Sunday, December 18

Book Report

Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One's Own
Jenna Woginrich

I pre-ordered this book when I found out it would be available through Battenkill Books and that I could score an autographed copy. Jenna is one of my favorite authors and has provided me with much inspiration over the past couple of years. She was the one that finally lead me to take the risk of chicken ownership which paid off and then some. Not only great homestead staples, but egg money in my pocket as well.

Her new book did not disappoint and I read through it having to slow myself down in places. I was so eager to read the book but I wanted to digest and not just fly through it. Yes readers, I had to force myself to put it down. A very good book detailing the journey to one's own farm and quite emotional in places.

Being drawn to something as wonderful and as fulfilling as farming, however large or small your place may be, is something all us homestead dreamers can relate to. Like she says concerning desperate gardeners in March, "We're scratching around in our pots of houseplants to remember the feeling of working soil." and "I couldn't imagine a life without a garden." (Who can!!??)

My favorite chapter, Into The Garden, sums things up perfectly in this statement:

"I am comforted, even if it's just a little, by my garden and flock of hens. Knowing that there is a free source of protein and vegetables right outside my door brings me a little security at a time when the prices of gas and grain and the worlds shortages of food are all I hear about on the radio (that and the wars)."

If we all thought this way and had a very basic garden and some hens, I think every community would be a lot better off. If we could start simple, with this basic way of thinking - that we can provide just a little for ourselves - think of what other areas of our life may be affected. What lessons could we take from just spending a little time caring for two or three hens? From starting seeds and transplanting them and tending them. From knowing that a small package of seeds for $1.99 can give us a summers worth of fresh, healthy tomatoes or peas or cucumbers.

If we could get back to this - and start from there - with these two relatively small responsibilities, think of what we could foster as a society.

That's inspiration, folks.

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