The Deliberate Agrarian Blogazine
December 2011

Dateline: 31 December 2011

Trust in the LORD, and do good; 
Dwell in the land
and feed on His faithfulness. 
Psalm 37:3

(Thank you, Karen)


Looking Back 

Looking Ahead

The dawn of a new year is a time to reflect on the past and on the future. I tend to be a reflective person by nature but, for some reason, I’m only half reflective on this last day of 2011.

Perhaps that is because 2011 was an exhausting blur for me. I don’t remember what happened (without looking back over my monthly blogazine posts). The days and weeks and months sailed by. It was all I could do to keep up with the responsibilities of each day. My plate was, as they say, full.

I am realizing more and more that my capacity for work and accomplishment is diminishing with age.  Nevertheless, I am hopeful and encouraged by the prospect of another year before me.
New Land Update
Last month I told you about the 16 acres of land we expect to buy. To have so much land will be a lifelong dream come true. We have not yet purchased the property, but the only holdup right now is a property survey. Once that is done, the deal should come together without a hitch. Until then I’m trying not to think about it too much, and will avoid further details about it here. 

Suffice it to say that a great amount of time and energy will be needed to husband that little section of earth.  It will be a lifetime pursuit that never gets fully accomplished. As a deliberate agrarian, I tend to believe that is exactly what every man needs.
A New Kimball
Another forward reflection brings me to the news that my oldest son and his wife will be having a baby at the end of April. It is to be a boy. I will be a grandfather.

The acquisition of acreage takes on a whole new dimension for me when I consider grandchildren. Woods and fields and  streams are natural wonders that every child loves to explore. I don’t know if this child-to-come  will grow up in the country but he (and other grandchildren, someday, I hope) will have paternal grandparents with a place in the country—a place where they will find love and acceptance, where good and important experiences will happen, where lasting impressions and memories will be made. That, in itself, is reason enough to have such a piece of land.

My Goal for 2012
I have set before me the challenge of a new book project in this new year. You may recall that last year’s book project was abandoned.  I decided instead to publish the information that would have been in the book in twice-weekly installments at my newest blog, Agrarian Nation. I will continue Agrarian Nation to the one-year mark (April 1, 2012). Then I’ll decide to continue, or not.
The working title for my next book is...

 The Planet Whizbang 
Eclectic Idea Book For Gardeners
I have been developing and gathering ideas for several years, with this book in mind,  and feel that now is the time to start to make it happen. Maybe I'll even get it finished this next year.  I am excited about the project but daunted by the task. I know from past experience the enormous amount of work, time, and life energy that goes into producing a book. 

A Deliberate Hiatus
A hiatus is "a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process," and that is exactly what must happen with this blog as I take on my stated goal for 2012. Thus, for at least the next four months, blogazine posts here will be very small. I will write a short monthly update and that will be it.  It will be hard for me to not blog as usual. But it will only be for a season.

Jim Gerritsen Speaks at
Occupy Wall Street

Jim Gerritsen and his family operate Wood Prairie Farm way up in Bridgewater, Maine, which is where my family roots run deep. Back in 2006 I posted an essay here titled Aroostook's Wood Prairie Farm, in which I expressed my admiration for Jim Gerritsen, and I provided the text of an excellent speech he gave on the state of agriculture in this country.

Well, shortly after posting my comments regarding the Occupy Wall Street protest in last month's blogazine, I discovered that Mr. Gerritsen made the long journey from little Bridgewater to big New York to speak at an Occupy Wall Street protest. It was his first time in New York.

I don't disagree with any of the concerns and statements expressed in that film clip. That doesn't mean I agree with the whole Occupy Wall Street protest, but this clip and Gerritsen's involvement does, from my viewpoint, cast a different light on the movement. I support what the speakers say in the film and their right to say it.

Nevertheless, I still maintain that a widespread Occupy The Land movement, as I explained last month, is a more productive, practical, positive and vitally necessary response for individuals and families to take in the face of corporate domination and enslavement. 

One More Thing—Jim Gerritsen is president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, which is at the forefront of a valiant class action suite against Monsanto's  patented, genetically modified atrocities. Please click the OSGTA link, and if you agree with what they are doing, please give a donation (as I have done) to the effort. Jim Gerritsen explains more about Monsanto and the lawsuit in This YouTube clip of his entire speech at the OWS protest.

Joel Salatin 
(Down Under)
In the following movie, Joel Salatin gives sage advice to anyone who wishes to get a start in farming. I found a nugget of good advice about what to do with my new land in this clip. It is exactly what I was thinking I should do for the first year.

More About
Sweet Potatoes 

This painting, by John Blake White of South Carolina, was presented to the United States Senate in 1899. It is titled,  "General Marion Inviting a British Officer to Share His Meal." The meal was sweet potatoes. According to the artist's son, “the figure of Marion is a portrait from memory, as my father, when a boy, knew him well. Marion’s farm adjoined the plantation of my grandfather.”

My thanks to a Deliberate Agrarian reader in Indiana who sent me a link to Marion's Men, which was posted by his son, James Faris, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor, at the blog, Gentle Reformation. It's a great story  about the historical significance of sweet potatoes. 

For those who don't know, General Marion was portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie, The Patriot.


"...years ago, when my father was encouraging me in entrepreneurship he pointed out that there are two types of entrepreneurship: money-making entrepreneurship and lifestyle entrepreneurship.

    Money-making entrepreneurship is what most people think of when they think of entrepreneurship. Basically you come up with a business idea based on whether you think it will be successful at making money, and you start it. Hopefully you will be right and after the business has grown to a certain point you will be able to hire others to run it, or sell it. Then you will be able to afford to live the lifestyle that you want. Basically, the best money-making business is one that provides the most amount of money with the least amount of effort.

    Lifestyle entrepreneurship differs from money-making entrepreneurship not necessarily in its goal, but in its means of achieving that goal. Ultimately, the goal of both is the ability to be able to have the type of lifestyle you desire. And whereas money-making entrepreneurship seeks to find a business doing something that you don’t necessarily like in order to be able to afford to do what you like, lifestyle entrepreneurship seeks to find a way to merely make a living doing what you want in the first place"
That quote comes from an essay titled Agri-lifestyle by Noah Sanders at his blog, Redeeming The Dirt. I think Noah's father is a wise man.

What Noah has written resonates with me because my Planet Whizbang entrepreneurial efforts are all about lifestyle entrepreneurship. I want to leave my industrial-world job, come home, and operate my home business while husbanding a section of land. I'm very close to realizing this dream.
y m
(the song)

My cousin Billy, up in Maine, made mention in his annual Christmas letter of going to see the folk singer, David Mallet. He mentioned that Mallet's song, Fire, "evokes stories of tragedy in my maternal line."

Well, as cousins, we are connected by the maternal line (our mothers are sisters), so I was curious to understand what he meant, and I looked up "Fire" on YouTube.  I knew right away what he meant when I heard the song. Here is a fine rendition of "Fire" (by a man other than David Mallet).

The tragedy in our maternal line evoked by this song would be when our grandparents lost their farmhouse to a fire back during the Great Depression. I wrote about it at this blog post: The Cherished Letter.


UK Mastercrafts 
Monty Don hosts the 2011 UK television series, Mastercrafts

While perusing through YouTube looking for how-to information on working green wood, I came upon  Mastercrafts, a BBC television series that focuses on six different traditional hand crafts in the United Kingdom. 

I am a woodworker at heart and thoroughly enjoyed the show about green woodcraft. But the other shows were also very informative and interesting. Here are links to my three favorite episodes...

Green Woodcraft


Part 4

The Truth 
About Roundup

Back in 2006 I wrote an essay here titled, They Are Not Human. It was about the herbicide, Roundup, and Monsanto, the company that makes it. If you read that essay, you'll discover that I have a deep and abiding loathing for Monsanto. They are the epitome of evil in corporate form.

And so it is that I am pleased to see the truth about this company and their wicked technology exposed by Don Huber, a professor of  plant pathology at Purdue University. 

Dr. Huber has been involved in plant research for 50 years. He knows what he's talking about when he challenges the safety of glyphosate (Roundup) and genetically modified crops. 

In an online interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola, Huber reveals some alarming details about the dangers inherent in our food supply, as a result of widespread glyphosate usage. Anyone who eats food should take the time to listen to what this man has to say.

Please note that if you listen to the Don Huber interview, you will need to listen carefully in order to best understand what he is saying. Some of it may go over your head, especially in the beginning, but please stick with it. Once the initial technicalities are discussed, the interview gets more to the point. Huber is a brave man to challenge Monsanto.

Builds House

Austin Hay is building his own mortgage-free home. Mini homes on wheels make a LOT of sense for people who are getting started in life, or who just want to simplify. (Such homes would also not be subject to property taxes, like we have here in New York state.)

Pagan Christianity?

"The institutional church system and structure are not biblical."
Frank Viola & George Barna
"Pagan Christianity?"
I heard about Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices a few years back and decided not to read it. Then I came across the book again, bought a copy,  and I just finished it a few days ago. 

Pagan Christianity? is a powerful blow to the institutionalized church. It reveals the history behind common Protestant church practices and shows how the church-as-we-know-it has been profoundly shaped by pagan culture, beginning in the third and fourth century, and right on up to today.

This book will rock your world of pew potato churchianity. It is impossible to read "Pagan Christianity?" and not be convicted about the manifold shortcomings of the modern church. That was, at least, the case with me.

I dare say, no church denomination in the world would recommend "Pagan Christianity?" to their members. It is a subversive book, to be sure, but I'm persuaded that it is mostly right in it's facts and conclusions.  Some things deserve to be subverted. That said, I dare you to read it.

Update on The
Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe
A Planet Whizbang wheel hoe, with oscillating stirrup blade, is a remarkably efficient tool for garden cultivation.
Back in March of 2009 I introduced my Whizbang wheel hoe here (at This Blog Post), and two months later I began selling wheel hoe kits at the web site,  Anyone Can Build A Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe.

Since then, I've sold hundreds of wheel hoe kits and I've gotten a lot of great feedback. I've sent a surprising number of  wheel hoe kits to foreign countries, like Canada, Australia, New Zeland, England, Spain, Ireland, India, Romania, Taiwan and Japan. The amazing thing to me is that the wheel hoe is unheard of in some of those foreign countries.

A homemade Planet Whizbang wheel hoe. Simply beautiful.

I am mentioning the Planet Whizbang wheel hoe here now because winter is a good time to make your own wheel hoe with one of my parts kits. They are still on sale for $99 (postage paid). CLICK HERE for details.

Planet Whizbang
Scratch & Dent Book Sale

.Something new in the new year is that I have established a "scratch & dent" page at my Planet Whizbang web site. New copies of my books, with minor cover blemishes, are being sold there at a discount. While supplies last.
Looking For 
Howard Douglas King

I am much obliged to Howard Douglas King for introducing me to the whole concept of Christian Agrarianism. I have written about King and his influence on my thinking at The Christian-Agrarian Writings of Howard King. Several years ago, I e-mailed Mr. King and he responded, allowing me permission to publish one of his agrarian essays to this blog. But I have lost his e-mail and I can not find contact information for him anywhere on the internet. 

Is there anyone reading this who knows how I can get in touch with Howard Douglas King?

Here's wishing you all a blessed New Year in 2012


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your son and daughter in law ! And to you and Marlene ! I have heard being grandparents is just the best!Karen

Kat said...

Excellent blogazine as usual Herrick. I always look forward to your writings. While I have not read Pagan Christianity I have stumbled upon the truths that I am sure you found in its pages. It is truly eye opening to find how far from God the "church" has fallen. Our family has been slowly ridding ourselves of pagan traditions and celebrations. One simply cannot mix the Godly with the ungodly and be pleasing to the Lord. It is not an easy walk, but one well worth it in our opinion. Blessings to you and yours, Kat

Anonymous said...

I look forward to reading your monthly updates. Congrats on the land and the coming grandchild. I have great memories of running around in woods near my grandparent's house growing up. I'm sure your grandchildren will as well. We just signed the papers on a home with 5 partially wooded acres ourselves, so our children and grandchildren can have that same experience. We can hardly wait for spring to plant the new garden and perhaps get some chickens.


Jason said...

Great post as usual! Me and my wife will be watching the BBC series you've posted. However, being from the Hoosier State I noticed that you misspelled Purdue University's name as 'Perdue' ;)

Unknown said...

Happy new year! Such an interesting collection of link and thoughts, I particularly appreciated the monsanto information, I had no idea of the extent of the damage that pesticides and GM are capable of, I put that video on my blog too. I also nominated you on my "tag your it" post, no pressure for you to return it, I just wanted to tell people about your blog because I really enjoy it., cheers, Liz

DianeinTX said...

Loved your blog post - as usual! Wish we were neighbors so our families could get together for some great lively discussions around the woodstove!

I have a question for you. You mentioned making free websites? I assume you are talking about using blogger to do this? Could you give me some pointers on how to go about creating websites like yours, as we are kicking off a small business and it would benefit greatly from a web presence. I have used GoDaddy but abhor the principles of it's founder! Thank you so much!

Herrick Kimball said...

Tahnk you.

Thank you.

Thank you, and congratulations on the land purchase. That is always exciting.

I have made the correction and appreciate you setting me straight on that.

Thanks for the nomination. I am surprised to have several readers, like yourself, from Australia. I like the dog picture on the head of your blog. He or she looks like the "just right" homestead dog. For those who would like to visit liz's blog, here is a link:

Eight Acres

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi DaineinTX,

I have been getting quite a few people asking me about how to make free web sites with a blog.

It has occurred to me that I need to create some sort of tutorial showing people how to do this. And I've even considered creating a curriculum around the topic so I could teach it at evening adult education classes. But I'm afraid I'll never do either of those things because I have more ideas than I have time.

All my web sites (I've lost track of how many I have... almost) are made with I simply set up a free blog, then create a dozen or more blog entries. You needn't do anything more than make a title and put a few words on the page, to make a blog entry, and each blog entry you make will be a distinct internet web page.

Make as many of these pages as your web site will need, and then make a dozen more, just in case.

The main page of your web site will be the first (top) blog. Every other page can be a linked page from the main page.

If you are not familiar with blogger, it might be difficult to make it all happen. So you would need to familiarize yourself with all the features that blogger offers. After blogging for almost 6 years, all with blogger, I know enough to do what I need to do. It's a self education process so it takes time, but it's FREE. And once you know how to do it, well then you can go teach the classes.:-)

Best wishes,

Herrick Kimball

Herrick Kimball said...


Dear Julie-Ann in N.H.,

I received the nice card you sent and appreciate your comments very much!

Yours truly,

Herrick Kimball

Curtis said...

Really appreciate all the resources you provide. Much food for thought as my wife and I try to follow a similar path. So excited for your new property. That idea of living on the land for a year before doing anything major is a good one I've seen elsewhere. But seems like it would be so hard to do after waiting so long. I'm sure there will be plenty to occupy a year with any new property.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Kimball,
Thanks for the links to Mastercraft. Our family really enjoyed the three episodes. Other than the lesbians in the Thatching episodes and a little foul language they were a real delight to watch. My 8 year old boys were very interested in the blacksmithing. I'm going to investigate what minimum equipment is required and see if I can't set up a small forge in an out buildiing. We also very much enjoyed the BBC series on the medieval farm - name escapes me - great stuff for family TV.
Sorry (for myself) to hear you're going to cut back on this fantastic blog. Plenty of archives for me to still read and you’re understandably a busy man!
Watched the Dr. Huber interview and found this quite informative. Thought the host to come across as the proverbial snake oil salesman. Did a little research on this Dr. Mercola - much of what he believes rings true – but pretty slick. IMO something not quite right about his business.
Looking forward to watching the "99%’ers" NY speech. Highly dubious – but who knows? Attaching oneself to this mangy crop of discontents does no service to ones cause.
Thanks again for your insights -

Julie-Ann said...

Late to the party, but I just heard Mr. Gerritsen speak last night in Exeter, NH. I think he's "the real deal."

Thanks for raising awareness of the issue!