My Vision
And A Fond Adieu

Dateline: August 2005

”I sought a piece of land which I could love passionately, which I could spend the rest of my life cultivating, cherishing, and improving, which I might leave together, perhaps, with my own feeling for it, to my children who might in time leave it to their children.”

That quotation from Louis Bromfield’s classic agrarian book, Pleasant Valley, is a wonderful summation of my own yearning desire for land and part of the reason I so desire it.

Those who have read this blog know that I do already have a piece of land. It is a beautiful, private, 1.5 acres out in the countryside, with a decent little home that I built over 20 years ago. I own this debt-free and am very thankful for it.

But the Lord has, in recent years, given me a multigenerational agrarian vision, and this vision involves, in part, more land. Because I believe God has given me this vision, I believe He will supply the land.

Of course, I would like the land right now because there is so much I want to do, right now. But I’ve learned very well that God does not give His children everything they want. And even when He has given us a vision for something, he provides according to His plan in His time. After all, God does not exist to please me. I exist to please Him. More specifically, as I have only in the past couple years learned, from the Westminster Catechism, The primary purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Does borrowing money to finance my yearning bring glory to God? No. I have concluded that it would not. But, humbly, contentedly, patiently waiting and trusting for His provision does. Working (using the talents and opportunities He provides) and saving, slow and steady, also brings glory to God. It is a testimony of God’s truth and faithfullness to my children, and to others.

All of which leads me to the fond adieu: it is time for this Deliberate Agrarian to take leave of blogging for a season. As much as I love writing here, I am feeling very strongly that I must allocate my time more toward projects that will help me one day acquire the land I so desire.

Unfortunately, I have so much more that I would like to write about in this blog. I have not told you about making apple cider, my boys splitting firewood, Marlene’s homemade soap, shooting PVC spud guns, propolis tincture, peppermint sinus saunas, helping my grandfather on his farm when I was little, how I invented granola bars, my Grandmother Kimball's greatest gift to me, and so much more. There are just not enough hours in the days to do everything I want, and that means I must prioritize while maintaining a healthy balance. So, as difficult as it is for me to do, I must take this self-imposed sabbatical from blogging.

In case you are interested,there are six projects I am working on that will contribute to helping me achieve my vision. Let me tell you about them:

1.) I have been and am currently working to get my house in better shape to sell, if that becomes necessary. Toward that end I have been siding (cedar shakes--I do not like vinyl siding) and staining on the outside. I have put in a couple new windows, new flooring in the kitchen, and done other interior modifications. Yesterday the boys and I started building a small (10ft by 12ft) addition on the back of the house. This will give us a bit more needed room and a big sliding door out onto a backyard patio (next year’s project, along with general landscaping) made with large flat stones we gleanded from the creek bed behind our house (we pulled the stones up out of the creek using our old Ford Taurus station wagon). My sons are at an age where they can be a big help to me with the construction. They worked hard yesterday and learned a lot.

2.) Though I have not written about it here, I do have a small agrarian business growing garlic and processing it into delectable homemade garlic powder. I have done this for several years now. It is enjoyable and financially rewarding and will require a lot of work in the coming weeks.

3.) Another thing I have not written about here is the small home business I have as a writer and self-publisher. My goal is to write and publish one new how-to book (with an agrarian focus) every year until I am no longer capable of doing so. I currently have half a dozen books in mind and partially written. Producing books that help others realize their own agrarian dreams is something I enjoy more than anything else I’ve ever done. This little business is slowly growing and I believe it has great potential.

4.) Closely related to one of the books I’ve published is the small mail order business I have making and selling parts to people who want to build their own chicken plucking machine. As with everything else, this business takes time.

5.) I must get a web site for my various agrarian ventures up and running. I have been putting it off and need to get it done, hopefully before the end of this year.

6.) Marlene’s home baking business has a lot of potential and I am planning to convert part of my workshop into a summer kitchen for her. I will be able to use the kitchen for processing my garlic into powder. And it could be utilized in so many other ways. If ever I build another house, you can bet it will have a large summer kitchen built into it, right from the start.

There are other projects but those are the primary ones. I am pursuing these things while working a regular 40-hour-a-week job—an industrial job, I might add (one that I hope to leave in due season). And I’m also endeavoring to be a good father to my children, which is a big job in itself, and far more important than making money.

So you can see that I have a full plate here. I will continue to read and enjoy the wonderful blogs of my agrarian friends (they are listed over on the right side of this page). I hope that more agrarians and aspiring agrarians will take to blogging because it is an inspiration and encouragement to others (me included). Occasionally, I will post a story here, but the stories will, for awhile at least, be few and far between. But please do check in once and awhile.(My next post will be a collection of links to the blogs I’ve written and enjoyed the most.)

God's blessings and my sincere best wishes to you all,

Herrick Kimball
The Deliberate Agrarian
E-mail: hckimball@bci.net

9 comments:

Northern Farmer said...

Herrick,
I fully understand and appreciate your having to prioritize your time for your agrarian ventures.Your thoughts and experiences that you've been posting on your blog will be greatly missed. Even this past week you've started me on another winter "project" with the James clothes washer. I've mentioned on my blog that I was getting Countryside magazine since I was a teenager and still have many of them. I remember that they had an article long, long ago on how to build one, cheap. Since I'm a spendthrift I want to pursue that course.
Until you start up blogging again please stop by any of the agrarian blogs and keep us posted on how everything is going. I also want to and have plans on starting a website in the next few months about our farm here. This will be to connect with people on direct farm sales our the local region. We've been taking alot of pictures this summer and hope to put something really nice together.
So, thank you for all the inspiration you've given me these last few months, starting from the times we both were posting as anonymous on Homesteader Life. Good luck and the Lord be with you and your family on these ventures.

Tom

KSmilkmaid said...

Herrick:

Your thoughts and insights will be greatly missed. Your blog is one of my favorites. You have a gift for writing.

However, God has given all of us some significant priorities. I completely understand. In fact, I will need to do some modifying in this area too. Please let us knwo when your website is up. We are thinking of a website too. Also, I would be first in line to purchase books on agrarianism. You have been an inspiration. Thanks for the hours you dedicated in the past. You transformed us here in Kansas. Blessings!

JM said...

Herrick,

Blessings to you and your family. You certainly have the gift of writing, and I look forward to hearing more about the growth of your vision. I will pray for you that the Lord's peace would reign in your heart, and that you would walk in His steps. Is 26:3

The community that you and Norther Farmer and Homesteader Life have helped to generated is growing, and you shouldn't feel as though this will stop with you sabbatical. The Lord is moving in the hearts of farmers and agrarians all over.

JM

Scott Terry said...

Herrick

Well, I know everone is going to miss reading your posts. I'm sure we will keep in touch, and yes I need to get that book back in the mail for you. You have inspired many folks, myself included. For the record, my favorite post is still the "Agrarain Breakfast" one. You have certainly helped fuel the fires of the anti-industrail revolution.

matt davis said...

Mr. Kimball,

Thank you for your writings. You have certainly blessed me and I am sure many others.

May God bless you and your family.

Matt Davis

James Cutler said...

Herrick,

I'm with you, brother! Keep your vision in front of your family. They need to know where we visionary fellows are headed so they can help us fulfill our mission.

I can't wait for your return, when you will get to tell us more!

God bless,

Jim Cutler

Herrick Kimball said...

Thank you everyone. I greatly appreciate your responses.

Tom: I was kidding about getting my wife the James washer. I don't think she would really appreciate it as long as the electricity is working (but she would REALLY appreciate it if it wasn't).

We have a plunger-washer thing that Lehman's sells and I have actually used it in a galvanized wash tub to wash some clothes. I also have a wringer. But the James washer would be neat. I remember getting Countryside magazine when it had a black & white cover. I'm sure you do too. And I still have my back issues (along with years of Mother Earth News). I also used to subscribe to Farmstead magazine which I thought was very neat. It was published in Maine and has not been around for many years. Let me know if you find the James washer plans.

Walter Jeffries said...

I find your comments right on target but have an additional thought. While borrowing itself may not be the best of things, paying rent that could go towards purchase of land is a foolish thing in most cases. In your case you have the land and house debt free but for a younger person without either it may make more sense to borrow lightly such at a rate similar to the rent payments that would have been made otherwise. Then one can pay down the priniple at as fast a rate as possible thus sooner getting to the stage of land ownership without debt than one would if one paid rent all those years.

A. J. Chesswas said...

Herrick,

I have been blogging for nearly a year now. I discovered your blog tonight while searching for Christian agrarianism, and have been most inspired. I returned to the family farm after coming to similar conclusions as yourself, and when I set up my blog I actually called it "The Agrarian Christian Kiwi Philosopher", then later changed to the more user-friendly "Agri-Christian NZ".

I studied environmental management at university, and majored in sociology. I guess it was inevitable that these topics, as well as the influence of my faith and the study of Maori culture, and my agricultural heritage, would cause me to settle on an agrarian view of life.

Last year I discovered www.patriarch.com, and found a kindred spirit in the writings of Howard Douglas King. However, as I said, I have been thinking more about politics and current events over the last year, as these are favoured topics of my blogging friends, most of whom are "moderns"! But after discovering your blog tonight, as well as the other agrarians you link to, I've been greatly inspired to further pursue writing and thinking along these lines. The thought of an agrarian revolution truly excites me, and is something that must happen if our people are to have an earthly future and hope.