E.P Roe Quotes:
The Final Installment




I hope you have enjoyed the last three posts containing information about, and quotations from, the once-famous but now little-known Christian-agrarian writer, Edward Payson Roe. Here are a few more selections to close out this series:


A love for the soil and all the pursuits of outdoor life is one of the most healthful signs in a people. Our broad and diversified land affords abundant opportunity for the gratification of every rural taste, and those who form such tastes will never complain that life is losing its zest. Other pleasures pall with time and are satiated. We outgrow them. But every spring is a new revelation, every summer a fresh, original chapter of experience, and every autumn a fruition of hopes as well as of seeds and buds. Nothing can conduce more to happiness and prosperity than multitudes of rural homes. In such abodes you will not find Socialists, Nihilists, and other hare-brained reformers who seek to improve the world by ignoring nature and common sense. Possession of the soil makes a man conservative, while he, at the same time, is conserved.

Every crop is a prize to knowledge, skill, industry. Every flower is a beautiful mystery which may be solved in part; every tree is stored sunshine for the hearth, shelter from the storm, a thing of beauty while it lives, and of varied use when its life is taken. In animals, birds, insects, and vegetation we are surrounded by diversified life, and our life grows richer, more healthful and complete, as we enter into their life and comprehend it. The clouds above us are not mere reservoirs of water for prosaic use. In their light, shade, and exquisite coloring they are ever a reproach to the blindness of coarse and earthy minds.

If properly made and conducted [the garden] will yield a revenue which the wealth of the Indies could not purchase; for whoever bought in market the flavor of fruit and vegetables raised by one’s own hands or under our own eyes? Sentiment does count. A boy is a boy; but it makes a vast difference whether he is our boy or not. A garden may soon become a part of the man himself, and he is a better man for its care. Wholesome are the thoughts and schemes it suggests; healthful are the blood and muscle resulting from its products and labor therein. Even with the purse of a millionaire, the best of the city’s markets is no substitute for a garden; for nature and life are here, and these are not bought and sold. From stalls and peddler’s wagons we can buy but dead and dying things. The indolent epicure’s enjoyment of game is not the relish of the sportsman who has taken his dinner direct from the woods and waters.


I am often told, ”It is cheaper to buy fruit and vegetables than to raise them.” I have nothing to say in reply. There are many cheap things that we can have; experience has proved that one of the best things is to have a garden, either to work in or to visit daily when the season permits. We have but one life to live here, and to get the cheapest things out of it is rather poor ambition.


It may well become one of the dreams of our life to own land, if for no other reason than that of obtaining the priviledge of planting vines. As they take root, so will we, and after we have eaten their delicious fruit, the very thought of leaving our acre will be repugnant. The literature of the vine would fill a library; the literature of love would crowd many libraries. It is not essential to read everything before we start a little vineyard or go a-courting.

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This post is the last of four 
in a series about E.P. Roe. 
Click Here to go to the first post.
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4 comments:

dave from GA said...

Herrick,
I have enjoyed these passages enough that I have ordered the books to read them in their entirety. Thanks! Oh yes, did you buy a DVD copy of Inherit The Land? It's REALLY good. Take care.

Dave in GA

Barry L. Morgan said...

Thank you Herrick, I enjoyed and appreciated your posts on Christian-agrarian writer Edward Payson Roe. I found fascinating, the quotations that you sighted from both Roe’s writings and from his story in his sister Mary’s book. Also, I believe the Lord used your posts to speak clarification and confirmation to me, about the next steps forward for advancing the Acres Of Hope America ministry vision and mission.

I hope you and your readers will excuse me for personalizing, but I found readily recognizable and meaningful parallels, between the present Acres Of Hope America ministry development, and what I learned about E. P. Roe from your posts. Specifically, I found more than curious or coincidental, the comparisons of Roe’s historical setting, his practical “theology of the land” ministry of healing through agrarianism, and his ministry vocational transition from a personal preaching ministry, to one that addressed greater audiences with geographically broader reaches, and with generational impacts, through his writings.

First of all, I read from your posts that E. P. Roe made the vocational transition from being a Minister employing agrarianism to accomplish his mission, to becoming a Christian Agrarian entrepreneur, employing a mail order business and a writing ministry to expand his mission. Herrick, does that resonate with you on any personal level?

Herrick, you may recall from our recent phone conversation, when I stated my belief, that it is folks like the Herrick Kimball family, and other devoted Christian agrarians, (that we have had the privilege to contact, meet and minister to), who in my opinion are the real “in place” ministers on the land, the “in the field missionaries” and the ambassadors impacting the cultural transformation in their communities, through relational, agrarian lifestyle evangelism. Acres Of Hope America, is merely an equipping and support ministry, to aid, enhance and accelerate the agrarian and ministry missions of Christian agrarians that are already “in place”, and to help those the Lord is yet drawing, one heart at a time, to heed His “call to the land”.

In reading the posts about E.P. Roe, I found what I thought was another interesting parallel comparison with the historical setting of this didactic Christian Agrarian writer. The Civil War experience and setting of then military Chaplain E. P. Roe, made me think immediately, of the abundant and significant Civil War history of the Northwest Georgia area. Acres Of Hope America has already moved our base of ministry operations to Northwest Georgia, and are actively pursuing the acquisition of approximately 500 acres to establish our planned Christian Agrarian and Sustainable Living Training Farm and Learning Center.

Everywhere one travels throughout the Northwest Georgia area one will encounter historical Civil War markers and memorials. The roads through northwest Georgia, from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Atlanta, follow the paths of some of the most dramatic events in the what the locals call, “The War Between the States”.

In 1863 the march of war brought 124,000 Union and Confederate soldiers into Chickamauga, just south of Chattanooga, to engage in the bloodiest two-day battle of the Civil War. This battle resulted in 34,000 casualties and is commemorated by the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, located in Chickamauga, Georgia. This historic park was the first to be established by the US War Department in 1890. It is the oldest and largest military park in the nation.

Northwest Georgia saw over 100,000 men die in less than a year. Nowhere else in this war did so many men die in such a short period of time. Their sacrifices, North and South, leave a legacy of heroism throughout the Northwest Georgia area.

Following the hospital chaplaincy comparison of E.P. Roe, located in the northwest Georgia, little rural town of Ringgold, was the center for the Confederate hospitals. The geographical Northwest Georgia Civil War historic and beautiful scenic tour is known as, “The Back Roads and Battlefields” tour.


Herrick, in a final comparison, Roe’s vocational transition to reach a greater and broader audience reminds me again of our phone conversation, where I mentioned the leading I was sensing from the Lord, telling me it was time to transition from my 2 ½ years of one-on-one ministry, and individual church educational speaking, and to start impacting larger audiences and to greatly expand the number of people we serve through our ministry.

Thank you again for these informative, inspiring and timely posts. I will close with a quotation of E. P. Roe that you included in your posts that really resonated with me.

“One may delve in the earth so long as to lose all dread at the thought of sleeping in it at last; and the luscious fruits and bright-hued flowers that come out of it, in a way no one can find out, may teach our own resurrection more effectually than do all the learned theologians.”

God Bless

Herrick Kimball said...

Hey Dave—
I came upon an E.P. Roe book while doing some searching on ebay. The book description led me to do some more research on the man. It was a neat discovery. And it makes me wonder what other discoveries like that there are out there. I plan to spend more time reading his book on small fruit culture, but I will probably copy it off of the internet and put it in a binder. I have seen the movie and it is good.

Hi Barry-
It never occurred to me that E.P. Roe and I shared the similarity of being Christian-agrarian entrepreneurs, and having a writing ministry. Wow.

I hope we don’t share the similar fate of dying at 50 years of age (which is quickly approaching for me). Not that I mind the idea of leaving this realm and being present with the Lord. It’s just that I’m excited about being a part of what He is doing here and now….

For example, the work of your ministry Acres of Hope and the developing plans for northwest Georgia. I firmly believe the vision you and Lynne have for this ministry is of the Lord, that it is greatly needed, and that He will bless your efforts. If clarification and comfirmation have come to you through the E.P. Roe posts, that is truly a work of God, and I thank Him for that.

I want you to know that I really like the phrase you used about Christian-agrarians being ministers on the land, the field missionaries, and the ambassadors impacting the cultural transformation in their communities through relational, agrarian lifestyle evangelism. That’s profound, and it is a vision that I hope all professing Christians who are deliberately pursuing the agrarian life will keep before them. Amen, brother!

P.S. I thought maybe folks down there referred to the Civil War not as “The War Between The States” but as “The War of Northern Aggression” (which I’m inclined to think it was). :-)

Carlton Jackson said...

I have a 24 volume set of Roe's work