The Ruminations End



This blog was established on the 18th of June, 2005, with an essay titled The Ruminations Begin. Now, nearly four years and more than 500 essays later, I am bringing the ruminations to a close. To paraphrase Solomon: There is time and a season for everything—a time to begin blogging, and a time to end blogging.

I felt strongly compelled to start this blog when I did. I dare say I even felt a calling from God to do it. My objective was to present myself, my family, our Christian faith, and the life we live here on our 1.5-acre rural homestead as a testimony to the goodness of God and the wisdom of living a deliberate agrarian lifestyle. My intention was to encourage, inspire, teach, and offer my life as a realistic example of one family pursuing Christian agrarianism.

Unlike some who pursue the agrarian life, our homestead is very small, my finances are very limited, and I am tied to a full-time factory job in the city. So this lifestyle is not well-funded, and it is not easy. It is also not a pie-in-the-sky lark of an adventure that we are “trying out.” It is the way I expect to live the rest of my days. In the final analysis, we do the best we can with what we have.

Yes, I do aspire to more and different things within the agrarian paradigm (and I have shared my dreams with you here), but I will patiently work and trust in the Lord’s provision regarding these things. He will give (or not) as it pleases Him, according to His plans for us. I am content in that. All the while, He meets all our needs abundantly and this family is exceedingly thankful to Him for all His blessings. I hope that has come through in my writings.

It was also my intention with this blog to warn other Christians about the dangers of living in full dependence on the industrialized, Babylonian system. Get out of debt, get out of the cities and suburbs, don’t trust a monetary system built on fiat-money schemes, develop a family economy, live close to the land, live simply, grow your own food, work with your hands and your heart to provide for your needs as much as possible.

I felt strongly that Christians needed to separate as much as possible from God-hating industrialism and pursue basic sufficiency because the industrial system was near its apogee. Collapse was imminent. The pride and arrogance of industrialism invites God’s judgment. The system is riddled with fatal flaws that are now coming to light.

I am persuaded that the world has experienced Peak Industrialism and we are now in the beginning stages of transition into a postindustrial era, which will look far more agrarian than industrial.

I am also of the mind that the Christian-agrarian movement is much more than a self-sufficiency and self-preservation response to pending hard(er) times. It is a sober realization that Christianity has, over time, steadily compromised with the industrial machine, with the industrial culture, in all its manifestations, that the mainstream Christian churches of the land have, by and large, allowed themselves to be molded into the industrial paradigm, and that such syncretism in the church has led to widespread cultural and spiritual impotence. In its purest form, Christian-agrarianism is a rejection of wicked syncretism, a movement of obedience to biblical wisdom, and an act of repentance.

So it was that I wrote my essays here. They flowed out of me with a surprising (to me) intensity and urgency. And it appeared that my words connected with many people. The feedback I got was so very encouraging.

I compiled a selection of my best essays from my first year of writing here into the book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian. Said book never sold in large numbers but it seemed to connect with those the Lord wanted it to connect with. More than a few readers contacted me to say how much they liked it and how the overall message spoke to them. It was heartwarming.

Early on, Scott Terry (who was my inspiration to begin blogging) told me I should get a site meter, and I did. I remember thinking that it would be neat if 100 people a day stopped by. Well, I just checked the site meter and my average number of daily visits is now 790. The average number of page views a day is up to 1,983.

I unintentionally deleted my original meter and started a new one in January of 2008, but I wrote down the numbers. When I add those numbers to the ones on my current site meter, I end up with a page view count of just under a million.

That kind of readership is astounding to me, and it has also been a matter of some concern. Pride can easily enter into the heart of a man who develops a fairly large “following” of readers who tell him they appreciate what he has to say. Pride is the archenemy of a Christian life lived for the glory of God. Pride is a snare so carefully camouflaged, and the bait so innocently seductive.

Though it has been fun to watch the numbers climb, this blog has never been about building numbers and a following. My intention has always been to be faithful to what I perceived as a calling, and to Him who I believe equipped me for, and called me to, this task. That said, I have also been sensitive to the fact that God might one day impress upon me that it is time to stop. That is where I find myself now. I can not explain it. I dare not ignore it.

The realization that it is time for me to stop blogging came a little over a week ago. There is no crisis or other event that has precipitated this decision. Only a clear and compelling feeling that this is what I am to do at this time.

My agrarian family vision and personal agrarian pursuits will continue. Spring will soon be upon us here in Central New York. It will be time to plant the garden in a few weeks.

My desire to own and work a piece of land beyond my 1.5 acres is still there. My desire to leave the factory job and have a sustainable home business (a more complete family economy) is still there. My desire to remain faithful to my high calling as a father and husband is still there. My desire to grow in my Christian faith and bring glory to God through the life I live is ever on my mind. But now I will pursue these things apart from blogging, for at least the rest of this year and perhaps even longer. I really don’t know how long I will be gone or if I will ever come back.

I have poured myself into my writings here. I have spent countless hours putting the essays together. I have given you a part of my life. And it has been my pleasure to do so.

I have met a lot of decent, down-to-earth folks through this blog. I have met distant relatives I never knew I had. I have learned much. You have enriched my life and blessed me (and my whole family) in many different ways. It has been an amazing experience.

I will miss writing this blog. There is a degree of sadness and mild melancholy that comes with this decision. At the risk of sounding trite and melodramatic, I must tell you that this parting is such sweet sorrow.

God bless and keep you all,

Herrick Kimball

P.S. I have decided to discontinue regular blogging but I will, for the foreseeable future, post a monthly Deliberate Agrarian Update letter. These letters will appear here on the last day of each month for at least the rest of this year. They are a way for me to keep in touch with you and keep you updated on things like the Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe and other new or interesting developments, as well as some random observations. You will find these Deliberate Agrarian Updates on this site’s Home Page directly below this farewell blog.

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

64 comments:

Marci said...

Herrick, I for one have been encouraged by your writings. I thank you for the time and wisdom that you have shared. I look forward to any updates and the new inventions that you come up with. Thanks for being faithful to the call.

Melonie said...

I will definitely be watching for the updates. I really enjoy your writing. Who knows - maybe this will turn into another book someday? I'm sure there are many who would agree with me when I say that would be much enjoyed.

Marni said...

I have been blessed by your blog and so appreciative of the time you have spent writing it. My family has reaped the benefits of your knowledge and experiences. I am saddened by your decision but heartened at the same time. I hope this site will remain available as a treasured resource, and look forward to your monthly updates. God Bless you and your family.

Kat said...

Herrick, I am saddened that you will not be blogging. I truly enjoy reading your blog in the mornings. You have been an inspiration in our family's life. God has truly blessed you and I pray that He continues to do so. I look forward to the updates. God bless and take care.

vdeal said...

Herrick,

It is sad to see you go. I only found your blog a few months ago but it has given me renewed direction in my pursuit of a Christian agrarian lifestyle. I understand the need to stand down for a season or forever. I will eagerly watch for the updates. Will you continue to create more Whizbang products? I'm certainly interested in the Row Cover System. More than that though, I pray for your continued growth in the Christian agrarian lifestyle and for your's and your family's health and happiness.

Tom said...

May God bless you Herrick, for sharing yourself with us. I'll look forward to the newsletters!

Manette said...

Herrick,
I visit your blog every day. I will miss you.
Manette

Dane Miller said...

Thank you so much. I appreciate it all and the future will look more agrarian. Perhaps Jefferson's wish shall be granted by this generation.

fast eddie said...

Dear Herrick,
WOW! You have become an integral part of my life, and I want to thank you for that. Everday I checked your blog with the anticipation of a child.As a fellow upstate New yorker, I felt you were a neighbor just down the road. I would have liked to know you in person. As I have stated in the past,I didn't know where you got the time to persue all of your interests, and to me your energy was boundless. God bless you and your family--you will be missed, but thanks for the pleasure you have given me --ED

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

You will be missed. However, I understand completely.

Do please, write a monthly update. Especially in these crazy times in which we are now living, a sane view is welcome.

Dan said...

Thank you so much for the blogging you have done. I have enjoyed and appreciated it. May God continue to bless you and your family.

Missouri Rev said...

Herrick, I respect your decision, though your ruminations will be missed. May God bless you and yours in your endeavors to live the Christian agrarian life full time. You are right, the Christian agrarian life is not something we choose as a temporary solution to the economic woes around us, but a lifelong way of life in serving the Lord and stewarding His good earth to His glory.

Debbie in Wa. said...

I am saddend that you are taking a break when I am just starting to know you and your lifestyle. I have alot of reading to catch up on. I also have alot to learn from you and your blog. I am so glad that you will post at the end of the month so I can see what your whizbang row cover hoop system will look like. I could use that here in the PNW.
Good luck to you and your family and God Bless.

Tim said...

Herrick;
I read your blog very regularly. I value your knowledge and your insight into many areas that are so foundational to the agrarian lifestyle. By it, you have helped to fan the flame of an agrarian pursuit in my own life. I understand that there are times and purposes to all things, and I do understand your call to quit blogging. Your writings will remain a great reference for others who follow in the same footsteps. God bless you as you continue to seek His will!

Brad said...

Thank you, Herrick for sharing your knowledge, beliefs, and enthusiasm for life. I have really enjoyed your posts and using your whizbang projects. I look forward to your monthly posts and to see more of your ideas. Take care, and God bless you and your family.

Robert said...

I'll look forward to your updates. I was reading Proverbs recently and found one that you might like.

In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to want. Prov. 23:14

tc said...

Thank you, Herrick, for your prayers and encouragement over the years! May God bless you as you seek to obey Him and follow His leading. My disappointment in your stopping is tempered by the firm conviction, as the old hymn puts it, "Whate're My God Ordains Is Right."

God bless you, brother!

Terry

Anonymous said...

how are you a separatist according to bunker if you haven't left your job?

Scott Terry said...

I'm going to miss your blogging, brother. Thanks for all the work you did here.

Hubert Hubert said...

God Bless you. Good luck.

Nancy said...

Thankyou for your writings. They have been a tremendous help and encouragement.

mark said...

sorry to see you go. I really enjoyed your blog. But, as they say, "to every time there is a season" and I guess this one is now over. Good luck on your endeavers. Maybe we will here from you again some someday.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Kimball,
I have not been a reader long, maybe 4-6 months. I SO enjoyed your blog. Our families have much in common. Your encouragement and wit and common sense will be sadly missed. Thank you for all you have accomplished here. And thank you that we will still have the news letter. I really am bummed about this. I do pray God bless you and Keep you for you and your precious family. tp

Anonymous said...

Herrick,

You have been an inspration. I've got your books, read your blogs and I'm glad you keep on walking the walk. I pray that you find what whatever it is the Lord is directing you toward. Thanks!

jim d

The Artwork of Christi Bunn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Artwork of Christi Bunn said...

I am very sorry to read this, but I pray that God will bless you and your family. I have been reading your blog for well over a year. I have never left a comment, and shame on me for not doing so.

I have really been touched by your absolute honesty. No veneer....no pretense....just a man seeking God's design for he and his family. It's been a joy to read the ups and the downs.

Blessings from Alabama,

Andy B

April said...

Mr. Kimball- I have never commented here before but I would like you to know how much I have enjoyed your writing. So many times I have called my husband in to read something from your blog-- I say, "This is what I mean , this is what I was trying to say" You have written what is in my heart and mind. I was encouraged to know that someone else out there sees things and thinks a lot of things like I do. I thank you for all your time and effort over these years. April in Michigan

The Midland Agrarian said...

Thanks for all your hard work. I actually found your blog after I bought your book at Lehman Hardware a few years ago. As I recall, I read most of the essays in one night.

blogging can take away from your real agrarian life.

May our Gracious God and King look out for you and your loved ones in all your endeavors.

Tracy said...

We'll miss you. Looking forward to your monthly updates--would love to follow your gardening progress.

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer said...

Oh bother. I'm going to miss your writings Herrick. I am glad though that you are leaving your blog up for the time being.

May the Lord bless you.

Anonymous said...

Herrick,
I wil miss your blog. I have been truly inspired by your example.
Go in Peace my friend.

Mick in Ohio

VoiceInTheWilderness said...

You have been an invaluable source of information and inspiration. May God bless you & your family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Herrick and family. You've been a blessing to me!

C. Hays said...

Herrick,

It has been a pleasure "meeting" you, Marlene and the boys. Your writings have inspired me. I have forwarded many of your posts on to others that I love and care about. I'll never forget your wonderful garlic powder, or your Agrarian book. I totally understand your desire to leave the blogging for now. God has placed this upon your heart, and like you said, there's no ignoring that when you feel it so certainly. Good luck with all your projects. May they bring you the prosperity and freedom to follow your dreams. You've related so many stories of the way God has worked in your life. I know that someday this will all work out for the good. Many years ago I bought a little plaque for my brother that said "I love to see a man proud of the place in which he lives...I love to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him" - Abraham Lincoln
When we were building our house and clearning our land (we had a contractor, but my husband did all the outside work, and much of the inside too, like the hardwood floors), I had that quote put up on our fireplace mantel. It would be fitting for you as well. May God bless you and your family!

Carla Hays
Southern Illinois

Matt Davis said...

Brother Herrick,

You will be greatly missed by my family and I. You have been a belssing to more than you know. May God bless you and your family and may He grant you peace, love, joy and mercy throughout all the days of your lives.

In Christ,

Matt Davis

Granny Miller said...

Herrick-
May God Bless and keep you always.

Troy said...

Mr. Kimball,

Your blog has truly been an inspiration. I wish you Godspeed!

onbigturtlecreek said...

Thank you, Herrick, for what you've done here. Please know that I understand your decision and though I will miss your musings I rejoice that you've got better things to do. :)

Even sadder than you leaving blogland are those pitiful people who leave snide comments and lack the courage to sign them.

May God bless you and your family and give you strength and peace. I hope to stay in touch.

Judy

Mike said...

Mr. Kimball,

I have been waiting my entire adult life for this. Although I will dearly miss checking each day to see if you've left us another window into your life. I have grown spiritually from you input, yet I am so pleased that you are recognizing God's call. Sometimes God calls us to a thing for a season, but we've all seen the damage done when we make the season into a lifetime. I praise God that you are listening to His call. I will wait patiently for your update. God bless my brother!

Mike Thisse

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked that you are not blogging anymore....how will I know what you, the boys, and Marlene are doing?

I haven't been on my computer for a couple days avoiding the virus and then I read this!!! I sent you the Home Energy link before I read this message. WOW - now just think of all the extra time you will have to do projects etc.!

Keep in touch...Love you all, Aunt C

Anonymous said...

Hello! Oh I am so sad to see you go. I would come and read when I have time. I always felt like I learned something when I visited. I just bought your book about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I am slowly enjoying it when there is time to read. Thank you so much for sharing so much with us. I feel like a good neighbor is moving away....

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for pouring your thoughts out for people like me to read. Although I've never commented on your blog, I have enjoyed reading your ruminations immensly. I can honestly say that you have inspired me and my family to live the agrarian life. We will be moving to the country in June -- back to my hometown in Oklahoma as a matter of fact. May God continue to richly bless you and your family.

Chad said...

Herrick,
Thank you so much for sharing these last few years with us! You have been a blessing to me and to many others. Your wisdom and humor are reflected in your writing and I know that you have been a help and encouragement to many. I will miss your regular ruminations.

As you continue the journey, may the Lord bless you and the Kimball family who we have come to know and love.

Regina in TX said...

I, like many others, have been tremendously blessed by your blog and therefore saddened to see it come to an end. I totally understand, however, being led by the Lord to stop for a season. It appears the Lord is leading me to fast from the internet for a season also. I pray the Lord blesses you and your precious family as you do His will!

Regina in TX

John said...

I have not only enjoyed the contents of your blog, but also your writing style. You have a unique style that is direct, succinct, yet rich. Don't let that go to your head. Now to go build those raised beds.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have enjoyed your blog. We all need to begin to disconnect, I believe. To walk the talk. The culture is, indeed, Babylonian. The Catholic Land Movement of the 20'4 thru 40's had it right - Flee to the Fields. Even though I am Traditional Latin Rite Catholic... I respect you immensely. You have never gone anti-denominational here. Some have. Not you. We are all trying to follow the King. Let us all pray for one another... We will find Grace in the rough times that lie ahead.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I will miss your blog, but I am glad that you aren't deleting it. I will enjoy looking back and exploring the old posts.

Edward Rivera said...

Dear Deliberate Agrarian,

I have been reading your blog for at least 2 years. I learned about blogging from you, and also discovered I was an agrarian.

As an English teacher, I have greatly enjoyed your well-written essays and dreaded your blog breaks. However, I totally understand your reasons, man.

I wish you the best and invite you to check out www.outofthecities.org.

See you later, friend!

jules said...

May God bless you and your family in whatever endeavors you choose to pursue. Thank you for keeping up your blog, as I have many archives to go through and it would indeed be sad if all that was lost.

Jason Barker said...

Thank you Herrick and God bless you and your family.

A Farmstead Pilgrimage... said...

Herrick,

Your blog has been an inspiration, and a blessing! You have contributed much, to the many who have not known 'how to'!

We are grateful to have found your blog, and been given the opportunity to learn.

Many 'Thank You's' for your time and energies!

Best wishes and Lord's blessing to you and your family!

~Kris

Jaye said...

I was working at the "insurance factory" today and struck up a conversation with a co-worker. Apparently, his dad raises chickens and turkeys and I asked "does he butcher them himself?" is it a lot of work?" I just about fell on the floor when he said "No, he's got this really cool thing called a Whizbang Chicken Plucker."

From Southern New Hampshire...don't stop writing!

Danman said...

Dear Brother,

Thank you for being a man of conviction and obedience to God. We'll miss your blogging, but would so rather have you follow God's lead than give us something to read.

Best of luck on the Banjo!

Thanks for wisdom, wit, and whimsy.

God Bless,
Dan

Matt said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog, Herrick. Perhaps one day you'll blog more. I, for one, hope so.

All the best,
Matt

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter!

My brother-in-law is building a Whizbang Chicken Plucker for my sister and I. Last year I taught my sister how to butcher chickens. We got real sick of hand plucking in a hurry. Thanks for making the plans available. We are looking forward to butchering the meat birds this year.

Sheila Z

Tristan said...

Sir,

It is only now, just a few days after your last regular post that I've come across your blog (it was the golf ball deer skinning method I happened upon!), and I wanted to say that I've really enjoyed reading your posts. Having left behind an agrarian upbringing to attend university and endeavouring to return to said lifestyle soon (i.e. as soon as I cast off the shackles of student debt), I will continue to visit and read through your entertaining and encouraging posts. Thank you, and keep raising your boys right!

-Tristan in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Anonymous said...

It's rude to build up a fan-base of loyal readers and then just abandon them like this.

Dom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Its too bad your religion is the basis for so much truth - you can have the truth without the lies of religion.

papabear said...

Thank you for all of your work, help, and counsel. May our Lord bless you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Now you will have more time to develop that Whizbang Row Cover Hoop System...right?

Can't tell you how much I would appreciate you sharing that particular bit of wisdom.

Good luck to you. and thank you.

Michelle said...

Wow, I wish I had discovered your blog sooner! This is my first visit. Even though you are not writing anymore, I think I will be reading your archives frequently...so, thank you!

My husband and I have similar dreams for our family. We are in a rental home now searching for homes/property, trying to discern exactly where God wants our family to live.

May God bless you in the pursuit of your dreams!

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kallie said...

I have never posted a comment on here before but I have been regularly reading your blog for about 2 years now and have found it a great inspiration. I appreciate and respect you for following God's leading in your life and look forward to hearing your latest ruminations in the monthly newsletter!
Kallie- mama to 4 boys in NC, wife to a deliberate agrarian in the making...