The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Son of the soil

'If we don't treat the land with ethical restraint, we won't survive,' warns Paul Gruchow

Growing up on a small Minnesota farm in a Lutheran family, Paul Gruchow learned from his father what blasphemy is: "To spend resources to produce food which you then threw out merely because you could not make a profit on it, that to him was waste, a kind of blasphemy."

This recollection appears in Grass Roots. The 1995 collection of essays earned Gruchow, whose concern for the land has become his life's work, the admiration of environmentalists.

"We still think that if you own the land you can do whatever you want with it," says Gruchow, a lecturer at St. Olaf College and a member of Bethel Lutheran Church, both in Northfield, Minn.

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