Thursday, December 6, 2007

books for snowdays

Ever since the industrial revolution people have been leaving the city to go back to the land, it’s an American cliché as common as singing 'Take me Out to the Ball Game' at the top of the seventh inning, but this book is hitting a nerve with me. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m intrigued. Two designers leave the city to open and B&B in rural Wisconsin. They have no agricultural experience and both decide to leave high paying advertising jobs to have alpacas in the sticks. I get it, hell, I’m trying to do it myself, but I’m curious what two world travelers who think pullet is a verb are going to do when all the fun of getting started is over? I’ll let you know when I finish reading it.

I love this book. Maybe it’s because I’m from Pennsylvania and the Amish have always been this mysterious local feral group of people. I have a lot of respect for them, crazy amounts. But not the kind of respect this Catholic MIT grad student and his wife have. For over a year they left Boston to live on a primitive Amish-type community. Hidden somewhere along the back roads of Middle America (undisclosed location) they live without even the simplest motor. Unlike Logan Wards new book, “See you in a Hundred years” the Brendes are satiated in a community living the same way. It’s more than a social experiment, a lot more. Eric and his wife become these people, and even have ea baby among the community. He ends up living just a few miles away and opening an inn and rickshaw business with his wife and two kids. I know my mom wonders why a KU student wants to have sheep, well mom, there are MIT students pulling rickshaws so don't lose heart.

Gene Logsdon is an amazing author. He’s been writing about agriculture for decades, but this fairly recent book of his is my favorite. It was given to me as a gift, and I’ve read through a few times already. It stressed common sense, logic and practicality over pride and other people’s opinions of how you work. It’s full of advice, plans, and conversations. If the Nearings wrote the Bible about “The Good Life” Logsdon has taken their inspiration to the cottage farmers. He explains whats wrong with modern methods of agriculture and how modern farmers drop 60k on a tractor they think they need when they could be selling christmas trees instead. It's full of sounds advice and critiques like that. A must read.


Blogger Meg said...

Hi, I just stumbled in for a visit, saw your Gene Logsdon reference and had to ask if you've seen his blog? It's at if you're interested and haven't found your way over there yet (and no, I don't work for them, but I really like Gene's writing). Enjoy!

Now I'm off to peruse more of your entries. Anyone who likes mushing *and* Gene Logsdon both is worth reading!

December 10, 2007 at 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These look great. One thing I couldn't help wondering in your book and here is whether you've found John Seymour's fabulous books on self sufficiency. They leave the others in the dust, IMO. Classic stuff.

February 6, 2009 at 11:46 PM  

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