"A culture that does not measure itself by nature, by an understanding of its debts to nature, becomes destructive of nature and thus of itself. A culture that does not measure itself by its own best work and the best work of other cultures (the determination of which is its unending task) becomes destructive of itself and thus of nature.

To me, this means simply that we are not safe in assuming that we can preserve wildness by making wilderness preserves. If we do not have an economy capable of valuing in particular terms the durable good of localities and communities, then we are not going to be able to preserve anything. We are going to have to see that, if we want our forests to last, then we must make wood products that last, for our forests are more threatened by shoddy workmanship than by clear-cutting or by fire.

Good workmanship—that is, careful, considerate, and loving work—requires us to think considerately of the whole process, natural and cultural, involved in the making of wooden artifacts, because the good worker does not share the industrial contempt for raw material. The good worker loves the board before it becomes a table, loves the tree before it yields the board, loves the forest before it gives up the tree.

The good worker understands that a badly made artifact is both an insult to its user and a danger to its source. Good forestry begins with the respectful husbanding of the forest, and ends with well-made tables and chairs and houses, just as good agriculture begins with stewardship of the fields and ends with good meals."

Wendell Berry
from Home Economics, 1987