Patrick Crouch is the Program Manager at the Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit, Michigan. The farm is a project of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and is the only certified organic farm in the city.
Agriculture’s urban history is an early theme in our conversation, as is the need to make food a human right rather than a market commodity. We also discuss how the structure of modern civilization, from our urban planning to our economy, encourages us to value people solely for their productive capacity.
Like Wes Jackson, Patrick walks between two ideological poles we have seen in this project (yes, I am making sweeping generalizations). His outlook is at once physicalist, secular, and scientific, but he is unimpressed by scientific utopianism. At the same time, while he encourages communing with the world and appreciating its intangible qualities, he rejects biocentrism as impossible and argues that one can find other life intrinsically valuable without spirituality.
As always, Micah and I discuss and we discuss incompletely. We need to post a glossary on here so we can parse the difference between spirituality and arational beliefs.
Artwork by Eleanor Davis.