Just A Little Bit...Every Day...
Until I’m Done

I'm blogging "little bits," one each day until the book I'm currently working on is done and handed off to the printer. Each day I will post one, simple, “little bit.” These “little bits” will not have their own blog post; I will just add them, one on top of the other, below.

My target date to be done with the new book is January 31. I may be a few days late. But hopefully not. In any event I invite you to check out my special prepublication discount pricing for the newest Whizbang book... Details Are Here

Little Bit For Day 22
30 January 2009.....Gerald Celente (see little bit for day 17, below) has done another podcast interview with Lew Rockwell. Celente is president of Trends Research Institute. It is his business to look ahead and see what future trends are. He has been at it for a long time. He has a good track record. He says that current events form future trends.

In the newest interview Celente refutes the idea some people have that the economic situation is going to get better sometime soon. Lew Rockwell says it took 17 years to get out of the last great depression. Celente says the depression we are moving into this year “is going to go on and on.” Celente asserts that “It’s going to be the worst living conditions that we’ve ever, ever seen in this country.”

That is quite a statement to be making, but Calente backs it up with the kind of frank logic that has made him successful as a trends forecaster. He states that “the only way out” is for America to develop a new “productive capacity,” and he explains exactly what he means by that. But it doesn’t sound like he is expecting it to happen. I don't either.

In the second half of the interview Celente tells what he is doing to prepare for social and economic collapse. You can listen to the 13 minute interview at this link: Interview #94: Gerald Celente, The Greatest Depression in History

Little Bit For Day 21
29 January 2009.....Over the past few years, since starting this blog and writing my Deliberate Agrarian book, I have received a LOT of letters from individual Christians who tell me they feel the Lord is convicting them to pursue the agrarian lifestyle. I am blessed by these letters and these families that see the foolishness of our God-hating neo-Babylonian culture with its heavily industrialized way of life. Such a way of life is characterized by selfishness, dissatisfaction, covetousness, vanity, pride, and independence from God.

Industrialism has a clear track record of destroying the earth, destroying families, destroying community, and destroying fundamental understandings of the Christian faith. Industrialism forces its minions to be helpless and dependent on the industrial providers and a messianic state.

This industrialized way of life is clearly contrary to the Biblical model. And so it is, in this day, that God is calling out a “properly grounded remnant” who will repent of the foolishness, separate from Babylon, and pursue a way of life defined by a completely-biblical worldview.

The complete Biblical worldview reveals a distinctly agrarian framework for living. It is unmistakable. This Biblical-agrarian paradigm is characterized by a simpler way of lif; a life that is satisfied with little and thankful to God for the smallest things; a way of life that is focused on faith, and family, and working with our backs, our hands, and our minds to provide the basic needs of life.

Well, enough of the editorializing. My primary intention with today’s little bit is to share with you a portion of a letter I got today. It is similar to many letters I get. The writer began by telling me that he has felt for some time the Lord calling him to a simpler lifestyle. I’ll let him take it from there....

Well, every barrier that I placed between me and that calling, (i.e.corporate job that consumed most of my day, big house with a big payment, etc.) has been jerked out from under me in the last few months, starting with the loss of my job in October.
 
In the midst of all this chaos, the LORD placed in my path an older man in our church, who out of nowhere, started using this unique word, AGRARIAN, of which I had never heard. A few weeks later, I take my dryer blower motor, which died, to another older man in the community, and unprompted, he begins talking to me about the calling, biblically, of man to lead an AGRARIAN lifestyle. I get the point, LORD>>>>>
 
So, as all of this is coming together, while still unemployed, 3 1/2 months later, I am at such peace and know what the LORD is calling me to do, and I am pursuing that calling with all I have.


Little Bit For Day 20
29 January 2009......We are in the midst of a snowstorm here. When I got home from work today, two of my sons were out shoveling the driveway. I backed in and when I got out of the car they informed me that the back bumper on my car was falling off.

Sure enough, a clip holding the bumper on one side had rusted out and the plastic bumper was hanging. I asked Robert if he could fix it for me. "You mean wire it up?" he asked. "Yes just drill a couple of holes and wire it together," I replied.

I backed up to my workshop. Robert was waiting with the drill and zip ties.

I've written about this car before. I call it "Little Red." It's a 1994 Nissan Sentra on its second hundred thousand. I paid $600 for it a few years ago. It doesn't have a 5th gear. It gets around 30 miles per gallon. It has been a remarkably reliable car. It's great in snow. I love the stick shift. I love the car.

One morning on the way to work this winter I was traveling over a very icy country road. I came upon a full-size state plow with a sander on the back. It had run off the road, over the ditch, into a field, and turned on its side. Another state truck was nose down in the ditch nearby. Two men were standing by the road. Me and Little Red slowed down. I got out and shuffled over to the men. "Is everybody okay?" I asked. One man replied,"Yeah. Just a little hurt pride." I told him that would heal in time. Then I asked if they wanted me to pull them out with my car.

So, anyway, Robert fixed my car in no time and, I am well pleased with his repair.




Little Bit For Day 19
28 January 2009....
Pa planted a pickle patch every year, sometimes as much as two acres but generally around an acre. When we planted a crop in a small field, say three acres or less, Pa called it a patch.

One time, a Wisconsin relative told Pa he was wrong to call our pickle patch a pickle patch. "What in blazes is wrong in calling a pickle patch what it is?" Pa asked in exasperation. He often lost his patience with city relatives who knew not a wit about farming, gardening, or anything else outside their homes or the paper mills where they worked.

"You should call it a cucumber patch. Cucumbers become pickles once they've been processed," the relative said in his high-minded way, "like dill pickles and sweet and sour pickles."

"Well, out here in the country, this patch of ground is a pickle patch," Pa said, looking the city relative square in the eye. And that was the end of the conversation. Pa was not much for city folks telling him anything, especially what to call his pickle patch."
From the book, Every Farm Tells A Story, which I have written about here.

Little Bit For Day 18
27 January 2009....I have a sedentary job as a supervisor in a factory. And for many weeks now I have spent many after work and weekend hours at home seated in front of my computer, working on my next book. I am not getting the exercise I need. I feel out of shape. I am out of shape.

Meanwhile, my wife, who is also out of shape (that's what she tells me, but I like her shape) has taken to cross-country skiing. We’ve had the skis for many years. Some years they get more use than others.

Cross country skiing is inexpensive, simple to do, relatively safe, and it is incredibly good exercise for a body. If you live in the country, you simply step out your door, snap your boots into the skis, and take off. And cross country skiing is also fun to do.

Marlene has been encouraging me to come skiing with her. And I’ve been telling her I can’t because I’m laser-focused on this book thing. But last weekend, I had my fill of the book. I needed to break away and do something physical. So I went skiing. I walked across the road and blazed a trail up through the field across from our house. It was a brutally cold but gloriously sunny day. The fresh air and exercise did me good. The picture below is looking back, across the valley. Our house is in the background on the left side of the view. I’m about to head back down the hill.

Book Update: Barring any unforseen problems, my Whizbang cider book project is on schedule to be done by the end of the month. I will hand the pages to my printer on Monday next, which will be February 2. Then I’ll launch into my next project which will not be a Whizbang book. It will be a Whizbang product. I’m pretty excited about this product because I came up with the design, prototyped it last spring, used it in my garden through the growing season, and it worked so well. It is a garden tool. I’ll reveal what it is in February. Then I’ll gear up my small work shop to produce the product in time for spring (hopefully).

But I intend to take more time for cross country skiing too.

Little Bit For Day 17
26 January 2009....If you have not yet visited the blog, Granny Miller, I recommend it to you. And Granny’s husband, The Midland Agrarian has a fine blog too.

I mention this because I was over to Granny Miller's yesterday and saw that she blogged about Gerald Celente, president of Trends Research Institute. Mr. Celente has made a career of looking ahead and seeing various trends (business, economic, political, and cultural) before they hit the mainstream consciousness. He is a man of some renown because he has an accurate track record going back many years.

I’ve been aware of Celente for some time, but not until I read Granny’s recent blog did I learn of his 13-minute interview with Lew Rockwell last month. The interview discusses the “trends” Mr. Calente sees coming to pass in the American economy and government in the very near future. It is an insightful and sobering analysis. These are very serious times we live in, and they are going to get much more serious. You can Download The Interview Here

Little Bit For Day 16
25 January 2009.... It has been very cold here in Central new York. So cold that my son James has taken to sleeping downstairs, on the fold-out sofa bed, near the wood stove. He says his bedroom is too cold. That’s the way it is when you have one wood stove in the living room to heat your whole house. We don’t just turn up the thermostat and maintain a comfortable temperature at all times. That’s a modern luxury our house does not have. We get temperature swings and sometimes in the winter, the temperature swings uncomfortably low.

So I had to tell James how it was when I was a boy....

We lived in a drafty old farm house and heated it with two wood stoves. My bedroom was upstairs, far from the wood stoves. The windows in my bedroom were so loose that a winter storm would often leave a little drift of snow on the windowsills. It was so cold in my bedroom on some winter days that I could see my breath. The inside of the windows would ice up 1/4” thick in places. And, yes, I’m serious when I tell you that it was so cold that a glass of water by my bedside iced over one night.

But my mother made sure I had plenty of blankets on my bed and I slept well.

Winter mornings were the coldest. I would get out of bed, make a beeline for the wood stove in the downstairs kitchen, and hover in front of it, trying to heat up each side of myself before getting ready for school.If I was up before everyone else. I had to get the fire going to get warm.

Kids these days just don’t know how good they got it. :-)

Little Bit For Day 15
24 January 2009..... There is an old agrarian aphorism that goes like this: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Such simple wisdom holds true for finances as well as eggs. I can not help but feel very badly for people like This Woman who had so many eggs in one basket and has lost them all.

Little Bit For Day 14
23 January 2009......Have you heard of biochar? If you are a gardener, you should know about this low tech way to enhance soil fertility. The current issue (Feb/March 2009) of Mother Earth News magazine has an article all about biochar. Here is a quote:
”...coarse lumps of charcoal are full of crevices and holes, which help them serve as life rafts to soil microorganisms. The carbon compounds in charcoal form loose chemical bonds with soluble plant nutrients so they are not as readily washed away by rain and irrigation. Biochar alone added to poor soil has little benefit to plants, but when used in combination with compost and organic fertilizers, it can dramatically improve plant growth while helping retain nutrients in the soil.”
For more details, here is a link: International Biochar Initiative

Little Bit For Day 13
22 January 2009....Last November (while I was on break from blogging here) Marlene and I celebrated out 28th wedding anniversary. We rarely go out together on “dates” these days, but it is our custom to spend the day after Thanksgiving together by going somewhere. The routine is to go shopping at a big mall (where I experience culture shock) and eat at a nice restaurant. Last year we broke with tradition. We drove an hour or so from home to visit an antique mall that a friend had told us was really nice. Turned out it really was a neat place. We spent at least a couple hours there, and then ate lunch at a little diner in a nearby town, and that was nice too. Then we went to two thrift stores. I think we had a whole lot more fun together than going to a megamall and fancy restaurant.

Someday, when our kids are just a bit older, Marlene and I will spend more time going places together—just the two of us, like we did eons ago, before we had children. Who knows, maybe we’ll explore some foreign lands—exotic places we’ve never been to. Places with names like Tennessee and Missouri and Kentucky. And if we’re really adventerous, maybe we’ll even go to northern Alabama. And we’ll try eating the strange foods of these places—like hominy.

But last November, for our anniversary, we went to the antique mall and the little diner. It was a memorable day because I bought something special at the antique mall. I didn’t expect to buy something. But I saw something there that I have never seen for sale before and it’s something I’ve been wanting for a few years now. Here’s a couple pictures, with explanation below:

That, my friends, is a treadle-powered bean sorter. Someday, I still dream of having the land and time to grow heirloom dry beans of various kinds as a home business. When that day comes, I’ll need a bean sorter, just like that one in the pictures. I paid $80 for it and am pretty happy about that (even if it did sell brand new for around nine bucks....but that was a long time ago). There is no room to store the thing here at our place, so it is now in my mother-in-law’s garage. We’re busting at the seams with Whizbang prototypes and parts and books and various homestead projects.

Here’s a link to a dry-bean blog I wrote awhile back: ”Every Bean’s a Blessing, Boys!”

Little Bit For Day 12
21 January 2009....Today I’d like to share with you the following passage from Every Farm Tells a Story by Jerry Apps, which I reviewed HERE. I find it fascinating that this family purchased a 160 acre farm during the Great Depression and paid it off in a few years with income generated by the farm. That used to be possible and I think it was fairly common. Those of you who are in the diary business will find the milk pricing of interest. Can someone tell me how many gallons is in a “hundredweight” and what the current price is?

“When the stock market crashed in 1929, Pa was renting the home farm from a landlord named John R. Jones. Rent was one-third of the farm income, and Pa furnished everything. Eight years later, Pa managed to buy the farm for four thousand six hundred dollars with a mortgage at 3 percent interest. With backing from Emmett Humphrey, a lawyer friend in Wautoma, Pa purchased the farm for one dollar down. Taxes were sixty-five dollars a year and interest was one hundred thirty-eight dollars a year.

The price of milk, our primary income source, more than doubled during the war. Ma’s record books show that, in January 1938, milk fetched $1.20 per hundredweight, and milk sales earned us $10.76, our two-week income had increased nearly threefold—up to $31.68. By January 1945, milk prices had risen to $2.48 per hundredweight; with Pa and me milking even more cows on the newly purchased milking machine, our two-week income was up to $100.52.

The war also posted the price of pork. In fact, hogs became known as “mortgage lifters.” That was surely true on our farm. We had always raised pigs, mostly Chester Whites and Berkshires. Just before the war, pork sold for around six dollars a hundred pounds. One year into the war and it was selling for ten dollars a hundred. By the middle years of the war, Pa sold as many as a hundred pigs a year and earned enough to pay off the farm’s mortgage.”


Little Bit For Day 11
20 January 2009....The very cute little boy in the picture below has some odd marks on his nose. If you have not yet seen this on the internet, prepare to be shocked. Go to THIS LINK for the full story.


Little Bit For Day 10
19 January 2009....I’ve been thinking a lot about brain tumors recently. I can’t help myself. A guy I work with found out he has a cancerous brain tumor on the right side of his brain. He is having surgery this week. That sort of thing makes one think about brain tumors. I don’t recall brain tumors being as prevalent as they seem to be these days. It would be bad enough if one co-worker got a brain tumor, but this fellow isn’t the only one. At least three other coworkers have gotten brain tumors in the past few years. Two have died as a result. I’ve been told there are others. There are around 800 employees in the maximum security prison where I work, and 1,800 felons. Inmates come and go. Some die. We don’t know their medical histories because they are private and protected by law. But the rumor is that some of these guys are dying from brain tumors.

I don’t drink the water at work. I bring my own food. But I breathe the air. I breathe the chemicals that are used in the manufacturing processes. I’ve written here in the past about My Non-Agrarian Day Job

So I did some internet “research” on brain tumors. I came up with the absolutely amazing story of people getting brain worms from imported pork. No kidding. It was a Fox News report. It features the woman who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It shows the actual surgery and the surgeon finding the worm. The neurosurgeon says this is not uncommon. Watch The Brain Worm Story Here. WARNING: You will never eat storebought pork again after watching the video. And it's just as well.

Then I came upon the story of how Aspertame, NutriSweet, and Equal artificial sweeteners cause brain tumors in people. I’ve heard about this in the past but didn’t really look into it. Here is one of many links about this subject. You can also watch a series of YouTube movies about it. A major source of Aspertame ingestion is diet soda. I don’t drink soda, diet or otherwise. But a lot of people do. If you’re one of them, I suggest you check out the information.

=======

Today I have another day off from work. I’m continuing to work on my next book project. I have only eight pages to go and the book wil be done. I’m still planning to get it to the printer by the first of February, but it’s going to be close. My thanks to those of you who have prepurchased a copy of the book at the special prepublication price. You have put a lot of trust and faith in me by doing so. I appreciate that.

Little Bit For Day 9
18, January, 2009....While listening to news on the radio radio yesterday in my workshop, my son Robert, said to me: “So they’re going to try to fix the economy by spending more money?”

I replied, “Yes. Can you explain that to me?”

==========

This continual spending of hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars by government as it bails out and, in the process, nationalizes huge banking, insurance, and other companies is a futile act of desperation. It would be comical if it were not so serious.

It took them a long time to admit that we were in a recession when it was obvious to us "little people" that we were in a recession. How long after the fact will it take the “experts” to admit that we are in a depression?

James Turk wrote a few days ago:
”I don’t like to start any new year on a gloomy note. I am by nature an optimist, but I am also a realist who readily faces facts. Right now those facts are not very pretty and suggest to me that the world has entered into another Great Depression.”
It is common knowledge that our government “cooks” the unemployment numbers. They now say U.S. unemployment is just under 8%. Turk says it is more likely just over 17%. And that percentage is certain to go higher.
”Given the current 17.5% rate of unemployment, it would appear that I am not far off the mark to suggest that we have entered another Great Depression, and I am not alone in my thinking. Others who are more attuned to the economic situation see it the same way as I do.

For example, the following quote is from an OpEd piece by Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman that was published in The New York Times on January 5th: “The fact is that recent economic numbers have been terrifying, not just in the United States but around the world. Manufacturing, in particular, is plunging everywhere. Banks aren’t lending; businesses and consumers aren’t spending. Let’s not mince words: This looks an awful lot like the beginning of a second Great Depression.”
But Krugman’s “solution” to the problem we face is for the government to spend massive amounts of money. That is exactly what the new president is going to do. Here is what James Turk says about that:
”Increased borrowing and spending by an overleveraged government in an overleveraged country that is already the world’s largest debtor will not make the economy strong or lead to an economic revival. It will lead to a collapse of the currency, just like it has done in dozens of countries throughout the world. By pursuing defunct Keynesian dogma the new administration is ringing the bell that signals the death knell of the dollar.

In short, the biggest bubble of them all – that the US dollar is ‘money’ – is about to pop. The US dollar is on the path to the fiat currency graveyard, and will soon get there.”
Bottom line: for all practical purposes, the next Great Depression has started.

Little Bit For Day 8
You can not homeschool and get a high school diploma in New York. Therefore, my son Robert (age 17) is now homeschooling through Penn Foster, which is a correspondence school. When he gets done, he will have a diploma from the state of Pennsylvania. We are of the mind that he should get a high school diploma.

The Penn Foster program does not have a Christian world view. But we offset things like evolutionary dogma with discussion and clear evidence to refute such foolishness.

Robert just got his 12th grade “Literature” program from the school. It includes eight books for him to read. They are all published by Dover Publications. They are as follows:

The Call of the Wild
Great Short Poems
Songs For The Open Road
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
Great Speeches by Native Americans
Narrative of Sojourner Truth
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Great American Short Stories

I’ve decided I will read some (or all) of the books myself. I started with a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, titled Young Goodman Brown. I started reading it and fell asleep. It is very strange. I don’t yet know how it turns out. Robert is more inclined to read short stories from hunting magazines, or a repair manual for his four-wheeler. This Literature is going to be tough for him (and I'm not convinced it will all be beneficial for him). But, as much as I was an avid reader as a boy, it would have been tough for me at his age.

In any event, I did find a great short poem in the book titled “Great Short Poems.” I suspect you have read it before. Even still, I will print it here because it is so “right on!” Here is an example of truth and beauty in simple poetry, by Joyce Kilmer:
Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
and lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Little Bit For Day 7
It is Friday January 16, 2009. Today I'm taking a day off from my factory job to work on my Whizbang cider press plan book. The book now has it’s own blog. Today’s “little bit” is three select quotes, gleaned from the pages of my book,Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian
”It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature. There are not hothouse blossoms that can compare in beauty and fragrance with my bouquet of wildflowers.”—Laura Ingalls Wilder
”There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their neighbors. This is robbery. The second by commerce, which is generally cheating. The third is by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.” —Benjamin Franklin
”Before the rise of modern industry... virtually the whole of humankind lived in family-centered economies. The family was the locus of the most productive activity, whether it be on largely self-sufficient farms or in small family shops... Husbands and wives relied on each other, needed each other, shared with each other, so their small family enterprises might succeed. They specialized in their daily tasks according to their respective skills. Marriage was still true to its historic definition: a union of the sexual and the economic.” —Allan C. Carlson, Ph.D.


Little Bit For Day 6

Corn beef + Swiss cheese + rye bread + sauerkraut + Thousand Island dressing = a Reuben. Oh, and the bread is buttered, then the whole thing toasted on a cast iron griddle. You've eaten a Reuben, right?

I took a picture of that half of a Reuben sandwich because it was one of the first ones we made with Marlene’s homemade rye bread and our own homemade sauerkraut, which was made with our homegrown cabbage. The making of our own sauerkraut occasioned the making of Reubens. I don’t know if the sandwich looks good to you but it looks good to me. That’s because I ate it, and it was good.

Last year in the fall we made sauerkraut for the first time. It was so simple to make, and so doggone good, that I’m wondering why we did not make sauerkraut sooner. I guess the mystery of it all was something of a stumbling block for us. Neither Marlene or I grew up in a family that made sauerkraut. And none of our friends around here ever made sauerkraut (that we know of). Making sauerkraut just wasn’t part of our culture. Funny how that works.

But, after finally just doing it, we now know there is nothing to it, and homemade is, as is usually the case, far better than storebought. I think there is a moral to this story. Maybe the moral is: “What are you waiting for? Just do it!”

Now, does anyone out there make their own corned beef?

Little Bit For Day 5
”Or take another example: the taxes on property. Now you and I know that no government may lawfully tax the ground. God says that the earth is his, and the cattle on a thousand hills. Nowhere in scripture is there such a tax. When the state imposes such a tax, it is declaring that it is god!

“Besides, it was constitutionally an impossible tax. Almost every state constitution specifically abolished feudal land tenure and established allodial freehold. Allodial land tenure is absolute and indefeasible title to the land. Feudal land tenure is where you hold the land only during performance of some service or payment of some fee to an overlord. Now ask yourself: if your continuance upon the land was subject to the payment of some yearly fee, called a property tax, and if you could be ejected and lose title for non-payment of that fee, was that feudal tenure? Of course it was, and it was blatantly unconstitutional and unscriptural.”
Spoken by protagonist, Claude Heiland, in the futuristic novel, Heiland, by Franklin Sanders.

Allodial is a new word to me. I had to go to an old dictionary to find it. It is an adjective meaning: of an alodium, freehold. So I looked up Alodium, which is a noun: in law, land owned independently, without any rent, payment in service, etc.; a freehold estate. Wikipedia has this to say about it.

Oh how I loathe property taxes. If I ever acquire some acreage, more than the 1.5 acres I now have, something akin to a small farm, debt-free, as is my dream, I think I may name the place Alodium. I like the sound of it, even if it is no longer the case in America.

Little Bit For Day 4
”Farmers in the mid-1900s needed each other to survive. Farmers had strong independent tendencies, but they possessed equally strong feelings about community. Work such as threshing, silo filling, and wood sawing could not be accomplished by the farm family alone. Every family needed outside help, and the “bee” was all-important. A threshing bee, a wood-sawing bee, or a quilting bee meant neighbors exchanged work to get the job done. No money ever changed hands.”
”Neighbors also provided quick emergency help. Volunteer fire departments did not venture outside the village limits, leaving farm communities on their own when disaster hit. If lightening struck a farmhouse, if a bull gored a farmhand, if a tornado toppled a barn, if a child took ill—a quick phone call, and help was immediately at hand. Farm people relied on the party line telephone to summon their neighbors. A series of short rings meant someone needed their help. No matter what a person was doing when he heard the general ring, he stopped doing it and headed to the farm in question. Within a few minutes, the neighbor in trouble had a yard full of farmers. Depending on the seriousness of the emergency—a barn fire for instance—the farmwives would follow with food for the emergency crew.”
Those two excerpts are from the book, Every Farm Tells A Story, which I recently reviewed here.

Little Bit For Day 3
My understandings and convictions about Christian Agrarianism began several years ago when I read a series of essays by Howard King in Patriarch magazine.
"Christians today are deeply divided on many issues that are vital to the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Some believe that the world has no future and that it is therefore a waste of time to debate what the future ought to look like. Others imagine a future that looks a lot like the present technological society, only "cleaned up" by the influence of a dominant Christian majority. A small minority of us see a radically different design for the establishment of God's Kingdom in the world. We believe in a kind of Christian Agrarianism."
That is the beginning paragraph of an essay titled, Machines And Families by Howard King. I recommend it to you.

Little Bit For Day 2
It is my desire that my sons will experience hard, productive, physical work and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with such work. Last summer my 17-year-old son, Robert, worked full time helping a local building contractor. It was hard, physical, satisfying work, and it was a great experience for him. When he started they were just getting underway with the basement. He left the job to focus on his homeschooling around Thanksgiving. At Christmas time his boss invited him to a little party at the house (which is still a work in progress). He took this picture then.



Little Bit For Day 1
”But we would do well to think of ourselves in the same way we used to think about the lost people of the mission field. We have become the new heathen. We Americans are the ones now in thrall to primitive superstitions, such as believing in the power of positive thinking and having faith in ourselves. We are the ones held back by a materialistic worldview that has little conception of the supernatural. We are the ones with brutal customs, such as aborting our infants, neglecting our children, and abandoning and sometimes euthanizing our elders. We have simple, pounding music, and we are uneducated about the realities outside of our tribe. With our limited mind-set, we have trouble grasping the truths of scripture.”
From an article titled, The Old Mission Field by Dr. Gene Edward Veith, in the November 2008 issue of Tabletalk magazine.

27 comments:

Robert said...

I'm very excited to hear you're close to the finish line and that your newest book will be available soon. The discounted price is a nice late Christmas gift, too.

What works out better for you: prepaying by check or Paypal?

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Robert-
PayPal charges me a small fee. But do whatever is most convenient for you. Many thanks.

ltcm said...

Taxes on property. I hate them as well. But at least mine are low in Alabama. Move here and garden year round.
I have 5.5 acres and my taxes are less than 300. No school tax.

Enjoy your blog. I link to you on mine.

Mike

vdeal said...

Herrick,

Thanks for the link to Heiland by Franklin Sanders who I believe is the same Franklin Sanders - the MoneyChanger. I found this about state property taxes.

Based on data from the Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey and Tax Foundation calculations the top five states (in order) based on median real estate taxes paid are: New Jersey ($5,772), New Hampshire ($4,136), Connecticut ($4,049), New York ($3,031), and Massachusetts ($3,195). The bottom five states are; Arkansas ($469), Mississippi ($437), West Virginia ($422), Alabama ($328), and Louisiana ($179).

The idea of an allodial freehold versus a feudal land tenure is dead on. Amazon also had this to say in one of the comments on the book:

"the book also explains the good, simple lifestyle of the agrarians."

"Agrarians (people who live close to the land and believe in a free, decentralized government) believe in a bottom-down revival that permeates the infrastructure (think disciplined libertarians; I know, a far stretch but just imagine)."

I may have to get this book.

fast eddie said...

Good evening Herrick, I too am a New Yorker who is fed up with the tax system in this state.My house sits on 1/2 an acre, and between school taxes and property taxes, about $2800 a year is dispersed to the state of New York.I am also extremely concerned about the erosion of our rights. Everyday some new law is passed taking more and more of our basic rights. Last year I was accosted by the zoning director, and was told I was not allowed to keep the five hens that I have.Eventualy the issue was settled when he told me if he didnt see them when he came to the house he would assume I had gotten rid of them. This was only after I threatened to use the press to support my issue of keeping the hens.I dont drink diet soda either, because of the artificial sweeteners,but I will be taxed extra if I drink regular soda. As I have stated in the past,when I can afford it I will be gone from New York.The state dosen't really want people living in the Adirondacks anyway!

Herrick Kimball said...

vdeal-
Thanks for the data. I have owned Heiland for a few years and started reading it a few times in the past, but got bogged down and set it aside. Finally, I recently finished it. I'm not normally a reader of pseudo science fiction, but since I have so much respect for Franklin Sanders, I wanted to read his book. There is also the Christian-agrarian element. In the final analysis, the book was an informative and worthwhile read.

fast eddie-
Yes, NY is in a mess of colossal proportions. Glad you could keep your hens. The government has gone WAY too far when local laws make "criminal" the keeping of a few hens.

Mike-
Taxes like that are a dream. And I'll bet the government won't harass you if you have five hens on your property.

Ann said...

Hi Herick,
I did come across a recipe for homemade corned beef. It is on the marmee deer site. Here's the link:
http://www.marmeedear.com/index.php?mact=Blog,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=69&cntnt01returnid=56
she sells great things for the kitchen and I love her cookbook for the venison (deer meat)
did you make your sauerkraut in jars or a large crock? I have done it in jars before. Enjoy your blog immensely.
Can you comment after the book is done about wood cook stoves? thanks! ann from KY

C. said...

Herrick,

Making corned meat at home is very simple and inexpensive. Purchase a product called "morton's tenderquick", you can usually find this at stores in the country. Chains like Walmart, Wegman's, and many Agway's carry it in more rural areas.

Follow the instructions which amount to soaking the meat in a brine of several cups water to 1 cup product.

We particularly like to corn the boned neck roast of deer since it is "stringy" like a beef brisket. You can corn any cut you like, and you can also corn other meats including poultry.

Like you we love Reubens. I go so far as to make everything from sourdough rye bread to dressing. The flavor of homemade dressing is worth the bother of assembling it. Of course we use sauerkraut made at home from garden cabbage.

Speaking of corn, do you make homemade hominy from field corn? Super easy and nutritious with a pennies per serving cost. A bushel will make about 375 servings.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Ann-
Thanks for the recipe link. We made our sauerkraut in a one-gallon jar on the kitchen counter. Very simple. I will blog about it someday. And I'll think of something to say about wood cook stoves. :-)

C.-
Thanks for the info. I would like to try one of your Reuben sandwiches! I have never had hominy in my life. You say it is easy and cheap to make, and nutritious. I'm wondering... does it taste good? If so, I will have to look into hominy.

C. said...

Herrick,

Hominy is to be a staple and traditional food mostly in the southern USA and Central America. Odd it never caught on up here since the native Americans taught the settlers how to make it.

You have probably eaten it before but in another form. Hominy grits and tortillas are made of dried and ground hominy.

If you care to try it the easy way, go buy a can at the store. They usually sell white hominy corn, but I lean toward the yellow as having a more "corny" flavor and a little less sweet. It's a matter of personal preference. We eat it as a side dish with a little butter and salt and pepper.

Making it at home is easy, it just involves simmering the corn in a (chemically) basic solution. Wood ashes, lye, or slaked lime (pickling lime) can all be used. Then rub the kernels about and the skins come off.

Settlers who lived in areas best suited to growing corn suffered from pellagra due to a mostly corn diet. Treating corn with lye causes vitamin B3 to be formed and eliminated this scourge. To this day the govt. requires B3 to be added to commercial bread as a result of this horrible disease.

Isn't it amazing that early growers of corn, our natives, learned how to prevent this disease with no understanding of chemistry? I think Isaiah 28:24-29 shows us that God has given man the gift of understanding how to grow and prepare crops.

Scott Terry said...

Herrick

I have been researching Aspertame over the past month. Did you know its harvested from GM e.coli? Its also interesting that it was first listed with the defense dept as a possible bio-weapon and invented by a company of Don Rumsfeld. Sounds crazy, look it up yourself.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi C.-
Thanks for the info. One of these days I'll try making hominy. I have had grits.

Scott-
It is something of an amazing coincidence that I just came home from a chili cookoff at a local church and was speaking to a friend there and he was telling me exactly what you said about aspertame.

fast eddie said...

We all know the risks of aspartame, Yet our great governer of the state of New York, is going to tax you extra if you dont drink diet soda.I drink soda only occasionally, yet once again I am being told what is good for me and what is not.I wish they made soft drinks with real sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup.Your story about the brain tumors, reminds me of a time when the powers to be were touting the adirondacks as a "cluster" in regards to the number of cancer cases found in the area.Its quite scary all the information that we as citizens are not informed of.

Herrick Kimball said...

Fast Eddie-
Yes, I thought the same thing. For those who don't know, NY state wants to establish an 18% tax on non-diet soda. The governor is doing this because he's so concerned about childhood obesity. So the children of NY will be encouraged to drink Aspertame-laden "diet" soda and the incidences of brain tumors will go up.

That high fructose corn syrup, made with GM corn, is also poison as far as I'm concerned.

Eddie, maybe you need to look into making your own soda.

cbutlerjr said...

Hi Herrick!

I think I can answer your question regarding milk - there are about 12 gallons per cwt (hundredweight). Current prices are around $10/cwt. That would be around $0.83 a gallon. (Note: that's futures prices at the CME. I'm not sure what spot/cash prices are)

Dreamer said...

A quick internet search revealed that a hundredweight of milk is equal to 11.6 gallons (100 pounds). And one site I found says skim milk sells for $11.24 per hundredweight. Now what the amount of milk costs the dairy farmer to produce is another question.

Herrick Kimball said...

Re: Milk and Farm prices in 1945: For comparison purposes, I went to an internet inflation calculator and found that $2.48 in 1945 is equivalent to $28.29 in 2007 dollars. The $4,600 price of a 160-acre farm in 1938, adjusted for inflation would cost $67,051/85 in 2007. That real estate price does not take into account the real estate “bubble” of recent years.

Farmer’s costs have risen with inflation since 1945 but not the price they get paid for their products. Bingo! That explains why it is virtually impossible to buy a 160 acre farm today, make a decent living at it, and pay off the mortgage in a few years. And the Apps family did this on farm income alone. Ma did not work off the farm.

This all illustrates the evil of inflation. And the way things are going, it looks like we're in for some significant inflation in the years ahead.

Anonymous said...

Hominy is great and I'd like to try making some. Pellegra showed up after they started refining the cornmeal which removed the nutrients needed. Same thing with wheat flour and brown rice. Beri beri showed up when they refined rice and they also thought it was a contagious disease at first. Hmmmm.....Thankyou for your posts.

ltcm said...

North Alabama is only a couple of hours from central Alabama.
Drop by anytime and Vicki will cook you fresh eggs from my "more than 5 hens" and fresh ground grits from hominy, along with Conecuh sausage, and Vicki's homemade whole wheat bread.

See you soon!

Mike

Herrick Kimball said...

Mike-
That sounds real nice. Thanks for the invite. And the government really lets you folks in Alabama own more than 5 hens? Amazing. :-)

Tom said...

Mississippi is another far away foreign land that shouldn't be missed!

Dreamer said...

I grew up in home with one central floor furnace. My mother would hold my jean over the floor furnace to get them warm and then bring them to me so I could get dressed in my bed. Aren't moms great! Ice would form on my windows too, but we had thick, rubber backed drapes to keep the cold out. Still, we felt very smug when the power went out and all our neighbors would gather in our living room to get warm. We never went without heat or light (by way of oil lamps). In fact, some of my fondest memories are of ice storms that would knock the power out and cause the roads to be impassible. We spent time playing outdoors, reading books and playing board games as a family.

Anonymous said...

http://www.financialsense.com/Experts/2009/Celente.html

Gerald Celente on 1/17/09 @ Financial Sense online

You might like this interview.

Scott

Daniel Way said...

Herrick,

Robert made a very good yoeman-like autobody repair. It's great that you would entrust that to him. Knowing that you have trained him and worked with him in other projects no doubt gave you both the confidence to see this job to completion.

Daniel

Herrick Kimball said...

Dreamer-
I must say that I too enjoy winter storms and power outages. As you say, they have a way of bring families closer together.

Scott-
Thanks for the link. I will check it out.

Daniel-
You are thinking like me. I was going to say something about it being a "yeoman auto repair" but I thought a lot of people wouldn't get it and I didn't want to go into explaining what I meant.

daisyblend said...

"Just a little bit each day until... I disappear from the face of the earth." =) j/k! Hope your book is coming along nicely.

~K~

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi daisyblend,
The book is done. The little bits stopped because I was so busy here. Oh, and I've been depressed since getting another year older. ;-)

But I'm back as of today. I've posted a "fresh" blog. This little bits blog is now history.

Thanks for posting.

Herrick