In Search of Meadowlarks: Birds, Farms, and Food in Harmony with the Land

Yale Univ. Feb. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780300237146. $28. NAT HIST
Marzluff (environmental & forest sciences, Univ. of Washington, Seattle) writes an excellent monograph, a rare offering on the subject of agriculture and sustainability within the farming industry. Much of this wide-ranging work, enhanced by an impressive bibliography, extensive chapter notes, and 60 photographs, focuses on the West, as well as farms and ranches in Central America. Marzluff shares his extensive firsthand experience on productive farms and ranches, documenting their virtues but also relating cautionary tales of the ecological problems they may cause. While lamenting the lack of diversity of large-scale agribusiness, with its emphasis on vast, profitable monocultures, Marzluff gives convincing examples of how farms and ranches can diversify, often, but not always, economically. Helpful are his recommendations on how to reduce food waste and cut back on our predilection for meat.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all interested in agriculture, ranching, natural history, conservation, sustainability, and ecology.
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