The Ruminations Begin

Dateline: 18 June 2005

I am an Agrarian. Specifically, I am a Christian Agrarian. I believe that God intended for His people to live their lives and raise their families for His glory within the agrarian paradigm.

That is why I eschew the city and live out in the countryside. That is why my wife, The Lovely Marlene, and I homeschool our three boys (ages 11 to 17) . That is why we teach our children to acknowledge the Sovereign Lord of All Creation as the Sovereign Lord of All Creation. That is why we look to His grace every day and give thanks for the good times as well as the hard times (a.k.a., the teaching times). That is why we have a garden. That is why we keep hens for eggs (and entertainment!). That is why we make our own maple syrup. It is why we grind wheat “berries” into flour, from which Marlene makes the best homemade breads that you’ll ever taste. That is why we do these things and so many other such things.

This kind of lifestyle, this kind of work, can give a life richness. If pursued with humility and wisdom, in a spirit of love, this is the kind of life that will make a family strong and be a remarkable witness to the goodness of a merciful God.

To live this kind of life is to be a blessing to the community around you in the here-and-now, and to the generations that will follow you. This is the kind of life that, amidst the pervasive, shallow, false promises of the dying Industrial Culture we live in, is a beacon of light. It is a way of life that, very simply, offers hope, peace, and contentment like nothing else.

So, look at that!..... Here I am, a simple rural blogger, beginning the “Ruminations” by speaking like a philosopher. But, you know, I think that is entirely appropriate for a Deliberate Agrarian.

Fortunately for one like myself (who really is not a particularly deep thinker), the precious riches of this “philosophy” can be clearly seen and easily grasped... and they sparkle brightly.

I invite you, dear reader, to come here often in the days ahead. Lord willing, we will find treasures together. I will share with you the life, work, hope, struggles, lessons, thoughts, prayers, and blessings that come into the life and times of this Deliberate Agrarian.

It is my great desire that you will be inspired and blessed along the way.


Foodster said...

Congratulations! America needs 50 million more like you! (Both in the Christian aspect and in the agrarian aspect.)

We just started (3 1/2 weeks ago) raising chickens for eggs. Got all 25 out to the coop/tractor 1 1/2 weeks ago because they were flying out of the brooders. They're all doing well so far.

Next year, am hoping to have enough steel in my backbone to raise/slaughter broilers. We're trying to work toward more self-sufficiency.

Blessings and best regards, in Him.

Bruce Hopkins

Scott Terry said...


Welcome to Blogdom! The industrial culture of death and darkness has recieved yet another well deserved kick in the pants. I look foward to reading your posts, my good friend.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think 50 million more is doable. it just might take some time. Or it might take some sort of disaster that "encourages" a whole lot of folks to be agrarian real fast. Time will tell.

I'm delighted to know that you are getting started with poultry. 25 hens are a fair amount of work but they are a delight to watch and, before long, you'll be collecting all those wonderful "hen gems."

Our family started with egg layers before tackling broilers too. I'm sure you have it in you to raise & process broilers!


Hey Scott,

I like what you said and I sure do appreciate your encouragement!

April said...


I look forward to reading your bits of wisdom and getting a peek in your life. Our family is working towards a country life similar to yours. Our small acreage is home to 2 mini goats, 80 layers, a varying number of broilers, 6 beautiful children, my husband, and I. God is good!

April in MN

buie said...

Welcome to the blogging world, I am very excited to read your posts.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Aril,

There is a good chance it might be the other way around. It very well could be that my family is working towards a country life similar to Yours!

In time, you will see that, though I am a Deliberate Agrarian, I am, unfortunately, not a pure Agrarian. I am, like you, and "farmer buie" (Hi Farmer Buie!), and so many others, yearning to (and making plans to) live a more Agrarian life.

Bob Windsor said...

Hi Herrick,
What a great idea !! My wife (the lovely Nina..pronounced Nine-ah)and I have made the same lifestyle choices that you and yours have made. A simpler lifestyle, home-grown food (plant and animal)an honest work ethic, and faith in God are the building blocks of our life. We are not "totally" agrarian as of yet, but we're well on our way. We raise a few pigs and cattle for meat, Chickens for eggs, meat & fertilizer, have a few horses for pleasure & work if need be, and raise and can much of our own food in our "organic" garden. I look forward to your daily "pearls of wisdom, and hope to add my own as the spirit moves.

Bob Windsor
Salem, Arkansas

P.S. I am a retired (early) engineering manager with AT&T, 58 years of age and soon to be an ordained minister. Hope that's OK ??

Travis W. Hughey said...

Hello Herrick,
I just read some of your blogs. Thanks so much for sending out the link. 4 years ago my wife of 23 years(the lovely Lori) and our three children started the process of breaking away from the city life. We purchased 5 acres a few miles out of town and started a mini farm. There were a few of our friends who thought we had gone out of our minds but the vast majority kept making comments like "man, I sure wish I could do something like that". My response was "why don't you!". Seems the ties to the familiar are sometimes stronger than the the courage to launch into the unknown. We raise chickens (have built a chain drive version of the whizbang plucker), ducks, goats, rabbits. Have had a pig (sausage now)and grow fish and vegetables in an aquaponic system here in a greenhouse as well as have a small vineyard and fruit orchard. While I presently have a small business we are in the process of selling our land here and moving farther out so the city won't encroach on us any time soon. Once things are set up there we will be going to Kenya, Africa for a couple of years as agro-missionaries. Seems the knowledge we take for granted is desperately needed in the third world. We believe this may be a very effective way to share the gospel in practical ways to not only reach the lost but encourage believers living out their faith in far less than optimal circumstances. We will keep checking in to your board and praying for you as well.
God Bless and Keep up the good work!!
Travis W. Hughey

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Bob & Travis,

It's great to see that you found your way here, and to know more about what you are doing.

Best wishes

P.S. Yes, Bob, it's OK with me.

Country Born & Bred said...

We also are a Christian Agrarian couple who were able to retire early (age 55), due to the grace of God & our prefered lifestyle of everything country. Herrick we bought your chicken plucker plans last year & have enjoyed a much easier & quicker chicken processing time. We raise about 100 roasting chickens (5-1/2-7 lbs). We have added to this 20 turkeys this year as well as 6 laying hens & 1 rooster. We enjoy our feathered friends very much. We sell the extra eggs that we don't use & that covers the cost of the feed we feed them. Therefore our eggs don't cost us anything. It is the same with our roasting chickens by selling the excess ours are free. We have a huge garden, fruit trees, berry bushs & a wood lot for wood & Maple Syrup. We tried to grow everbearing strawberries this year but they all died. We heat entirely with wood & my husband uses some of the wood to make wooden toys for orphanages overseas. The wood shavings & sawdust is all saved to use as bedding for the chickens thus producing very nice manure for our garden. We grow as much of our food as possible, but are the butt of many jokes from family & friends who think that we are nuts for not just going to the store & buying the produce. They just don't understand how soul satisfying all this is! THE GOOD LORD HAS BLESSED US INDEED.

Anonymous said...

And 11 years later going stonger than ever! Great job Herrick! What a blessing you've been to so many.
Kind Regards,