Southern Agriculture


Jefferson on the Pleasure of Pleasure Gardening

Thomas Jefferson, like others of his day, was a patron and admirer of the fine arts, which were “fine” because they were autotelic—viz., enjoyed as ends in themselves. The number of the Fine Arts was a matter of debate in his day. To granddaughter Ellen Wayles Randolph (10 July 1805), President Jefferson writes: I must observe that neither the number…
M. Andrew Holowchak
February 27, 2024

Monticello as a Southern Pleasure Garden

(A selection from Thomas Jefferson and the Fine Arts) Jefferson did not consider husbandry to be a fine art, certainly because husbandry did not aim at beauty, but yield. Nonetheless, the gentleman farmer could make his entire estate a garden. As Philip Southcote, designer of an estate at Woburn in Surrey, England, said, “Why may not a whole estate be…

The GMO Threat

Genetically engineered crops have been grown in large numbers across the States since 1996.  These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are created by taking a gene (or genes) from an unrelated species like a bacterium and splicing it (them) into a crop like corn or cotton with the intention of improving some aspect of it (to protect against herbicides, drought, etc.). …
Walt Garlington
June 12, 2019

What’s Happened to the Southern Heartland?

With roots in urban America, the libertarian New Class, which staffs so many of today’s influential think tanks, is disinclined to view the troubles in rural America as a real crisis. This group tends to view a farm as simply another unit of production that, if inefficient, should wither away without public concern—indeed no more deserving of concern than the…
Anthony Harrigan
September 22, 2017

The Louisiana “Hippeaux”

In America, there are a lot of places you can go that will make you feel like you’re in a foreign country.  Certain areas of Miami, Phoenix, or San Francisco immediately come to mind, and you might feel like you need a passport to go there.  However, I firmly believe that when I travel to some parts of Louisiana, I…
Tom Daniel
July 11, 2016

King Kudzu

“Cotton isn’t king in the South anymore … Kudzu is king!”                Channing Cole, Atlanta Constitution The mysterious disappearance of England’s first settlement in North America, Sir Walter Raleigh’s  “Lost Colony” which was established in 1584 on Roanoke Island in what is now North Carolina, may never be solved, but it is safe to assume that starvation must have played…
John Marquardt
November 5, 2015