My Sincerest Thanks
And Some Other Thoughts

Dateline: 15 June 2006

I was at the post office a few days ago and a fellow I sort-of know and always say “Hi” to told me he was reading my new book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian. I was surprised to hear this because I thought I knew every person hereabouts who had a copy of the book, and I have not yet donated one to the local library. It turns out Marlene’s sister gave him her copy to read.

Beaming his usual friendly smile, he had this to say about the book:

“It’s very... (pause as he searches for the right word)... interesting.

I took it as a compliment and thanked him.


Which brings me to some other, much more eloquent, book reviews that I must tell you about.....

A sincere thanks! to Emily for this wonderful review of my book at her blog, Straining Onward.

And thank you so much to Pastor Thomas McConnell for this fine review at his blog. (By the way, do check out Pastor McConnell’s recent post about learning to work with mules!)

And last but not least, I thank Jeff Culbreath over at his Hallowed Ground blog for this great book review. For those who do not know, Jeff is a Catholic agrarian and recommends my book even though I am, as he puts it, “unfortunately a Protestant.”


I enjoyed reading and seeing this chronicle of Whizbang Plucking exploits at Susan Wise Bauer’s blog.


I got the impression that some of those who commented about Susan's family Whizbanging chickens were a lottle, shall we say, turned off by the whole idea of processing poultry. I wonder what they would think of eating raccoon, which was the subject of this recent post at Kansas Milkmaid's blog.

Personally, my family (us males, specifically) have been considering the possibilities of woodchuck. They are grassfed so I suspect the meat is very good. If you read this Scott Terry, can you give us any advice on woodchuck?


The red mangle beet seeds from Heirloom Acres that I wrote of here awhile back have sprouted and emerged. The tiny seedlings are looking small and vulnerable. They have a way to go before they become 2ft long, 15 to 20 pound mangel specimens—but they are on the way.


Seems like most everything else in my garden, except the garlic and peas, is looking small and vulnerable. The abundance of rain and cold have set everything back. And Slugs are wreaking havoc on some things. They chewed many of my tiny but promising carrot seedlings to the ground. Oh, how I hate slugs!


And if slugs are not enough to make me angry those caterpillars that are decimating entire tracts of forest around me are now on my trees. Robert and I spent an hour today squishing thousands of them that were moving up the trunks and clustering together before moving out to consume the leaves. We hit the caterpillars with a stick and their insides splurted out their ends like toothpaste out of a tube when you stomp on it (try it on a tube of toothpaste and you'll see what I mean). We used a stepladder to get as high as we could and then resorted to a garden hose to blast the clusters that are up out of reach. When we got done, we were covered with specks of caterpillar guts.They are evil creatures, those caterpillars.


Today was the first day of farmer’s market. Marlene and James worked all morning baking and getting ready. It was not an especially good day at the market but it was not especially bad either.


Robert and his friend, Andrew, (another home schooler) worked about six hours today picking rocks for our neighbor who is a farmer. Tomorrow he will be baling rye straw and Robert will be helping with that.


A friend of mine has recently been though a bout with salmonella. He is quite certain he got it from a batch of chicks he ordered from a well-known hatchery. He said it was a very bad experience. I don’t know much about salmonella but I’m inclined to do some internet research on the subject.


Thanks again to all you great folks who have taken the time to write a review of my new book!


Hopeful Agrarian said...

I received your book Wednesday. Thanks for the quick shipment. Also, could you send some of that rain and cool that you wrote about (especially the rain) out here to the plains states. The farmers around here are harvesting wheat yields as low as 8 bushels per acre. Others are worried the pastures will give out early. We have 80% chance of heavy rain tonight.

Faith Proctor said...

Ugh, I despise slugs. I am crawling in my skin at the mention of the beasts. Having tried to tend a flower garden in England and have it completely destroyed by slugs I loathe the beasts. Moby Dick slugs are what I had there. Did you know they will eat your carpet away and turn the same color as the carpet...and what naturally occurs then,,,,,well, you unknowingly STEP on them. Now, is your skin crawling? Herrick, to make up for the mention of slugs in your post, how about a lovely picture of Marlene's bread ready to go to market? Thats a much better thought.

scott terry said...

hmmm....Woodchuck you say.

I've never ate woodchuck but my dad has, I'll ask him how it was fixed. I think he said it was roasted in the oven. I took a quick glance at my hillbilly cookbooks and see that woodchuck is an acceptable substitute in most of the rabbit and squirrel recipes.

JFC said...

Those caterpillars attacked our pine trees last year, by the thousands.

We put on multiple layers of latex and/or rubber gloves, and started stripping them off and squishing them as we went. Ooo ... nasty.

But we saved the trees.

I guess that is part of what "taking dominion" is about ... defeating the pests by diligence.

Press on brother.

Scott Terry said...

All Righty, I asked Dad how to fix woodchuck. He said its best fried, same instructions as the coon recipe.

remove the fat and glands

soak over night in salt water

parboil with a little baking soda and garlic and/or onion

cut up, bread, and fry like chicken

Herrick Kimball said...

Hopeful Agrarian...
I sure do hope you get some rain soon!

That's a fine idea about the picture of Marlene's bread. Our docking station for the camera is all of a sudden not working but I will get sone bread pictures.

Rubber gloves for squishing sounds like a good idea.

Thank you and thank your dad for that recipe. Sounds Yummy!