Get Out of the University and LEARN

MARTHA CROUCH: You know, one of the things that kind of surprised me after being so immersed in high-tech science was how much vibrant and really exciting thinking and research was going on in the alternative sphere. I started thinking about what would agriculture look like if the primary purpose of it was to promote a relationship with plants and the land and feed people rather than feed corporate profit. And I found that there was a community of people doing things like developing permaculture, the Land Institute in Kansas, various indigenous groups around the world rediscovering their traditional agricultures and so forth, that were addressing problems in a holistic way that was really exciting. I’m amazed at the creativity, talent and vibrant energy of people in the alternative agricultural world, and I’ve become part of that world and am connected with people who are trying to reinvent agriculture along more holistic lines. It’s really quite exciting.

AMY GOODMAN: And you don’t feel you can do that as a professor at Indiana University?

MARTHA CROUCH: You know, very, very little of that kind of research goes on in universities. And there are a lot of reasons for that. One of them is it’s extremely interdisciplinary, and the reward systems are set up in most universities to reward work within a discipline, and if you work outside of that, it has to be a tangent to your main work. So it’s really hard to do that kind of, I guess, undefinable research in a university setting.

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