"Is your county dying? The U.S. Census issued a report last week showing that counted births and deaths in all U.S. counties from the end of June 2011 to July 1, 2012. There were more deaths than births in 36 percent of the nation's 3,100-plus counties. In rural counties, the percentage of places with more deaths than births was even higher."
"The head of the Appalachian Regional Commission bites into local food promotion as an economic development tool. He starts in the foodie capital of Southern Appalachia, Western North Carolina, with a visit to Smoking J’s Fiery Foods in Candler."
"These days, farmers markets are springing up all over the place, from small towns to big cities. Locally grown food is booming, as shoppers invest more time, money and thought into what they eat. But not all is well in the local food movement."
"Any self-respecting Christian should come down a few rungs on his ladder of self-esteem after reading Wendell Berry on the all-too-common view of organized churches toward farms, farmers, and rural communities. In his essay, 'God and Country,' Berry complains rightly that American denominations treat rural congregations invariably as 'a training ground for young ministers, and as a means of subsidizing their education.'"
"A conservative Tennessee group is using the sale of a small coal operation to a Chinese firm, believed by industry experts to be the first Chinese acquisition of U.S. coal assets, to push for a ban on high-elevation surface mining in the state."