Commenting On Your Comments


contrary-farmer

From GENE LOGSDON

I just must take time out from my regular postings to thank all of you for your extraordinary kindness, intelligence and good humor in responding to what I write. What you say makes better reading than what I say and I am so very grateful. When, for example, Tim, whom I have never met, recently mentioned specific stories that I wrote many, many moons ago, I was just flabbergasted— and touched. And then Beth Greenwood, after many very down to earth and practical observations about farming, starts quoting classic Latin sayings!  And I would almost bet that the wonderful poem Russ quotes and says is anonymous is something he wrote.  I do know him and he is quite capable of writing good poetry.

It never seemed to me that anyone was paying much attention to my scribblings over the years. I did get some really precious letters occasionally, mostly handwritten on lined paper— even Wendell Berry writes to me that way— but that very fact suggests that my readers are not part of anybody’s majority. I have chosen to write  mostly about how important farming is to everyone, both as science and art. That means I have the attention of only a small portion of the public. I would have had a much better chance of success if I had decided to write about sex culture or sports culture, not agriculture. Now, however, you responders have me wondering if perhaps the new interest in food and how to produce it without collapsing another civilization, might be on its way to become almost as popular as Lady Gaga and Lebron James.

What has happened to me as a writer just seems miraculous in a number of ways. First of all it could only have occurred because of the Internet.  I choose a rather solitary life, and in doing so have lost a lot of money by not traveling and giving speeches. Electronics has enabled me to have the best of both worlds.  In my solitude out here in the Ohio cornfields, I get to talk to wonderful people from all over the whole world. It is just so totally awesome.

Also it might not have happened without Dave Smith out in California who persuaded me to start writing this blogsite. He said he would handle all the computery stuff that I hate to do. And so it goes now, for more than seven years.  Dave is a marvel. I have to tell you how we got together— it is so much like the craziness of my whole writing career. Years ago, he was one of the founders of the very successful Smith & Hawken catalog and stores. I did not know him or anyone connected with his business, but nevertheless decided in my usual reckless, feckless way, to criticize the catalog because in my opinion it was selling high-priced, garden window dressing for rich yuppified pretend gardeners, when it should be offering more affordable tools for the dirt grubbing, back-to-the-landers who were leading the revolution into garden farming. To my utter surprise, I got a letter from Dave out of the blue,  saying that he agreed completely. He came to see me. We became friends. He went on to other businesses and projects on his own. Smith & Hawken closed doors— in 2009 I believe. One day Dave just hauled off and wrote me a check for $10,000 when I was struggling with my book, The Contrary Farmer. Then he helped me get a publisher. Can you imagine that? Here was someone who actually believed in me. More than I did. I got him to take back half of that money when the book started making a profit but he never would take the other half. And then, years later, here he comes again and talks me into doing this blogsite and now I can trade thoughts with some of the finest people in the world— and have found out that there really were people reading my stuff even long ago.

I never know when I should respond to individual comments. It seems to me that I should mostly stay out of sight unless someone asks me a direct question that I can answer. But I want all of you to understand how much your comments mean as I wind down a long life spilling out words on paper and computer screen. I thought I would live my last years in obscurity but the opposite seems to be happening as the world I championed all these years is actually coming on full steam. Life is a series of heart-breaking losses but if we join hands and stand tall, we can fill the times in between with heart-lifting gains. I stand before you, bow my head, and give thanks.
~~

58 Comments

Gene, I’ve been a fan and contrary farmer for about 40 years. Just read Gene Everlasting ,and loved it ! I’ve used many of your ideas on my farm and appreciate your common sense and humor. I was at a horse powered equipment show in northern IN. several years ago and was in a tent that featured magazines that small farmers would be interested in . Maury Telleen was there for The Draft Horse Journal . I was trying to decide whether to talk to him, I don’t have much experience being a gushing fan,you see. Before I did, you walked in and started visiting with him. Holy cats !! I could see what pleasure you both were having, seeing each other, so I did the decent thing and left you alone. My only brush with 2 of my heroes . Thanks again for all your writing ,you have done a world of good. Mike

Gene,

I have only made a few comments on your blog. I feel bad that most of them are me disagreeing with you, or finding fault with something you wrote. I appreciate that you don’t delete comments that disagree with you. Lots of bloggers do that.

The problem is that I love to hear what you have to say, and I agree with you 99% of the time. I own (and cherish) several of your books. But I don’t think it adds a whole lot to your blog for me to just chime in and say “Right on, Gene.”

One time I did have something I considered valuable to contribute. I told you about human fecal transplants. What a thrill l to see your response! You said you wished you had heard of them before because you would have put it in your book, “Holy Shit!” I was like “Wow, I taught Gene Logsdon something,” and I felt good because you have been teaching me lots of stuff ever since I discovered you a few years ago.

I am so thankful that you have embraced the internet. You have an awesome blog. So this time I will make an exception… RIGHT ON GENE!!!

I’ve never found a good place to ‘comment on’ and thank you very much for your book “The Mother of All Arts” which I bought used this year. So here’s my thanks! That book is a real treasure.

I followed up with some books on the Wyeth family and recently had the pleasure of seeing their work at the Brandywine Museum in Chadds Ford — including an exhibit of some of the *many* (like 40!) extraordinary studies (pen & ink, watercolor, value studies etc) that Andrew Wyeth did in preparation for final paintings. Each study revealed a man who looked very, very carefully at his world from different perspectives, clearly thinking & seeing deeply at what was in front of him, what to keep & what to edit. Like many farmers & gardeners, Wyeth clearly was Immensely and persistently hard working, very skilled at his craft, practical, appreciative of form and function, able to reveal the new in the familiar, and always open to what mattered in his world. (Nat. Gallery of Art in DC currently has another large exhibit on paintings of his that have windows in them … maybe 80?)

If I’d not read your book, I’d probably have passed on those intensely rewarding exhibits. So again – thanks very much.

Peg and Dan Barkemeyer October 15, 2014 at 9:54 am

Hello Gene,
My husband and I have been a fan of yours for years, have read your books, and we so often mention to friends and anyone else who will listen to us, to read your blog. You are a voice for those of us who so often feel outnumbered and unheard. Thank you Gene!!
Peg and Dan Barkemeyer

Gene,
25 years ago, my wife and I moved back to my family’s farm (where I grew up). I owe the fact that we are still here to two things I got from your books:

1. The way you articulated the cottage farming concept saved me from making some really dumbass financial decisions.

2. We have had more fun enjoying our farm, family, and neighbors. Once in a while we even made a bit of money, but that was beside the point of enjoying our lives.

I think I have read every one of your books except Lords of Folly (which I intend to read), and an early one on aquaculture for rodale.

With sincere thanks,

Richard Grossman

Mr. Logsdon, I have been reading your books for years. You were the one who helped me keep my homesteading dream alive. I was tickled to find you writing here. I always listed you as my favorite author. Thank you for your years of inspiration.

Gene, as I am in Australia your new posts come through on Thursdays which I await with anticipation. I am a 30 year old wife living on 25 acres with my husband and children. Often as I am up at night feeding my baby I am working my way through your older posts which only cement that I am living true to my values and that I am not the only one,Thankyou.

I’m very glad to know who to thank for bringing you online Gene — thank you Dave Smith!! Even though the prices were high I did love the visuals in the early Smith & Hawken catalogs– the photo subjects at least were often distressed like me!!

Dear Gene:
Thanks back at you. i started reading your prose back in the 70’s when you helped me derail my college education (at least partly) and focus my passion on digging in the dirt and shoveling manure. These are two things i have realized i have some skill at (making money – not so much).
Your example, as set out in your writings, was a beacon to me to set up my balance between grubbing for filthy lucre as a necessary evil which doesn’t have to prevent one from following their heart.
Here i am after all these years and you are still there scribbling. Thanks for not only inspiring my passion but focusing it on the “art” of farming. I am sure i speak for your readership when i say that it is gratifying to hear your satisfaction coming thru when you have given us so much inspiration.
yours in the effort to spread more manure in this world.
Dan Hubbell

Gene,

I am sure we all know your nose isn’t too high but that we also hope that these comments have lifted high your good spirit, as is so very well deserved. And among the many, many reasons we have to be thankful for your writings is that the wisdom so effectively imparted not only inspires so many of us who are your avid readers, but also prompts the always valuable reactions from the regular responders whose own commentary augments your blog.

As alluded to by others, varying folks define success in differing ways. I suspect that I am in hugely good company with all others who have had the good fortune to enjoy and otherwise benefit mightily from your words in considering you to have — for decades — attained the highest degree of success that is of a sort that is meaningful rather than superficial.

Some say “Rock on!” To you, we should say “Write on … and on … and on — please!”

With all good wishes to you and my fellow members of your rapt audience,
Randy

P.S. Your tendency to refrain from participating much in the trail of responsive comments seems calculated to avoid steering at that stage. I for one think it a wise approach since it seems to allow the scope of commentary to broaden or narrow on a natural, unfettered basis — thus making it seem more conversational in the sense of a comfortable gathering as opposed to an academic atmosphere. But we are always grateful when you respond to direct questions (which again makes it seem that all are engaged in a conversation in which all are interested, even when expressing varying views or differing opinions).

Lloyd, I don’t know of any complete list of my “works”. I don’t have one of my own. There is a bibliographical publication that contains quite a bit of it. All I can find in reference to it right now is CANR 274. (My ability to file stuff is Neanderthal) As for all the magazine articles, that would be quite a project, maybe impossible. Maybe that’s a blessing. Some aren’t worth reading and some I wish I hadn’t written. Minnesota Ron. C’mon. Your’re kidding. You did not keep track of all 71,480 eggs. I can’t even keep track of a five hundred or so magazine articles. Gary Burnett, I liked Charles Walters writing too. I am going to try to make it to the Acres conference this year on Dec 5 in Columbus, Ohio. Hey, Brook, that’s a good one, “Practical Skills with Good Spirits, Holy Shit.” TO ALL Of YOU: I fear that my nose is so high in the air I won’t be fit to live with for awhile. But, truly, thank you all so much. Gene

The Contrary Farmer is still one of the best books, about agriculture or anything else, I’ve ever read. Thank you so much, Dave Smith, for making sure that book got published! Gene, all of your books have had an impact on how I farm/garden, and they’ve influenced others since I can never keep a great book to myself! You have been a blessing in a world that is in terrible need of them. Thank you.

Gene you and Charles Walters are my favorite writers.The genius both of you fellows have is
the ability to encourage,inspire and teach while making it all very interesting.You have the ability to put the Soul back into farming which at one point seemed lost to me as ‘agribusiness’ became the rage and anyone that wanted to farm like my grandparents farmed was ‘outdated’ or worse a total ‘moron’.You fellows and some others have turned all that around and to farm like my grandparents did is now the ‘thing’.I have to laugh a little when budding homesteaders ask where’d I learn this or that,things I was taught by my grandmother thousands of little things I do without really thinking about them.I refer them to your books,C Walters and Acres USA.Keep up the fight! BTW I very much enjoy and encourage your comments on mine other people’s posted comments.

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart Mr. Logsdon. I read The Contrary Farmer when I was 20 years old. Having grown up in a large city, your book inspired and encouraged me in a way that no living relative, teacher, or adult I knew would have ever been able to. Now 26, I’ve spent much of the last 6 years transforming my family’s 30ish acres (formerly succumbing to autumn olive under CRP) into what I hope will soon be a diverse pasture farm based largely on All Flesh Is Grass as well as J. R. Smith’s Tree Crops. I think your work and writing will have a bigger and better impact than you could ever realize.

Dear Gene,

Your writing has confirmed that I have chosen the right profession, that of a small livestock farmer. You have shown me that there is dignity, even episodes of joy, in physical labor.

I will never forget Marvelous Marvin Grabacre, the largest farmer east of the Mississippi from your New Farm days. That essay has stuck with me for 30+ years.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Don Rudolph

My original 1977 copy of your small-scale grain book finally fell apart, so I replaced it with the new edition. I’ve been growing heritage wheat varieties for five years now. Small scale, of course. Thank you very much!

I remember reading your articles in Farm Journal MANY years ago, when that magazine was about the only thing we had to read on the farm. I’ve followed you off and on since but with your blog, Wednesdays are never without a good read. You truly embody the common sense of the American farmer (not the industrial ag folks). Thank you for your wisdom.

The greatest accomplishment one can achieve is to make a positive difference with their time on earth. You are succeeding on this front a thousand fold. Keep up the good work! It’s inspiring.

I too have been inspired by each of your books and there are many testaments to you and your practices right here on this farm a couple hours south of you. Thank you for sharing ! You continue to be an inspiration for Camulod Farm!

And I would almost bet that whoever wrote the poetry found their thoughts and words triggered by the poignant word picture created by a gifted original artist. It is deeply satisfying to reap a good harvest and all the kind and grateful words of your followers are confirmation of a life well lived. They are well deserved and I feel fortunate to be in the company of so many interesting people in adding my appreciation for your work.

However you did get even better than you deserved when you married Carol.

But you already knew that.

    And thank you Dave Smith. I wish I could remember who I heard on the radio a couple days ago talking about some conflict somewhere and lamenting how political response is driven by interests rather than values. Thank you for recognizing and promoting the valuable even at the expense of your personal financial interests. Selfless wisdom is remarkable in its power to benefit many.

I first read you with The Contrary Farmer. I haven’t looked but I bet our copy is a first edition. The husband knew you from your berry and grain books earlier. We had this crazy idea when we got together about buying some land, growing some food. He even thought about John Jeavons type self-sufficiency in our city house, but I wanted out, and I wanted horses again.

Someone gave us the Nearing’s book, and then we had yours, and you became “my favorite agricultural writer.” Sorry but I find Berry pompous except for a small subset of his poetry. You, however, you sing. I remember particularly an essay about taking grain in a pick-up, and the economies of smallness. I remember trying to wrap my head around the idea of “distributive economy”. Living at Nature’s Pace was my absolute favorite. And You Can Go Home Again because I am always fascinated with how we got here.

And when, 10 years ago, I started a blog, my blog name was inspired in part by you, and my “mission” was just to share what we were doing, what I was thinking, see what people could get out of that. So if you want to know how to kill a chicken, or what a community hog killing looks like, or a garden with weeds, or how to make cheese, it is probably in there (on the blogspot one, not the one this comment will link to which really started as my mother died and I needed to write about it and it still catches those more personal ramblings). Along with a few rants on this or that.

Our kids are pretty much grown now. I work off the farm but with horses. Lots in the garden still fails. We still love you. I don’t own every book anymore but I read all the library gets in, and I request them.

We have never met and likely never will but you feel like a friend to our family and to our place here and we are grateful.

Thank you, Gene

I read Living At Nature’s Pace while living in a tiny cabin in the woods. Your essays moved me to tears of deep sorrow and laughs of great joy. I read on thru The Contrary Farmer and now have an almost complete collection of your books. My husband and I now live on an off-the-grid homestead, where we employ Practical Skills with Good Spirits… Holy Sh*t!

Many heartfelt thanks!

Your blog is the only one that I am actually “subscribed to” (in the literal sense) and I read nearly every post. I look forward to seeing the email pop up in my inbox! I share many of the values and thoughts that you do, and I am a mere 28 years old🙂 The wife and I are obsessed with homesteading and the like and are always doing something in the garden, preserving food, and the like. Modern society is running out of steam, and we grew tired of it, so quit that life. Much happier now.

Thank you for all your words.

Wow, brother Gene, what beautiful testimonials to you and your art! You have earned it.

Thank you, Gene.

I first read Living At Nature’s Pace while living in a tiny cabin in the woods. Your essays moved me to tears of deep sorrow and laughs of great joy. I read on thru The Contrary Farmer and now have an almost complete collection of your books. My husband and I now live on an off-the-grid homestead, where we employ Practical Skills with Good Spirits… Holy Shit!

Many heartfelt thanks!

I recently had the honor of interviewing Gene for my podcast called “Outstanding Ohioians” wp.me/p55e9m-Y. I too am moved by his writings, and talking to him for the interview was a tremendous privilege. Gene continues to inspire and advocate for a lifestyle that we could all benefit from. I find the best part of his writing to be that he always gives us something to think about. Thank you good sir.

Whenever I look at my RSS feeds I wondered who “ds” was and would like to send a heartfelt thanks to him for bringing your wit and wisdom to the internet. I am a relative newcomer to your writings when we bought “Small-scale grain raising” and an internet search landed me on this page, so thanks to you too Gene for allowing yourself to be talked into it.

I do research in rural issues, in Latvia primarily and there is sometimes such a drive for bigger is better that I despair and my neighbours just quietly leave for the not so green pastures elsewhere in order to earn a living. I am passionate that small scale farming should become the mantra and that people should be able to live well enough off their small plots of land to not have to leave their beloved homes, but that does need a change in attitude, both in politics and the cities too. Your words of wisdom help to encourage me along that journey.

I have been reading you since the 80’s probably earlier as I would read my grandfather’s Farm Journal cover to cover but didn’t pay attention to the authors ( I was a teenager). What I liked about you was that you gave practical advice on how to get things done. It seems we share the same philosophy on the importance of producing food but not the need to preach. It was like you were the neighbor down the road who stops by and says this worked for me. When I was growing up I spent as much time as I could on my grandfathers dairy farm in Massachusetts and as an adult have kept a large garden wherever I lived. I live in Germany where small farms are still the norm and most everyone in my surrounding villages are part time farmers. You and John Seymour have been an inspiration to me when I felt that I was the only one interested.

All Flesh is grass inspired me to finaly to give up the grain in our small beef herd, and go all out grass fed. Since then i have found many of your other books and enjoyed them all. Your stories make me think of you as one of my wise old uncles, who all grew up on farms back in the day in central Minnesota. Thanks for all your inspiration!!

For your wisdom and on-going stewardship of so much. Still can’t get over fact that some of your readers have followed you for more than 40 years. Surely the essence of leadership? With thanks from a new convert. Respect.

After work, meetings, and chores are done on Wednesdays, it is time to read your web essay. Always a great bookend to the day.Thank you.

I hope that clouds did not obscure the lunar eclipse in your neighborhood this morning. Enjoy!

Hasn’t been six decades for me yet; more like two, but other than that, I simply can’t improve on tljhound’s comment above – it goes for me as well. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Gene. And thank you, also, for embracing the digital/internet age and connecting with all of us this way; it is truly an amazing community.

I’ve owed you for six decades, from your Farm Journal articles through your books that I borrowed from the library to now online. You never made much money from me but I owe you a sincere and heartfelt thank you for good advice, interesting and entertaining writing, and what always felt to me to be honest friendship. Maybe it’s odd I can say that about someone I’ve never met in person or talked with but after all these years you’re like an old friend of my family.

Thank you, Gene.

Too bad Wendell Berry doesn’t do computers! He too would reap such an affirmation of his life’s work! I have recently begun to mentor would-be and new beekeepers. When I mention your name to these young people, they know who you are!!!

Gene you are the Louis Bromfield of our time.Your stories about the amish man with 26 acres,the neighbor Frey who made his own tractor and grazed his lambs in the cornfield,Your cousin Dave who embarrassed because his mf 205 or mf 300 combine the smallest they made seemed so big are your version of Bromfields .My 90 Acres except your stories are all true and not made from scraps of true ones.Actually we did meet once at a Small Farm Conference north east of indianapolis,in off of I-69 at a county fairgrounds where they held it several years ago. You signed my first copy of Living At Natures Pace! That book is one of the reasons i decided it was more sane to give up wanting to be a ‘big time” farmer and just be happy and hopefully secure on a small er piece of land. Now that my health has forced me to slow down and i have to do things a scrap at a time, your words become even more valueable and important.While i learned a lot on my first small farm a nd working for bigger farmers,you have taught me to not be tied to the Bigger is better line of thinking and made it possible for me to HAVE a Future farming on a small sane scale.When my back and legs tell me i cant throw bale after heavy bale of hay around,you’ve taught me to think,”Do I need to store tons of hay and in a bale form !”It always did seem kind of insane to spend all that time,labor and sweat putting up hay in a rush to beat the weather and gete back to my boss’es several hundred acre farm while my sheep lounged in the shade. Thank you again Gene and God Bless you. Tim,

Great job!! I love reading your blog! I have ready several of your books and have enjoyed them all. I even bought one off of EBay a few years ago… Two Acre Eden. I only gave 2 bucks for it…great deal, haha. I love your work and all you stand for!

What a kind way of addressing your audience! You’re a very special person, Gene, and ever since I found a link to one of your posts, somewhere, some years ago, I’ve been reading them every week and with pleasure. I always seem to agree with you, though your sensible opinions have no practical value for my daily life. I’ve been living in a rather big city in the Netherlands for all of my life and the only pieces of dirt I can boast of are those of the potted plants on my roof terrace. Nevertheless, I hope to read more of you in the coming years and I wish you and yours good health and everlasting inspiration.

Gene,
I discovered your writing in the mid 1970’s as a kid baling hay for my pocket change. It is your doings that I planted oats in my Dad’s garden, then had to figure out how to hull them. I saved up and subscribed to the Mother Earth mag waiting for those occasional articles. I bought mt first laying hens, and found you were writing in another magazine. I serendipitiously found your writings – always enjoyed them and then I found Practical Skills. Man, I figured if I could just learn enough, I too could write books to support my bad farming habit. Unfortunately, my writing was not quite enough to pay much more than my farming, and I lost track of you and my dream of farming for a couple of years. Then, you step quietly up and remind me why I am contrary (genetics aside). All Flesh is Grass inspired my new wife and a new life. Though I didn’t use to have a way to comment to you, I was always out here, and you always inspired me.

I figure I spent most of the last 35 or 40 years wanting to be Gene Logsdon.

Dave

Gene, I treasure the Christmas letters we exchanged for a few years before my heart problems and have them in my safe. Nothing is more exciting than getting a piece of mail from you rather than a bill!!

I first came across your work way back when Organic Gardening and Farming magazine was still published on pulp paper in about a 5″ by 7″ format. Then came “Two Acre Eden” and I’ve been hooked ever since. In case I’ve missed anything, is there a handy list of all of your work available online?

A few years ago, my son Alan & I were happy to accept your invitation to visit, and we both remember noting that your conversation was much like your writing. (You may remember his work from “…Diary of A Knox County Farmer”). When I read your pieces here and in Farming magazine, I can literally “hear” you speaking.

You are way awesome, and don’t you forget it. By the way, we bought the land with the ponds, and the well driller hit an artesian, way out here in the drylands. Ain’t that something? Thanks for your advice. You’re the best. Wish you lived closer.
Tina Phillips

I have been reading your many works for only 3 years now, but glad I found you. First, for the many learning’s you have provided me and two for the enjoyment those many activities have brought. We have taken a bare 40 acre property and created the start of a beautiful small farm. Practicing a contrary agricultural approach here in Eastern Iowa with (big ag all around) has raised many eyebrows, created much rumor, …and great laughter for me. Your writings are priceless and inspiring and I cannot thank you enough. It has greatly shaped my future and filled it with great promise.

Thank you Gene, Wendell, Alan Stockman, Joel Salatin and many more!!

Well Gene It’s about time you realized what a difference you make in people’s lives. That goes for Wendell Berry as well. I could cite a bunch of instances where reading your writings influenced my actions starting from a young age.
Here are a few just for examples.
1) grazing sheep and geese in the orchard; 2) managing a manure pack and perennial pasture for improving soil fertility, 3) using a scythe for making hay, cutting grain and weeds and animal bedding. 4) harvesting down from the geese for pillows 5) the importance of trees and clover 5) practical aquaculture 5) fresh free-range eggs and fried chicken. I could go on.

As best I recall I started reading Gene when I was in elementary school so soon thereafter starting raising sheep and poultry and gardening more successfully because of the plentiful manure they provided. I’ll be 62 in a couple of weeks and I’m still reading and often implementing what you write and sharing it with others. That is a good legacy in my opinion. The one thing I really appreciate is how you incorporate feelings, thought patterns, memories, emotions etc. into your writings instead of just dry facts.

Gene, you are a classic example of lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the Barbra Streisand song, “Ordinary Miracles,” but here are a few lines:

And we can all be quiet heroes,
Living quiet days
Walking through the world
Changing it in quiet ways

Ordinary miracles
Like candles in the dark
Each and every one of us lights a spark

How many, many sparks you’ve lit in your long career! Thank you.

Found you in recent years through chasing the “American Barn Stories” programs I’ve managed to get on to various PBS stations across the country. Your insights, thoughts and nuggets of wisdom and knowledge along the way have helped greatly and I thank you for that. I’ll keep on and hope that you do, too, for many years yet to come — thanks, Gene!

Mr. Logsdon, you are the one for whom I am thankful. I have always known you were a dear simply from reading your books (and I have most of them, even the out-of-prints), but now I know it in a whole new way.

Thank you for all that you write, all the things you think and know and live, and all the world you have opened up for us out here “on the ramparts.”

Mr. Logsden,

I enjoy reading your blog post every week although I don’t comment often. After reading over 10 of your books, I continue to find valuable insights in each one. I appreciate your engaging, storytelling style of writing that comes through even in the educational books (i.e. Successful Berry Growing). Thank you for sharing so much of your life story and experiences through your writings. You have the admirable skill of being able to convey beauty that is found in things which others dismiss as merely ordinary.

As with Cindy, your writing over the decades has meant very much to me. One of your articles in Organic Farming and Magazine, long ago, inspired me to be a small scale poultyman, and my basic chicken house is based on the one you described. I recently had an “Egg Party” at my homestead, and 30 people gathered to celebrate that my small flocks of chickens, over a 30 year period, have provided 71,480 eggs for family, friends, and customers. Many are simply overwhelmed by that figure, and a couple of folks have questioned the figure. That is when I pull out my simple spreadsheets for “proof”. Thank you for that “gift” to me years ago. I have educated many about the “joy of chickens”, so I continue your good work.

I have followed your writing since the 1970’s and it has shaped how I think and view the world. Thank you so much!

Gene I am so happy you are finally seeing all the lives your writing has touched. I’ve “read” you for decades and am also enjoying meeting your other readers through these comments and the personal feel of this type of communication. Bless you and keep on writing!

Gene, you are a household name here on our little mountain garden farm. Literally. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said to my wife and daughter, “Now, here’s what Gene thinks about X” or “Guess what Gene wrote about this week?” A hopeful little clump of clover growing in the barnyard; the grapes we planted two years ago finally coming along; our little raspberry patch trying its best to fruit; my erratic, wildflower-avoidance lawn mowing methods; our free-ranging chickens and their manure pack; my proudly, contrarily, not-raised garden beds…the inspiration for so many of our hopeful little endeavors here can be traced right back to some line, passage, or chapter of your writing. Thank you for your work – it is a joy and a privilege to know it!

And all of your readers give thanks for you, Gene.

I read your blog with gusto and enjoy every stinkin’ word you write because you see sir, I live my life vicariously through your eyes in spite of the fact I am a young city-living woman. I know that I will never meet you in person however in my heart, I know you on a platonically intimate level. I live and work a crazy frenetic life yet when I receive an update on your blog, everything stops as I absorb a few precious moments of your charming wit, wisdom, and knowledge, which is so very rare today. Perhaps I am the one who owes YOU a “thank you”. I’m looking forward to many more years of the same.
Sincerely, your kindred fan in NYC.
Charlotte

Bittersweet, dear brother, but heartening.

Gene,

I thank you for putting into words what many of us feel but do not say. I grew up in Southern Indiana close to where you were a Doctorial student at IU. Never once did my high school or college English teachers introduce me to local Midwest authors like you, Wendell Berry or Rachel Peden to name just a few. I am in my 50’s now and feel as if I have discovered a buried treasure chest full of wisdom which stirs all of my emotions.

I only started reading your books two years ago and have read most of them now. Until I started reading your books and articles I did not know of the many authors like Wes Jackson or Wendell Berry or of the Acres Magazine I now subscribe to.

You have entertained me, taught me, and inspired me with your writings. May you and your wife live to be 120, in good health and feel the need to go on a speaking and book tour of which I will gladly attend.

Thank you Gene Logsdon.

Nice! Would that the world were filled with more Dave Smiths, Gene Logsdons, Wendell Berrys and Contrary Farmer readers, both the commenting and the non-commenting kind. Things would be a lot more pleasant all-around🙂

Mr Logsdon,
I have enjoyed your writing for some years now, and hope you will continue in the same way for many years more.
God Bless!

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