the language of pre-industrial Europe. Before the enclosure movement and the associated rise in notions of private property swept England, the suffix “-ship” (as in "relationship," or "friendship") referred to an object or an abstraction with collective duties and mutual rights. Thus, the term “landship” suggests that land was an entity through which humans were joined to each other by a set of rights and responsibilities. I advocate for a revival of this awareness.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Distinction, Pierre Bourdieu

"The most intolerable thing for those who regard themselves as possessors of legitimate culture [i.e., dominant groups] is the sacrilegious reuniting of tastes which taste dictates shall be separated...because tastes are the practical affirmation of an 'inevitable' difference."

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quote from happy hour on John's Island

"You can judge a great beer with just one sip, but its better to be sure..."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I can't add much to this. Well-said Dr. Cobb

A historian of culture and politics in the US south writes about GA's experience with economic downturn: Dr. Cobb's essay The broader trend towards unbridled laissez-faire economics (or, "neoliberalism" in academic-economic talk) is a global phenomenon with its roots in the early 1970s. Therefore it should be quite clear that it is cause of, not solution to, our current economic woes.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Uptown/Downtown in Old Charleston, Louis Rubin Jr

"Socially the city of Charleston was a very class-conscious city...Another word for this is snobbery. One reason for this was that there wasn't much money around Charleston then, and thus only so much opportunity for conspicuous consumption."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nature's Metropolis, William Cronon

On common (and contradictory) images of country and city: "At the two extremes of the urban axis were...the city as pinnacle of civilization versus the city as abyss of moral despair. At opposite poles of the rural axis were similar images: the country as pastoral utopia versus the country as stultifying backwater. No real place could ever fall so neatly into these categories, but the rhetorical oppositions are always ready at hand when one needs them. Depending on what one wanted to attack or defend, the contrast between city and country was always good for an argument."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Radical Agriculture, 1976

"The growth of interest in community gardens and urban agriculture seems to be more than just a returning trend in our war-prosperity-depression cycle. Victory gardens have become inflation gardens, only this time local food production will probably have more lasting survival value, especially in a society whose food resources are controlled more and more by big business and a fossil-fuels technology."

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina, Edelson

"The word 'plantation,' historian Peter H. Wood has argued, has become so saturated with nostalgia for the Old South that its use cannot but conceal the realities of racial repression in early America. He urges us to speak more often of slave labor camps, a term that punctures comfortable illusions..."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dixie Emporium: Tourism, Foodways, and Consumer Culture in the American South

"The South is filled with ironies and contradictions resulting from the way the region has addressed anxieties about consumerism and the preservation (or distortion) historical memory...Sectional tensions invigorated efforts to strengthen regional unity just as the institution of slavery and later Jim Crow attempted to unite whites as the master class while uniting blacks through a shared subjugation. Southerners' exposure to tourists and investors, both of whom often bore preconceived notions about the region, further stimulated efforts at self-definition."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Letters from an American Farmer, Crevecouer (1782, but still insightful)

"While it is all joy, festivity, and happiness in Charles Town [Charleston today, of course], would you imagine that scenes of misery overspread in the country?"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said

"Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings."

Thinking with History, Carl Schorske

"The architecture of the cities appropriated the styles of bygone times to lend symbolic weight and pedigree to modern building types from railway stations and banks to halls of parliament and city halls. The cultures of the past provided the decent drapery to clothe the nakedness of modern utility."

Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said

"Appeals to the past are among the commonest strategies in interpretations of the present. What animates such appeals is not only disagreement about what happened in the past and what the past was, but uncertainty about whether the past is really past, over and concluded, or whether it continues, albeit in different forms, perhaps."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Erskine Caldwell (1935)

"The failure of the church to preach its own convictions in the sharecropper country has resulted in its becoming a burlesque of religion."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guy Debord

"In this world which is so respectful of economic necessities, no one really knows the real cost of anything which is produced. In fact the major part of the real cost is never calculated; and the rest is kept secret."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

bell hooks

"Within commodity culture, ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Continenal Philosophy, Simon Critchley

"The problem here is that science is wonderful...Through the work of science's helpmeet, technology, our lives have been transformed and improved to an extent unimaginable to someone from the ancient world, or even our great-grandparents. Yet, despite this - or perhaps because of it - the question of wisdom still nags at us, it still irritates like an appendix we believed we no longer needed. The question is: does scientific knowledge eradicate the need for an answer to the question of the meaning of life?"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Refashioning Nature, Goodman and Redclift

"Behind the resonance of the English countryside lies a reality of rural social deprivation, a picture which has been obscured, just as the vision of the countryside has been distorted, to reflect the ascendency of new class interests."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reading break

Today I took a break from reading and helped a friend harvest okra and sunflowers for the farmers market tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Political Ecology II: Theorizing Region

"The ecological and geographical conditions of production constrained and enabled capital's ability to mobilize, control, and discipline labor and labor's ability to organize and resist."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ian Cook, "Geographies of Food: following"

"Stories of food can therefore reveal like any good biography or travelogue, a much bigger story, in the sense that continued attention to the most mundane and intimate acts of people's ordinary lives...can help us understand the big issues of twenty-first-century politics."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Global Political Ecology

"A full accounting of environmental degradation must powerfully link ecological processes to poverty...but also to the highest levels and concentrations of state and corporate power."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Doreen Massey

On common understandings of place and culture: "The source of cultural specificity does not lie in spatial isolation and the effects of 'internal' processes...but in interactions with the beyond." Massey thus echoes Gupta and Ferguson's call to "re-think difference through connection."

David Harvey

"It is in practice, hard to see where 'society' begins and 'nature' ends...In a fundamental sense, there is in the final analysis nothing unnatural about New York City."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Format

Its time for a change. Now that I'm in Charleston and reading consistently for my comprehensive exams - hence, not doing much farm work - I want to try a different blog format. As I spend most of each day reading, I will post an interesting excerpt everyday. It might be insightful, provocative, inspirational, challenging...and perhaps there will even be something funny (although given the nature of my readings, I can't promise that). Many of them will likely pertain to food, agriculture, or the US south. I will mostly refrain from commenting on them, but feel free to yourself. The first shot at this comes from an essay by John Shelton Reed in an edited collection of essays called, Dixie Emporium: Tourism, Foodways, and Consumer Culture in the American South: "In the South blacks and whites have historically eaten at separate tables, but insofar as means allowed they have eaten the same things...And these days, when blacks and whites come together in fellowship, as they do (albeit all too rarely), food usually seems to be involved."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

South Carolina Sunday

Always the butt of jokes from the rest of the nation, folks from the Deep South have often responded by focusing attention on what they (entirely objectively, of course) deemed the worst states within the region: Alabamans are glad they aren't from Mississippi; growing up in Georgia, we tended to point a finger towards South Carolina. Georgia might have ranked 47th in the nation in public education, but at least we knew that we were better than our neighbor to the east. But my recent relocation to the Palmetto State has forced me to rethink this hierarchy. I mean, in Georgia I couldn't go out on a Sunday and (legally) get raw milk or beer!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lowcountry Markets

As a part of getting settled in to my new home in the Lowcountry, I have taken up an internship at the Charleston downtown farmers market. It is a very lively market with around 150 vendors selling everything from fresh okra and cured pork to hand-carved wooden bowls and fresh-squeezed juices.
It is just one of the many markets around the city for small farmers and as the tourist crowd swells so do the markets. Come get you some green beans before I eat 'em all!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Garlic for the Road!

I am almost totally done packing up all of my stuff for the move to Charleston. As would be expected, I am sad to be leaving a place where I have so many great friends, family, and memories but excited to head to the coast and start a new leg of my journey. Luckily I planted some garlic back in the fall and now I have some nice-looking fresh to take with me.
What better to smooth the transition than some primo garlic? And the growing season is so long down on the coast that I still have plenty of time to get a full summer season in there! Stay tuned, and stay in touch.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Levi

If you ever go to Lexington, KY you've got to check out Al's burger joint and bar on Limestone. A neighborhood dive that also serves up some locally-sourced food. I was honored to see that they had created a burger in my name:
I'm not sure if I'm quite as intimidating as that burger, but perhaps...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Georgia Tops National Rankings!

Well, the state budget might not be in such good shape right now but residents of Georgia still have a lot to be proud of: namely, our state recently topped an important national ranking published by the Center for Public Integrity. Georgia is the most corrupt state in the nation! According to Reuters, the study cited Georgia's "lax ethics enforcement laws and vast legal loopholes as the main reasons for its failing grade." After nearly a century of trying to encourage economic investment through lax regulation and tax breaks, what do we have to show for it? A failing state budget; high unemployment and poverty levels; poor education; and a whole lotta corruption...Perhaps its time for a new strategy?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Waste Fats

I don't know what to make of this poster that I saw recently on my spring break trip to Cali, but it is really interesting nonetheless.
The image is from a series of ads run by the US government during WWI and WWII promoting self-sufficiency and thrift as keys to good citizenship. Here are some more food related ones:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Country Come to Town

I recently got back from my first trip to NYC ever. Its funny how many people (both here and there) expressed incredulity when I told them I had never been to NYC before...I was there for a geography conference but also got to spend some time with old friends.

Some random photos and partial thoughts:

Me and my old roommate and great friend Blake Scott at an interesting sculpture in the Brooklyn botanical garden.

Graffiti on a for-rent storefront protests the yuppi-fication of the Nolita neighborhood.

For some reason there is a replica of the statue of liberty in the parking lot of the Brooklyn Museum. Can anyone explain this to me?

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK and kraut

A friend sent me this link to some of Martin Luther King's most famous speeches. I listened to it as I made some sauerkraut. It is well worth a little time to recall his message of non-violence, love, and respect for all. It is still as true today is in 1967 that "either we go up together, or we go down together." This basic maxim is strikingly relevant: according to a recent article the US ranks 27th out of the 31 'developed' countries surveyed in terms of social justice. For instance, whereas in Denmark only 1 out of 27 children live in poverty, the rate in the US is more than 1 in 5. Not too long ago GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney argued that all those who claim there is too much wealth concentrated at the top of the economic ladder in the US are simply jealous...It sounds to me like most of them are probably hungry, too. Those of us who are lucky enough to not be literally hungry have to make sure that the free market ideologues don't gain any more ground in the depths of our current economic woes, or else 1 in 4 US children will grow up in poverty pretty soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


2012 is here but before the new semester started I got to sneak in a sea kayaking trip down to Charleston, where I plan to be doing my dissertation research soon.

It was early in the New year, and I woke up early on the final morning to see the New day dawn.

At punctuated symbolic times like the New year and the New dawn it is more common for us to let the omnipresent concerns of "doing" fade into the experience of "being". But it is also true that every moment is a New one, and my resolution this year is to welcome them all, rather than just those that are prejudged to be important.

Pulling New carrots out of the ground is worthy of notice, too: