A Time to Take Stock

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Issue 306
January/February 2018
The Way of the Garden


A Time to Take Stock

issue cover 306

Cover: Bloom Day Scan © Craig Cramer, http://ellishollow.remarc.com

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Reflections on the year and future plans.

Selestat, Bas Rhin, France © Charlie Waite  www.charliewaite.com

Selestat, Bas Rhin, France © Charlie Waite www.charliewaite.com

The Season’s Greetings. This, the January/February issue of Resurgence & Ecologist, appears from our printers just in time for the Christmas/New Year period. Traditionally, for most people this is a time both to reflect on the year that is passing and to look forward to the next 12 months. That is what we do in this issue.

Reflecting with pleasure, a host of distinguished contributors choose for us their Books of the Year. I must confess that I always have mixed feelings when their nominations arrive in the Resurgence offices: a sense of guilt if I’ve not yet managed to read a particularly distinguished title is offset by the hope that next year I will definitely do so! This year’s crop of titles is remarkably diverse and I’ve no doubt it will inspire some last-minute presents, as well as New Year resolutions like mine.

In our opening feature, Philip Ackerman-Leist looks both back and forward. His report, Turning Bed Sheets into Banners, tells how a small community came together to stop the tide of polluting, pesticide-based agriculture that was threatening traditional farming and public health. It’s an inspiring piece of reportage, which should encourage campaigners everywhere in the months to come.

Appropriately for the season, we also have room for a sense of mystery and wonder. The winning entry in the Resurgence Poetry Prize is a work of quiet beauty. In his Keynotes essay, David E. Cooper analyses our need to cultivate a sense of the joyous mystery of life, focusing on gardens and gardening. Elsewhere, Satish Kumar reflects on the pervasive power of love. And in a meditation, Peter Reason sees the world, turning but timeless, in a dewdrop.

But we also examine pressing contemporary issues. From Catalonia, Jordi Pigem appeals for the moves for independence to be seen in ecological and cultural terms. Marianne Brown interviews the co-founder of a campaign against the ‘hate speech’ tendency of some tabloid newspapers. And, raising a perennially sensitive issue, David Johnson and Carina Hirsch argue for population and environmental campaigners to find common cause. While the rich West still consumes far more of our planet’s resources than the developing world, this is a controversial topic, but the debate will surely only intensify.

Lastly, we at Resurgence have particular reasons to look forward to 2018. As you will see from our report on page 8, The Resurgence Trust has launched an appeal to raise funds for our planned move to a new home, which we hope will become a centre for education, environment and the arts, together with the other causes for which this magazine has stood for half a century. With your support, we hope to make 2018 a very resurgent year indeed.

We wish all our readers a peaceful and joyful New Year.

Greg Neale is Editor-in-Chief of Resurgence & Ecologist.

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