Grace Olmstead on Place, Community, and Unchosen Forms of Fidelity


During the summer months the newsletter will be mostly on hiatus, but we will be posting a series of interviews with scholars and writers whose work we believe will be of interest to our listeners. In this installment, I’m delighted to share my conversation with Grace Olmstead.

Grace is a journalist and writer whose work focusing on farming and localism has appeared in the New York Times, the American Conservative, Christianity Today, and the Wall Street Journal. Most recently, she is the author of Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We’ve Left. The book is part memoir, part history of an Idaho farming town, part reflection on place, community, and food. I hope this conversation entices you to pick up Uprooted for yourself. There’s much that I learned through the book that we did not get the chance to touch on during our conversation. Grace is also the author of a monthly newsletter, Granola, to which you can subscribe here.

During our conversation, Grace referenced two recent papal encyclicals. You can find them here: Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti. She also mentioned the work of Norman Wirzba, professor of theology and ethics at Duke University. Naturally, the work of Wendell Berry was also pertinent to Grace’s work and our conversation. Virtues of Renewal: Wendell Berry's Sustainable Forms by Jeffrey Bilbro serves as a terrific introduction to Berry’s work and vision.

I hope you enjoy this conversation. You can look forward to others like it in the coming weeks.


Michael Sacasas
Associate Director