Farewell, Dear Gene…


gl 1931 – 2016

May 31, 2016

To Gene’s many friends from this blog, sadly, Gene passed away this morning, at home in Ohio with his family, after fighting cancer for several months. I’m sure this will come as a shock as you’ve had no warning. He continued writing up to a few days ago, and actually tried for one last post but could not get it out.

Many years ago, after corresponding for awhile, I met Gene in person when he could not find a publisher for his next book, The Contrary Farmer… and I helped him find one. I spent an afternoon at his home with he and his sweet wife, Carol, and was most struck by his sense of humor… he just loved to laugh his great and hearty laugh, and he found humor everywhere… as you well know from his writing. Later, I urged him to start a blog and volunteered to create and run it for him… and we, you and I, are all the better for it.

As he wrote at the head of the his books page on this blog:

The fact that people of gentle humor and wisdom comment on my blog posts has been the most pleasant and illuminating experience of my life. Bless all of you. ~Gene

I plan to keep Gene’s blog, with 9 years of his wonderful weekly posts  and the reader’s comments that followed, available online so you may visit whenever you feel the wish to do so.

With a heavy heart,
Dave Smith




I first read Gene in an article titled, “Bring Back the Husbandman,” from some now defunct farming magazine. (This was pre-digital era and I was not yet wise enough to know I should have hung on to that article!) I remember thinking THIS is what we need! I have enjoyed his whit and wisdom through his books and am so glad this website remains to introduce others to his teaching!

Jean Logsdon Evers June 29, 2017 at 9:14 am

I have come much too late to this website. I am in the process of doing my family genealogy and attempting to find spelling of a word often used by my father to describe the stacks of hay we placed to dry in our field when I was a child. The word we used was to “shock” up the hay which was left to dry and then taken to the barn. I happened across the Gene Logsdon website this morning for the first time and have enjoyed scrolling through it immensely. Imagine my surprise to find this gentlemen who was probably a cousin somewhere along the line because my maiden name – believe it or not – was Jean Logsdon. Just had to share. I’m sorry I came too late.

My 36 years of living with an original “Clivus Multrum Composting Toilet” brought me to this blog just a short time before Gene’s death. I missed out on his wisdom and what I anticipated as his creative solutions to problems arising with an aging Clivus. My copy of Holy Shit arrived today, but if any of Gene’s loyal followers have longtime humanure experience with their own giant fiberglass shitbox in the basement, I’d love to find you. Rest in peace you vibrant, witty man. May your family, friends and all who visit here find solace in your legacy.

Thirty some years ago I read for the first time, a book written by Gene. Certainly, that’s not unusual for those of us who have come to feel as though we know and love the man. What makes it a bit different is that I was reading Gene during the precious few personal minutes I had each day while on patrol serving onboard a nuclear ballistic missile submarine. I read his writings while under the ocean, with my feet perched upon a missile tube that I cannot confirm or deny carried ballistic missile.

While I cannot say I fully have followed Gene’s methods for life, I can say that I don’t think any man outside my family or my Skippers on the boats has had a stronger influence upon me.

How so? Well, I bought the family farm from my Grandfather. I’ve spent countless hours fixin old machinery that has long ago been dismissed as real farming equipment. I’ve planted pasture with a steel wheel drill. Bought and semi restored, and used an Allis Chalmers All Crop combine, raised Steers for at least 10 years. I’ve even researched Wyeth paintings, and more importantly the man, Andrew. These things would not have presented themselves into my life as possibilities, without the writings of Gene Logsdon

Oh yes, I even discarded the corporate life and became a cabinet maker.

More importantly, I have a future backlog of farming and living plans to last past my own expiration date.

On the precipice of my retirement, I hope to somehow forward Gene’s causes…..If only I could write!

I share the grief of all of my fellow Gene fans. Rest in peace, Mr. Logsdon. My tearful, heartfelt condolences to Gene’s family.

I am so very sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. Admittedly, I am late to find out as this is an unusually busy season of life in our house, but I wanted to just post something briefly to express my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family.

I cannot say that I always have agreed with everything that Gene posted or wrote about, but as time passes, I have found more and more of it to resonate deeply with something deep within me. I myself have begun to live a more monastic lifestyle of husbandry, buying, renovating and living on the farm (or a portion of it) that my grandfather first bought over 60 years ago. I am proud to have kept it in the family and I cannot express my joy at being able to raise my own children in the same place, in the same fashion, in the same way of life that my father and his before him knew. I owe a portion of that vision, of this lifestyle, to Gene and I will continue reading these posts and gleaning as much wisdom as I can from this great man.

To Carol, his family and those who knew him personally, you have my thoughts and prayers.

Beth I am glad to hear that. I.m not sure where i put it but one of the columnist for the Farmworld newspaper did a very nice piece on Gene.Friggin cancer has taken so many of the organic communities writers and farmers.The nice lady i bought my organic fertilizer from her and her husband who I became good friends with ,she passed from cancer. Gene wrote a story about them for the Organic gardening and farming magazine or the New Farm.The hole that these people are leaving just tears a hole in your heart. Gene’s passing was just like someone put a mountain in front of us this year and took all of the good out of this year. There are things i would loved to comment to him on here but cant.This year is turning into a real kick in the nuts.Between this and the high heat and humidity it’s a bear to get anything done.My growing potatoes in plastic tubs and a growing sack i got from a seed company and maybe got 5 pounds of potatoes from all of them and non from the sack..But i think all of the seed taters were from ones i had in the kitchen that sprouted.

I thought I would let y’all know that I was contacted by The Small Farmer’s Journal; they asked me to expand on an “In Memoriam” about Gene I had posted on my blog, so they could publish it in their next issue. My understanding is that it will appear in the Summer issue (which was actually due out last month, so they’re a little behind — as we all are in the busy summer season!). Hope everyone is doing well and not getting too much rain, heat or too many tornadoes.

I have a 1987 Old Farmer’s Almanac here, and I was reading the article “Why the Midwest Is Square” and thinking what an outstanding piece of writing it is. I’m sorry to hear of Gene’s recent passing. Glad that so many people got to enjoy his writing here!

Lorenzo Levi Brown July 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Tis from the soil he came
From the soil he gained wisdom
(aka knowledge and experience)
He share his wisdom of the soil
To the soil shall he return

Rest in peace Contrary Farmer.
May the seeds you have planted continue to germinate, grow and yield fruit.
You are missed.

I just love the fact that Gene posted in his blog until the very end. He was so lucky to be able to do this! And a playful post it was!!

I listened to the podcast of his interviews and it resonated with me (in discussing Gene Everlasting) when he was unable to move very far over his precious home place after chemo, he was confined to a small patch of earth that he was weeding and noticed the insects that so abundantly cover our earth. I have noticed the same thing! Not because I am challenged in health, but in wealth. I cannot travel the world but my little world grows so much larger the closer I look! I will sorely miss my Wednesdays with Gene.

For me, he embodies the spirit of husbandry, which has inspired me and which I try to live up to, even though I live in the city and only seldom put my hands into dirt. He’s been a seminal influence in my life. I love him. I offer my sympathy to his family and the others who love him.

The world is a little worse off now. A brilliant guy and loved his work, his humour and how he nailed it every time.

I was sitting at my computer a few minutes ago and suddenly Gene popped into my head for no apparent reason. I immediately searched to see how he was doing and found this blog for the first time. Gene’s books are among my treasures. I never look at a box elder or persimmon without thinking about A Sanctuary of Trees. His books have taught me so much –and with so much humor! My condolences to his family and many thanks for sharing Gene with fans who never got to meet him. He was a wonderful example for us all, and I am grateful that he chose to share his wisdom.

We wormed our way into Gene & Carol’s lives. We were smitten with Gene the writer, but as time passed, Gene the man became our friend and much more. Our visits to Gene & Carol’s are about the only thing we truly looked forward to…. now poor Carol with have to endure us on her own. We are so sad. And we know Gene is just pissed that he didn’t get more time to say more things… I hope he finally came to realize (through this blog, especially) how much he influenced so many, many people. Thank you all out there for letting him know that before he passed! It meant a LOT to him; he enjoyed your comments as much as you enjoyed his, believe me!

Our families were at about the same stage in 1965 (little kids, finding our way in Philadelphia….what fun we had!) and I volunteered to type Gene’s doctoral thesis. Gene did not know that he had hired a seasoned practical joker. I typed the first 3 chapters he’d given me, then added a complete re-write for the first page with a cover letter indicating I was taking the liberty of improving his thesis. But Gene loved a good joke and after he got over the shock, he gave as good as he got. Our paths crossed again in 1998 when I asked him to do a story for LandOwner, a newsletter that Jerry and I wrote on contract. It was superb, of course, but I wanted a tad more about one of his points and suggested he rework that paragraph. In 20 minutes he had an exquisite rewrite. I asked him how in the world he’d done it so quickly. “Jill,” he said, “that paragraph took me 40 years to write.” I learned something that day. I just wish there were extra years to learn more. Carol, you and your family are in our prayers.

“Now — he belongs to the ages” is a famous quote which is certainly as fitting for Gene as it was for Abraham Lincoln.
I had the joy of working with Gene when he was an associate editor at Farm Journal. My wife Jill and I were neighbors to Gene and Carol’s “Two-acre Eden” in Pennsylvania.
Then over almost a half-century, we’ve read his books, bought his freelance articles for Landowner Newsletter which we published at Pro Farmer, and generally enjoyed his vibrant spirit as fellow contrarians. We too are rebels against GMOs and the toxic chemicals linked with them. So it was great to relate with a kindred spirit!
We are glad to know that Gene and Carol’s children, Jerry and Jennifer, and their three grandchildren are close by for continuity and comfort. Even though Gene’s library of books and writings are a powerful legacy, his family stands out as the most precious gift he and Carol gave to all of us.

oh my …. I was visiting Ireland and just now learned this sad news. I have no words …. there are no words …. except for the many many wise and humorous words Gene has left behind for all of us and for all time to come. Condolences to all …

I never met Mr. Logsdon, but I greatly enjoyed those of his books and his writings here. I will miss him deeply. My condolences to his family.

I am so sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. He will be greatly missed. I looked forward to reading his blog every week and have collected every book he wrote. I am rereading all of them now. Condolences to all of his family.

Sorry to hear that Gene has left us. I was raised a midwestern farm boy who somehow developed into a New England technology executive. Which I then complemented with a “hobby” of small scale beef cattle and vegetable farming in collaboration with a local CSA farmer. Just to stay in touch with the land and my heritage I guess. I own and have read nearly all of Gene’s books, and totally relate to them. I always imagined I’d meet Gene some day – maybe have him over for coffee – and trade stories. It is really my loss.

I’m very sorry to learn that he is gone. I got his small-scale grain raising book and learned much from it. And I got his orcharding book from a used book seller. I loved his weekly posts and was amazed that he was still going strong at such an advanced age.

All things come to an end. He mentioned he’d gotten rid of his sheep because he could no longer manage them. He wrote often of death and of how country folk accepted it rather than fight it. I hope his last time was as happy as he made it seem through his writing.

I have a database of nearly 8,000 of my favourite quotes, and Gene scores numerous places in that database. Here is a small selection.

If you have favourite pithy Gene quotes for my database, please send them to me at Jan AT EcoReality DOT org.

(You can get a random selection from this database by sending email to: Quotes AT Bytesmiths DOT com. Put a word in the Subject: field to filter on.)

Another advantage of being a farmer, if not a gardener, is that you can often use your work as an excuse not to attend meetings and social affairs you do not want to attend anyway.

As I try, without sounding like an idiot, to define the kind of economy best suited for sustainable farming, I think of the old monastic farm and then I do sound like an idiot.

As soon as mankind reaches a population level where agriculture, as opposed the hunting and gathering, is necessary to provide enough food, collapse of the civilization is inevitable.

Before agriculture, there was no such thing as weeds. The plow invented the weed.

Compared to sitting in an office making stereotypical remarks about mankind, farming is breathtakingly exciting. I grant that there are days when you might spend hours in a tractor cab, listening to talk show rant or gabbing on your cell phone while the tractor drives itself. But the second you quit paying attention to what’s going on, or almost slumber off to sleep in boredom, bells and whistles are likely to start clamoring away, indicating a loose belt or a broken pin or a plugged up auger or the embarrassing fact that you just plowed half way through the township road bordering your field.

Cover cropping comes down to killing off one batch of weeds and then planting another in its place.

Humans don’t own the land. Nature does.

I don’t know if the defenders of the pasteurized milk monopoly will ever give up their crusade, but I sort of hope they don’t. Milk tastes so much better to me when it’s bootlegged than when it’s legal.

I opened up an advertising flyer from one of our local stores recently and found pictured there, right before Mother’s Day, a pink pistol for sale. I thought at first it was a toy. No. It was a .380 Ruger handgun. $299.00 please. When I asked about it, I was told in all seriousness that nowadays a woman needs to consider protecting herself by keeping a gun in her purse. Really? My experience trying to find stuff in women’s purses is that I’d be robbed or raped twice before I could even fish the pistol out, much less shoot it accurately. A spray can of insect repellant would be cheaper and a whole lot more practical. A society that thinks it has to carry pistols in purses for protection has already lost the battle.

I will probably be ridiculed up one side of Manhattan and down the other for writing this, but I say that the modern large city is a dinosaur, economically and environmentally, and people are slowly beginning to realize it. The extended village is the wave of the future. I look at those energy-sucking skyscrapers and I see very tall tombstones.

If we knew the answer to everything, life wouldn’t be fun anymore.

Invasive plants and invasive humans have a lot in common.

It seems to me that we might bring peace to [the middle east] faster if we were exporting farm equipment and birth control education, not bombs.

Old barns contain volumes of structural wisdom that has been lost in these days of oh so much advancement.

Saving money is mostly a decision not to spend money.

Some days I wonder if it might not be better to culturally engineer humans to enjoy small scale garden farming than to genetically engineer weeds to save large scale agribusiness.

Sometimes I think there is no escape from our fate. Willingly or unwillingly, humans are destroyers of nature. As long as we disturb soil on any kind of scale beyond the backyard garden, no matter how good our intentions, we will follow the path of all lost civilizations. Our fields will turn to deserts, our seas to zones of death.

The destruction of the vast forests of chestnut trees by blight in the Appalachians coincided roughly with the Great Depression when the great migration from the mountains to the cities got into full swing. The hill people depended on chestnuts as much as we depend today on corn and wheat. The end of the chestnut meant the end of the hill economy. Could that have been the real reason they left their independent life for the auto factories of Detroit?

When I study history, I come away completely baffled over why rural America has made such a righteous religion out of capitalism. Farming has never been a capitalistic enterprise and never can be.

When money becomes the deciding factor in food marketing, some very bad things can happen. I keep thinking about how during the famine in Ireland, the country’s grain was sold in the higher English commodity markets to pay rents to absentee landlords while the Irish people starved. Now that’s what I call real price discovery.

Who says we need big factory farms. We just need a whole bunch of little factory farms.

Why are world leaders so eager to talk about genocide but not about the kind of population pressures that cause it?

Wouldn’t it be something to live in an era when every town and village has its own honored food farmers as well as its own revered artists, artisans, musicians, writers, restaurateurs and educators?

Writing until almost the end… A beautiful end to a beautifully lived life.
I so valued Gene’s contributions, whether books or weekly essays. For years, with his permission, I’ve read his weekly essay on my radio program Relocalizing Vermont. This week, instead of doing that, I’ve put together excerpts from my interview with him last year about “Gene Everlasting: A Contrary Farmer’s Thoughts on Living Forever.” In the excerpts, one question he addresses (originally asked by Socrates in Plato’s “Republic”) is whether life becomes easier or harder in old age. He said it becomes easier, in many ways, and his ability to keep writing is a large part of why he doesn’t miss so much the physical things he used to do.
For anyone who wants to listen, the excerpts will be broadcast this Thursday (June 9), at around 10:08 or 10:10 am US Eastern time. You can tune in at wgdr.org or, for the following two weeks, you can stream the program at wgdr.org/on-demand.

Phenomenal person who will be greatly missed by me, and I am sure many others. Thanks, Gene, for the humor, the knowledge, and ‘pegging the politicians’ in your unique way, and the many books and blog we have to re-visit when we want 🙂 Much love to the family,
and so sorry for your loss!

Gene’s words have fed my soul and my little farm, have made me laugh and cry beyond measure–there really aren’t sufficient words. Thank you, Gene, for the gift of your vision and damn fine sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers are with Carol and the rest of your family.

Dave I wanted to personally thank you for everything you have done and are planning to do to honor Gene’s memory.Maybe you can finish his last books and columns or at least let us see what he had wrote so far. Maybe letting his hundreds of followers comment still on the blog site. There are so many questions and ideas that Gene never got to tell us.Hopefully you can keep his great work going. We know it wont be quite the same but I’m sure we’ll love your take on things Gene would notice and comment on.I’m shocked that we never heard anything on national news that I saw of this great man’s passing. He did more for agriculture than an army of bureaucrats and secretaries of agriculture. As you and his family and friends lay him to rest this afternoon, Make sure they handle him extra gently from all of us.Then comfort his family and friends,including yourself. Thank you and God bless.

Oh Gene, thank you. Loved your ideas and the unique way you communicated them. You will be missed. Blessings and condolences to all family and friends. And again, thank you.

Taylor Myers

Matthew Hillebrand June 4, 2016 at 7:25 am

I send my deepest and sincerest condolences to Mr. Logsdon’s family and friends. His voice and his writing will be missed by those of us who never had the pleasure and honor of knowing him personally.

Roof, I hope you can send us a copy of the program to add to the site…



I’ve been a fan of Gene’s for a long time. Condolences to his wife, Carol, and family and all of his friends.

this great man has been more influential to me than my own failing family of farmers ( gene would appreciate the alliteration ) sorry in the most to think my guru is gone …. but can see him now with a strapped on hand sower … sowing new souls across a far larger pasture than ever before and gene, while you dance and sow on those great cloudy pastures above … please send a little rain this way, I know you can!

My heart is heavy to learn the news of Gene’s death. I know of few other people who have influenced so many. Thank God, he shared his gift with words with us all. Someday, when I grow up, I want to be Gene.

Thank you so much Dave Smith. Vick Mickunas (WYSO) is going to put together things from past interviews with Gene and do a tribute program.

I’ll see you at the Temple, Gene, music on Thursday evenings. I will miss showing you and Carol my photographs, and sharing our observations of the world.

All my sympathy to the Logsdons and Ralls, especially Carol. Many people will miss Gene.


One of my favorite writers and a personal inspiration to me. I’d always wanted to perhaps meet him and even get a few books signed as the center-point of my collection of his works. I’m deeply shocked to have learnt of his recent passing – you’ll be truly missed, but we’re blessed to still have your idea’s and thoughts in print. RIP Gene – Thanks for the inspiration…

I am having difficulty typing this. At 60 I moved to rural Ohio 4 years ago because I, too, had been “drawn to a way of life beyond the chaos and violence of a society that no longer understands what life is supposed to be like” and that it used to be like, it serves to remember. I went back to school and am just completing my Masters of Environmental Studies, inspired by my own “contrariness”, the wisdom and inspiration I got from Gene, and my basic desire to “not go gentle into that good night”. There are many lights in the living room of my life but one has gone out and I am not sure I even know where to find that kind of bulb anymore. My sincerest condolences to Carol and family. To all who post after me, and those who posted before, accept my appreciation of your unacknowledged camaraderie through the words in this blog. I will listen for you in the quiet places, and watch for you where few look… in the hopes of finding another bulb. Blessings.

Tim Rogowski, Kalamazoo, Michigan June 2, 2016 at 7:34 pm

In the last thirty days I purchased two of Gene’s books (recommended, I believe in Grit Magazine), Good Spirits, a collection of thoughts and ideas about distilling. Also, a book about building small barns and sheds. I’m not quite done with the Good Spirits book and suddenly my new author-friend is gone. On a couple occasions, I thought to e-mail him for some clarifications, but hadn’t. I’m sorry for his fans, readers and of course his family.

So sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. We will miss his humor and his wisdom. Our sympathy to Carol and family. Dan and Peg Barkemeyer

I just learned about Gene today, and of his passing moments ago. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. It seems like he was well loved and admired. I look forward to getting to know him and being inspired by him through his writing.

I was shocked to learn this morning of Gene’s passing, and I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Carol and the rest of the family. I have been a faithful follower ever since discovering The Contrary Farmer in the mid 1990’s; many other of his books have since found their way into my farming library. Gene and Carol were kind enough to assist my wife in the giving of a surprise gift. She located their phone number and called them out of the blue, and they agreed to take shipment of You Can Go Home Again from Amazon; Gene inscribed the book and then mailed it to me. I would like to share the inscription:

Signed for Mark, who is drawn to a way of life beyond the chaos and violence of a society that no longer understands what life is supposed to be like. Gene Logsdon, who understands.

Thank you Gene for your understanding, your passion, your wisdom, and your knowledge. You will be greatly missed.

Mark Steele

Gene, a forest will grow from the seeds of wisdom, inspiration and stubborn good sense you planted in people’s hearts and minds these many years. I was an honour to have known you, to have worked a bit with you. You were a friend to both my wife Eugenie and to me. Blessings to you and your family. Rest in Peace.

My sympathies to Gene Logsdon’s wife and his family. I have been happily following his writings for years, ever since I first found his book on orcharding. I was very sad when I read here that he has died, but it’s helpful that you have decided to leave his posts online. Thank you.

My prayers and condolences for Carol and the family. A Giant has fallen in the forest. Long live the King.
Gene was such an influence on my farming adventure ever since I discovered him while an undergrad in the early 1970’s. I will lift a “parting glass” to his memory.
Gene: “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall softly upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.” A traditional Gaelic blessing.
In consideration of Gene’s legendary good humor I will add ” and may you reach the gates of Heaven a half an hour before the devil knows your dead!”

Although I never met Gene, I count him as one of the biggest influences on how we live on our piece of land. My deepest condolences to his family and I hope they take relief in knowing the gardens of paradise could not be in better hands.

The Goldstein and BioCycle families extend our condolences to Carol and the Logsdon family. Like all have said in these comments, Gene had a way with words that made everything he wrote, no matter the topic, a delight to read. We had the awesome pleasure of working with Gene — first with my father, Jerry Goldstein during his time at Rodale Press, and then with our family business. May we all find joy and humor in this complicated world as Gene did.
Much love,
Ina, Rill, Nora and Alison

Marsha "Homegrown" June 2, 2016 at 1:44 am

These folks who posted have said it all better than I. A parting glass to you, Gene. We’ll be along shortly. My heart is heavy for your family and friends. Nothing will be the same after this. I’m ‘too old to die young’ and so many are falling away. Time to let go I reckon. I’ll say your name in the garden when I pour that diluted pee on the compost pile and smile.

So sorry to hear of Gene’s passing.What do i do now on wednesday night?When i discovered Gene’s writings in the early 1990’s i couldn’t believe how so many of his attitudes and sentiments matched my own even though we are from different generations.My parents were both raised on farms in Indiana.What a special way of life we are in danger of losing forever.By the time i came along both of my parents farms were non working.I spent countess hours hunting or roving over those and the adjoining farms.My dad’s farm recently passed out of the family.On my mother’s farm we still hold a large family get together every summer.I wrote a letter to Gene in 2012 and received a handwritten response where he talked about loving to squirrel hunt like i do(squirrel hunting was almost like a religion in my dad’s family)and also about eating deer meat.I found his farm on google earth simply by following Gene’s description of it in his books.Hopefully Gene’s son can keep some of it going the way Gene did.Gene had a special mind but until about 60 years ago many of his thoughts would’ve been the norm .It is only with our misguided notion of “progress” that someone like Gene could become “contrary”.His special wit will be greatly missed.

Words cannot express the heartfelt sorrow I feel for Gene’s family. My thoughts and prayers are with them. He was one of the Greats and will forever be missed.

I met Gene a couple of times when I set him up for a signing at Barnes & Noble in Mansfield, Ohio, not far from his home. We talked more about books and retail bookstores more than farming; it was one of the most validating experiences of my life, to have one of my few heroes genuinely interested in my work.

Thank you, Gene, for your constant insight and the abundant writings you left us. So many knew you as an expert, gifted farmer, but you were also a true man of letters, and I am deeply grateful for the short time we spent together.
I still like Lords of Folly the best, and I know you did, too.

Gene’s work has been a huge influence in my life. Living at Nature’s Pace was the first I read, then Contrary Farmer, All Flesh is Grass, Holy Shit (one of my faves). I loved how he could interject humor into the most serious of subjects and that he didn’t take himself too seriously. I thank him for taking the time to write a book review for my first book- which was truly humbling for me to see his kind words about my own work.

What a sad shock.
I will sorely miss this man. His writing has brought so much insight into my life. His voice was practical, yet humorous.
Rest in peace, gentle soul.

So sad to hear this unexpected news. I’ve never commented much here, but have read diligently every week. I’ll miss his knowledge and humour. Deepest sympathy to Carol and his family.

Thank you for lending Gene to us. From his early books and magazine articles to his Contrary Farmer essays, he had always left me smiling and, better yet, more aware of the wonderfulness of the world around us. He was a true force for nature.

Farewell Gene, you leave us thirsting for more of your wisdom and insights. Who now will pick up the pen and carry on a legacy of common sense farming?

Carol and family,
It is with heavy heart that I read about my dear friend Gene, but then I have to say “Holy Shit”, Gene is Everlasting…. He will live on in the folks who knew him and for countless others yet to discover him through his writings.
I will miss our conversations, emails and letters. I sure liked to discuss, debate and converse with my witty friend about all things farming. The only thing I do that made him shake his head, was work my draft horses. I think he somewhat understood because of his grandpa Rall who paved that way for me in Gene’s understanding.
I will be forever in his debt for his advice and friendship.
I will miss him, but I will celebrate his life and let him live in my memories forever.

I only recently discovered Gene after stumbling on the small scale grain growing book. It was simply far more fascinating than any book about growing grains has any right to be. Thankfully Gene left a large library for everyone to know him through and to continue to affect the world now that he is gone but I will miss this weekly column that has brought me joy in these recent weeks. You will be missed, Gene.

Kendall D Miller June 1, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Thank you Gene, I won’t put your books down and make sure my daughters have read them before its their turn to care for the land. You made my life better.
Dance in the line at the gate of the Kingdom!

Randy Perkins, A Farmer in Disguise June 1, 2016 at 2:12 pm

Dear Carol, all other Logsdons, and all of Gene’s countless friends — my heart goes out to each of you at this painful time. I have, and will again, shed tears over the loss of Gene from the highly significant role he has played in making life so much more enjoyable and meaningful for so many folks. But I do not cry each time I think of him. With the sadness also comes an enormous sense of gratitude for all that Gene taught by sharing his wisdom, his sense of humor, his humility and his boundless wonderment and appreciation of the land and its inhabitants. I am also grateful to Carol and the Logsdon family for sharing Gene, to Dave Smith for his quiet yet essential role in connecting us with Gene through the blog, and all of my fellow Ramparts dwellers who have contributed so much of their own wisdom and experience through the blog. I cannot look upon this as an expression of farewell…but rather only an occasion to express love, sadness and celebration, for Gene will remain in our hearts and thoughts, and in many important ways has not departed from our lives.


Fare well and following seas Gene . . . you will be missed.

Thank you Gene. Your many stories and words of wisdom will forever be a part of our farm. My livestock thanks you too, for they will forever be better off because of you.

Gene, you lived a full and vibrant life brimming with joy and a love, not just of your wife and family but in the world around us (especially the rural one) however your greatest gift was in being able to share that love with the rest of us. For those few who could do or were already ‘living the life’ as they call it then that was an affirmation that they had made the right decision; for others who could not, for whatever reason, then you held out a beacon of hope that maybe, just maybe, it would/could happen one day. For Gene’s sake folks, please don’t stop!

Dave, thank’s for facilitating 7 years of humour and happiness. It was greatly appreciated.

Vale Gene. Rest easy my friend and God bless Carol and the rest of the family.

John Finlayson

Dick & Phyllis Gerber June 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Gene was a help to us in a variety of ways

The world is a dimmer place with this loss. My condolences to his family, and to all of us who knew him through his writings.

Gene was a treasured guest on my WOSU, Columbus, radio show for many years. I will always remember his kindness, his courtesy, and his wonderful sense of humor. He was a strong environmentalist and a good man.

Sue Logsdon Marsh June 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm

A fond farewell to our family historian. I still have a copy of the memorial that he wrote for my grandfather.

My deepest condolences to the Logsdon family. Know that Gene’s life and work has touched many and will continue to do so for a long time to come. While I did not have the privilege of meeting him in person, like so many in the small agrarian community, I count him among my most respected and learned teachers. He will be sorely missed.

So sad to hear the news. I was grateful for the opportunity through your efforts Dave to be able to tell Gene how much I appreciated his writing last year. I will miss his weekly blog and so I guess I will just have to start at the beginning of the seven years and work through them, as I know I have not read them from the beginning, being a relative newcomer to his writing.

Thank you Gene for leading and living such a wonderful life and sharing all your experiences and ruminations and beautiful thoughts. You are my hero!!

Shocked and saddened by the news. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
I only found Genes blog a short time ago but came to look forward to each new post. I almost feel like we were neighbours. He will be missed.

I am grateful that my 2 year old daughter and I were able to meet Gene last summer at Jandy’s Garlic Farm – He will be missed – Gene was nothing short of a national treasure.

This is such sad news. I’d come to count on the appearance of Gene’s blog posts in my email, every Wednesday like clockwork, for inspiration, humor, and comfort. I only regret I didn’t discover his work earlier. Besides his work and life in the “real” world, which I can only know secondhand, he was a truly exceptional personality in the “virtual” world – a voice of sanity, good humor, affection, intelligence, and even wisdom – and on the internet, such a voice is rarer than hen’s teeth. He will be dearly missed, and I offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends. No matter his age, losing such a vibrant and humane soul will always feel painful and premature.

Thank you, Dave, for your part in this wonderful online presence and for maintaining it even after Gene is gone.
Gene will be missed, but quite frankly, I think early eighties with mind intact is a fine way to die. Being philosophical and not in denial about death is one of the many benefits of living close to the earth. This was a life well lived. I shall cherish my hardcover copies of Gene’s books, the original seventies Rodale version, all the more! And thanks to the person who placed that wonderful poem by Wendell Berry.

Gene was a hero to so many of us. He will be missed.

I will greatly miss his voice!

Like losing a member of the family. Been reading his books since “Two Acre Eden” was published.

Man, I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see what happened when The Contrary Farmer hit St. Peter’s Gate!
I figure I’ve been reading Gene’s stuff close to 50 years; luckily, there are still a few of his more recent books I haven’t yet acquired, so I can continue to get my Gene fix for a while longer.
To Carol and the other Logsdons: my deepest sympathies; he was a great guy and I’m sure you’ll all miss him deeply.
Dave, thanks for all the work you’ve done to keep this blog going and it’s great that you’ll keep it online.
To all of you who contributed to our Gene tribute last year, thanks; it’s good that he got to hear what we all felt about his life and his writings!

i am sitting here crying. i was one of thousands of gene’s ‘groupies’.
there was no warning and it is a terrible shock.
condolences to carol and her children.
he is greatly missed.

many thanks for leaving up the web log, full of good information.
condolences also to all who worked with him.

This was a shock. Bless his heart. The Contrary Farmer made a deep and lasting impression on me many years ago, and helped set my wife and me on the path we are on today. I see from the other comments that Gene’s writings had the same impact on many, many other people. Carol, our hearts go out to you. Gene was a gifted soul, and countless people will miss him.

My condolences. I’ve enjoyed Gene’s writing and have learned a lot. He will be missed. Thank you for planning in keeping the blog available, it means a lot.

Started my homesteading career here in Medina after reading and rereading his first homesteading book. Looked forward to his articles in Farming Magazine! Read and own all his books. Was like a friend to me. Will be greatly missed.

Marian Royal Vigil June 1, 2016 at 6:28 am

Rest in Peace, dear Gene. Your books and your posts have been a huge source of inspiration and insight for me. I will miss you terribly.

Catherine Prater June 1, 2016 at 6:00 am

Greatly saddened. Sympathy to his family.

Catherine Prater one of his long time readers

Gene, you fanned the flame of farming that had been lingering in my heart since I was an 11 year old boy running around my relative’s dairy farm. Your books taught me to see the joy and wonder there is in farming. Thank you for all of your writing, your wit, your wisdom, and your candor. Rest in fields of green, by gentle waters, with the birds singing and the sheep chewing.

Gene was good friends with the Kentucky poet Wendell Berry, and these words are certainly a fitting tribute to a life well-lived:
by Wendell Berry
And now to the Abyss I pass
Of that Unfathomable Grass…

Dear relatives and friends, when my last breath
Grows large and free in air, don’t call it death —
A word to enrich the undertaker and inspire
His surly art of imitating life; conspire
Against him. Say that my body cannot now
Be improved upon; it has no fault to show
To the sly cosmetician. Say that my flesh
Has a perfect compliance with the grass
Truer than any it could have striven for.
You will recognize the earth in me, as before
I wished to know it in myself: my earth
That has been my care and faithful charge from birth,
And toward which all my sorrows were surely bound,
And all my hopes. Say that I have found
A good solution, and am on my way
To the roots. And say I have left my native clay
At last, to be a traveler; that too will be so.
Traveler to where? Say you don’t know.

My deepest sympathy to you, his beloved, and to all of us who loved him through his books, columns, and the way he lived his life.

Holy Shit – We have lost a true voice of sanity. Thanks for helping Gene’s voice be heard–he will be sorely missed.

Gene was such an inspiration for me when I started farming 20 years ago. I have always looked forward to his insight, wisdom and humor and I will miss him but his words will always ring in my ears.

It will always be part o Gene on each one of us who loved him! Carol, boys and girls, my most sincere condolences. And thank you for being a great part of Gene´s inspirations and reason for living.

I remind of an interview, published many years ago, where Gene pointed that he left his job (at age close the 40s) to “raise a family”… This was of great inspiration to me. It is what I´m struggling to do now, at age of 60s (even though I have my own family since 22s). Breaking humongous walls to live simpler, happily and in harmony with family, friends, community, mankind and the whole Creation.

So long Gene! And thank you.

Condolences to not only family but to the Ohio farming community. For me, Gene was not only inspirational but supportive as a fellow author. He was truly iconic and way ahead of our time in the local food movement.

We are a weaker species with the loss of such humble greatness. Rest in Peace dear man, we will miss you beyond words ability to express. In the quiet moments of our work on the land your gifts will continue to inspire. Thank you sincerely. ~ Jason Rutledge

Gene is indeed “Everlasting” now. We will all miss his wise perspective on life, death and the nature of things. He will become a part of the Earth he loved so well.

My Wednesday’s just became a little emptier.

I recall the lines from one of my favorite films as I weep over my morning tea. To paraphrase; “The prairie was like a mother to Gene Logsdon. He belonged to her. She cared for him while he lived. And she will nurse him while he sleeps.”
I look out and watch the mother bluebird deliver a meal to her hungry chicks in the birdhouse just outside my kitchen window. Those chicks will be raising their own someday. If I’m lucky, in this very same birdhouse. If I’m very lucky, I’ll be here to witness it.
Deepest condolences to Carol and the entire Logsdon family.
Thank you, Dave Smith, for keeping this blog going.
I’m off to milk now. I’ll try to explain to my girls why I’m running late this morning. I think they’ll understand.

Thank you and thank Gene. His influence cannot be underestimated, his voice will be missed.

Two Acre Eden introduced me to Gene. A mentor that shaped my thoughts toward all of life. His treasured voice will be missed.

OMG, he’ll be missed.

In 1998 I found “You Can Go Home Again” in Texas and began, after 18 years, to think that maybe we could. So we did, two years later, to a corner of Dad’s farm in Richland County, Ohio. After Dad plowed up a bit of garden (90×90 feet!), we started growing more than we could handle ourselves. Over the years we’ve built up a market garden business that has been inspired all along at its foundation by the writing, wit, and wisdom of Gene Logsdon. Meadow Rise Farm is here because Gene was here. I know I shouldn’t be sad, because he lived such a rich, full life, but I am anyway, for myself and for those of us whom he never knew but loved him.

I was thinking of Gene yesterday, as I often do, as I was hand raking a couple of acres of hand cut hay. I was a young man in the late seventies of early eighties when I first began to read his writings, and yesterday I mused about how he helped to validate my yearning for small and simple farming and writing. He has been my reference for things which my Grandfathers learned at their father’s side, and which the modern world has nearly lost. When I stack loose hay or plant a post, I have Gene to thank for shaping my technique.
I am sad for the family’s loss. I feel as if I have known them for many years from the photos of them cleaning wheat or working in the garden that have been included in Gene’s books, and wish mere words could be a salve.
I am thankful that Gene got to see one more year of hay waving in the breeze, begging to be cut, and wish him June Grass forever.

Oh Gene you will be missed. I have been a fan since I first read Practical Skills way too many years ago. You and Scott and Helen Nearing have been my inspiration to live simply, deliberately without all the stuff we all think we need, and to creatively and simply come up with solutions and repairs for stuff we already have. Wish I had let you know all this earlier. My sincere condolences to your family.

Gene’s work has been a joy to me for many years and has made my life better. He provided a voice of humor and reason in a world in desperate need of both. I will miss the anticipation that I felt the minute I learned he had a new book in the works or rapidly scanned the table of contents of a new issue of Farming magazine or Draft Horse Journal or checked for updates on this blog and the universal satisfaction I felt after devouring every one of them.

A walk in your pasture, listen to your soft voice and the rumble of our Logsdon laugh! Always a pleasure to learn something new of the old days when sharing stories with you.Rest in Peace cousin, I will love you always!
Thank you for everything!
Gary Logsdon

Carol and Family,
I weep for the loss of a great man. Gene changed my life for the better in so many ways. The most amazing thing was that Gene was surprised, delighted, and humbled when told how he and his writings touched me. My visit with Gene and Carol last year will be a cherished memory for the rest of my life. I will truly miss Gene. His impact and thus a part of him will carry on and live with me and my family. My good thoughts and sympathies go out to Carol – a wonderful, kind, and patient woman. Good bye Gene; you will be missed.

The wholly inspirational Gene’s passing is an enormous loss. My favourite author, all-round one-off great guy and all-things-farming guru. Best wishes to Gene’s family and friends from New Zealand.

Gene –

You did something many don’t.

You made a difference.

You’ll be missed.


Marrion Newsam Banks May 31, 2016 at 10:44 pm

Good bye, dear Gene. I have been inspired, educated, and heartened by every word since the first time I encountered The Contrary Farmer. All of your books have given me new ways of looking at old problems (and old ways of looking at new problems!) and will be cherished all the more now that you won’t be writing any others. My deepest sympathies go out to you, Carol, and to your family for your loss. I hope it helps to know that others also feel that loss and are grateful for the part that Gene played in our lives.

How very, very sad. I read somewhere that funerals are for the living. This is one funeral/memorial I would have liked to attend. Gene was such a part of my life. He made me feel essential in farming though I have such a tiny piece of land. He said we all had the heart of a farmer and by golly he was right. I will miss his gentle humor and honest writing about life in general but especially about living the country way.
That he could touch,inspire and encourage so many is a great gift and a great legacy. He will be missed.

My hero for the spoken word.
My inspiration for the written word.
His premature passing a reminder that we should all reach out to each other more often. No need to wait for tomorrow…

I sniffle a bit as I write this little note… Gene Logsdon had become my hero. What a fine individual he seemed to be! I can only imagine the hole that he leaves in the lives of those who were near to him. You must be extremely proud of this gentleman. How lucky that you laughed with him day to day, observed him at his work, and his craft. It is a special gift he leaves in a legacy of words that we may all keep him near even now he has gone.

Gene Logsdon, I’m not sure that this tiny scrap of Idaho land will ever amount to much more than a respite for the poor critters constantly bombarded by chemical shower all around us. But because of your writings, I (and many others it seems) am forever changed in the way I see this place, and everything else around me…that’s something! Thank you, sir, for taking the time to share your wisdom with the world.

(Also, thank you Dave Smith for keeping the blog active that we may continue to visit and enjoy its content!)

As I continue to grow the “American Barn Stories” TV shows effort seen on PBS stations across America I had every intention of eventually including an interview and story with him. It’s so sad to know and accept the fact that I’ve missed my chance at it. Very bummed by losing such a sweet, gentle, entertaining, country spirit.

We run a small farm in Alaska and have been so continually inspired by Gene’s writing – he will be so missed and his words will live on. Thoughts and love going out to his family and friends!

To see the truth in a blade of grass…. Such a man!

My deepest condolences to Gene’s many family and friends. His was a much-loved voice to those of us looking for thoughtful and insightful words in our forays into this “new” agriculture. Gene’s words show that respect for our environment and for others is still relevant in today’s society. Vale, Gene Logsdon

Dear Dave Smith, My deepest condolences to you and also to Gene’s family. I am one of the many readers who never met Gene but have faithfully and very appreciatively followed his superbly informative and often very funny blog. (I also loved his books, especially Holy Shit.) I will miss his posts here more than I can say. May Gene be having a bodaciously good time wherever he is; I am sure it is a finer than fine place.

Gene is my uncle. I didn’t see him often enough, but I always enjoyed myself when I was with him. He, my father, and my uncles used to discuss farming and life for hours.

Gene is the reason I farm. His books were my inspiration, taking me from my city garden to 42 country acres. I had the great privilege to visit his farm and see his many innovations in person. He was kind and bright and a wonderful writer. I will so miss you,

I have all of your books, and some anthologies with your writing in them. Some bought brand spanking new from Amazon, some squirreled out of hiding from the shelves of delightfully musty used book stores. They are still warm, funny, and informative to this small scale, wannabe farm girl – but now their words will have just a touch of sadness knowing that you no longer walk this earth. But maybe the morels are always in season where you are, now? Blessings, Carol – it is obvious through reading his lifetime of books, that you always were and are the apple of his eye.

He did so much for our broken planet. He will be missed.

I have the feeling that Gene would not want us to be sad, but to celebrate a life well lived and shared with others. No other writer was able to capture my thoughts and feelings as well as Gene did. From the New Farm (and Marvelous Marvin Grabacre), to Farming Magazine, to this blog. Thank you Gene for being a guiding light for over 30 years for me and others who have a special affinity for this farming addiction. Don Rudolph

I am so sorry to hear this news, and would like to express my condolences to Carol and the rest of his family.

This was my #1 blog read. I eagerly awaited each missive.

You will be missed, Gene. Even though we never met, I feel like I’ve lost an old friend.

Dear Carol,
My life was enriched by meeting you and Gene and I cherish the visits to your farm with David and Daniel Orr and the letters Gene and I exchanged at Christmas. You and he made a perfect team and I am so sorry for your loss and the void he will leave in all of our lives.

Blessings and peace be upon Gene Logsdon, and his family and friends. It’s only right that what goes around should come around.
Gene’s writings have brought me more peace, and blessings, over the years than I can describe. There’s nothing I’d rather enjoy on a dark winter’s afternoon than a rereading of The Contrary Farmer, with an eye to the coming spring. It’s taken me over twenty years to get settled on my own future hobby farm, after a couple of false starts…but I too will always be one of those Ramparts People…like Gene, I can’t hardly be anything else.
Godspeed to a great and humble and delightful man…it’s wonderful how his final post here was about “gardening in the nude”…I bet that’s exactly what he’s up to now. And thanks to Dave Smith and all Gene’s friends for keeping his work available.

Gene, thank you for sharing all the wisdom you cultivated over your lifetime. We will do what we can to pay it forward. With gratitude.

Condolences to Gene’s family. The world sorely needs people of his vision and integrity right now more than ever and his musings and insights will be missed. Thank you too for keeping the site open so that his prodigious output remains there for us all.

This is very sad news. I love Gene’s books, and this column. My condolences to Gene’s family, and to you too, Dave Smith.

Gene, your writings influenced me greatly and still do. I wrote to you once asking questions many years ago and was honored when you took the time to answer those questions. The world is a better place thanks to you. You will be missed.

My feelings echoed. A great thinker who will be missed. RIP Gene.

Condolences to Gene’s family.

“As a working definition of art, I lean toward Tolstoy’s: “Art is a human activity having for it’s purpose the transmission to other of the highest and best feelings to which mankind has risen.” – G.L.

farewell to a true artist. everytime i reach down and grab a handful of soil to feel its texture and smell its fragrance, i will say hello and give thanks to the man who guided me there. the tissue that wipe these tears shall go in the compost heap so that it will feed the living once again…

p.s. thank you Dave for all that you have done to share Gene’s art with all of us.

Oh dear Gene, you will be sorely missed for your wit, and as someone else mentioned here, your wisdom about so many subjects. I haven’t been reading all that long because I didn’t even find this blog until a couple of years ago, but he helped stir many memories of my childhood days and no matter what anyone says, it’s good to go backwards sometimes. I, too, hope Gene is swimming naked in some pond somewhere! He will be sorely missed, but I am glad someone will be keeping the blog open so we can search the archives, etc., and thank you for that.

Farewell to you, Gene. Your leaving us so abruptly will create a gap in many hearts, and for certain I feel badly for those who were never acquainted with your work. It was such a pleasure to follow this blog because it felt like family.


I was so saddened to read this. I’ve only discovered Gene in the last few years, having been introduced through his book, Holy Shit. Our world is now so much less without him. A great Ohioan, a great writer, and more wisdom than many who have penned far more words with far less worth. May his tribe increase and may his memory burn long and strong.

I’m shocked! I didn’t know Gene was ill. He will be missed; he had such a huge impact on so many! I love to tell the story of the time I was at one of my granddaughter’s cello recitals near Ann Arbor. I was sitting beside a Judge whose child was also participating. When he found out I was from Upper Sandusky, he asked me if I happened to know Gene Logsdon. He was reading one of Gene’s books on how to farm in the city, and he was enthralled with it & Gene.

Well Holy Shit. In all seriousness: a life of good work, good relationships, and good bourbon is a life well lived. Gene, you’ll be missed. Your writing will be enjoyed for a long time to come.

To the Logsdon family, Thank you for sharing such a wonderful person with all of us for all of these years. I can’t tell you the influence he has had on my thinking and life. I believe he truly was a peacemaker in his way and had he been led in life to enter politics, boy would we have been blessed! It feels silly to write to you, people I’ve never met, and express condolences and extol compliments on someone I’ve never met, but it’s sincere and heartfelt. A lot of people out there feel the same. He touched people fed up with the “go with the flow” and the “this is the way we’ve always done it”. He inspired and urged creative thinking. His writings taught me while they made me laugh and think; it doesn’t get better then that. Peace be with you all.

So sad. I only knew him from this blog but I felt the writer was a gentle and wise man. My thoughts are with Gene’s family. May you be comforted by your memories and the knowledge that he touched some many lives all over the world including New Zealand.

Robert E. Shockley May 31, 2016 at 7:09 pm

To have grown up so close to Gene, but not to have discovered his writing until 2003 at Malabar Farm. I lost a lot of time looking for a kindred soul with the knowledge that I needed. When I passed through Carrie last Friday I thought of Gene, wondered about Al Tin over in Forrest, I never had the pleasure of meeting Gene, but I will certainly never forget my all time favorite author! Carol and family I do offer you my deepest condolences and prayers… I certainly will continue to recommend Gene as a man whose work should be read.
Robert Shockley

What a lovely, lovely man. My favorite book of his was the one on growing grain, and I’ve about read it to pieces. My Mom, Joann Grohman (Keeping a Family Cow) had about every book he ever wrote and valued his insights very highly indeed. Truly a great American treasure.

We have lost one of the most important writers in agriculture as it should be practiced. Gene’s writing influenced all of us looking for a better, more human, way of farming and gardening. May God provide him with 20 fertile acres, a flock of sheep, a good milk cow, and a henhouse full of happy chickens.

RIP Gene. Your words over the last few decades have had a great affect on me. I am and always have been, an advocate for small farms. I am farming and living at nature’s pace and will continue to do so.
To Carol and the family- Please accept my sincerest condolences.
Scott Perez Mancos, Colorado

What a damned shame. A few years ago after reading some of Gene’s books, I wrote and asked his advice about which of two properties to purchase. I never really expected an answer – he was a famous author. But a hand written letter came in the mail not long after with his advice to buy the piece with the pond. I still have the letter, and I still can’t believe he took the time to write. Thanks, Gene. You are a class act.

I met Gene at the Book Fair in Frankfort on November 10, 2007, carrying a tote bag of his books. He graciously signed them all. Tonight, in honor of the author of “Good Spirits” I will have a wee dram of single malt Scotch. And think about how Gene Logsdon made this world a much better place, one in which I was proud to be a fellow human being with him.

Condolences to Gene’s family far and wide. Your writing will be greatly missed!

It was after reading All Flesh is Grass more than a decade ago that my husband and I decided to convert a corn field into pasture for sheep, horses and chickens. It is a decision that I am thankful for every day when I hear the birdsong and watch the sheep graze. He inspired me as a writer and farmer. I will miss his thoughts, wisdom and humor.

All of Gene’s writings were a blessing to me, but You Can Go Home Again was the one that gave me the courage to leave farming in the Lone Star State and go home to farm in Iowa. It literally changed my life and my story. He will be missed!

Carol and family, I am so sad and heavy. I kept putting off writing to him to let him know, before he left, how much he meant to me and inspired me to find meaning and passion in small farming. even now at 73. He was such a gift and left so much for us to enjoy in his words and wisdom. Peace and joy to you in time ….I will miss him, but not… crazy Bill

With each passing generation we lose so much. Gene helped bridge the span of time and generations and taught us all. With great sadness, I thank him for his efforts and wish peace for those he held dear.

Gene’s thoughts , wisdom and humor will be with us forever. I will miss his weekly thought provoking columns in which I celebrated my Wednesdays.God bless and keep him and his loved ones.

Gene’s books have inspired me, informed my farming practices, and educated those around me who were not so far down the path. I’m very grateful that he decided to put down the pitchfork and pick up the pen once in a while.

I only discovered Gene’s books a blog a couple years ago. I will miss his wisdom and optimism.

I just recently discovered genes writings and have shared them in trying to educate others I am inspired to get and read more of his writings . My husband passed a few years ago… I hope he meets him on the other side….RIP Gene

Gene has shaped my mind and heart in more ways than I could ever list. I think I’ll go home and fry myself a sandwich. (http://www.pixelgood.com/projects/web/wksu/nwnf/logsdon_transcript.php)
My favourite poem, happens to have been published in The Contrary Farmer’s Invitation to Gardening.

“I catch a monarch with a torn wing
And stare at it in awe.
Or is it a viceroy I am beholding?
The insect trembles in my open hand.
Or is it my hand trembling?”

There is no doubt whose hands are trembling presently. Gene’s wisdom and wit will be cherished for a long while I reckon.

From one of the ramparts folk…Gene Everlasting…

JOHN W. VAN METER May 31, 2016 at 5:44 pm

So sorry to hear this! I have loved his books and writing for so long! I have always dreamed of meeting him and seeing his farm! Mr. Logsdon you’ll be sorely missed!!!

God speed, Gene Logsdon! thank you for your life and work in this world. You will live on in many hearts and in many ways.

So sad to hear this, I never met him but have read several books and admired his writing greatly. Condolences to Gene’s family.

C. Patrick Woliver May 31, 2016 at 5:39 pm

I am deeply saddened by this news. I was greatly influenced by “The Contrary Farmer” and as a result moved to a 3 acre hobby farm and changed the way that I view this incredible world in which we live. I hope Gene is swimming naked in a spring fed pond somewhere in heaven.

Wait, I thought, today is not Wednesday, why is Gene’s blogpost in my inbox??
And now we know, and grieve together.
Farewell, indeed, dear Gene. Your wisdom and wit were a blessing, and I thank you for sharing so much of yourself. And thank you to those who will continue to carry your torch; gratitude abounds. God bless.

A great American thinker, writer and sharer of enlightened perspective. Thank you for keeping his words alive.

Gene Logsdon: The chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof. Curt Gesch

I too mourn the passing of a man I never had the opportunity to meet. Gene’s books and words and thoughts knock around in my head every few days now that I’m engaged in a life steeped in gardening and farming. I will miss his pearls of wisdom set carefully into humorous and wry agricultural vignettes. Goodbye Gene.

I just find out my beloved mother is getting to come home after over a week in the hospital and thought the day is finally getting better. Now to hear this tragic lousy news.I’m about ready to bawl and I dont cry easily.I dont know why but i have lost a lot of “organic” friends to cancer.I read Gene’s writings in Farm Journal when i was a preteen growing up on the farm and i just turned 56 on May 21.st. I wish I had made the trip to see Genes farm and talk to him in person one more time.Him and Louis Bromfield were my two favorite farm writers.I cant believe the man who gave us so much and still had so much to give is gone.I’m hoping more of his out of print books and old columns from different magazines can be put on here.Damn you Gene !! I fell like i lost a close member of my family and there are not many people I hold so dear as the man i met once at a small farm conference here in indiana.Why cant death come with a 6 month or one year warning so we can say our goodbyes to those we hold so precious.I finally thought to look up his farm on google and get kind of an idea about what it looked like.My mother is the one who really got me into organic and small farming with Gene’s books. She was so tickled when i got to meet him a couple decades ago. Boy would I have loved for him to see my farm when i finally get it going like I want.I knew this day would come as it does for all of us eventually, but as usual this comes as a almost total shock. I knew Gene had battled cancer but thought he had won.It would be nice if we could still communicate with each other on here in Gene’s memory. When i was young i thought nothing of writing a letter to some star or bigshot I admired or had a bone to pick . Why in heaven’s name didnt i write or even have the brass to call Gene?? to have been able to talk to him without the usual rush of people at the conferences would have been great. I am going to have to reread the news again to make sure I didnt read it wrong. I remember him writing about his mother’s passing and the bird nest on her grave.I hope for his family and friends sake there is a kildeer nest on his or something to let them know everything is all right. God love you Gene, you were one of my best friends even though we only spoke through this column. I’m going to miss you. You left a huge whole in agriculture and this world.I hope his family and friends complete his last book he talked about. The one he thought is was allmost eery and kind of funny that i had quoted and had no idea that he was writing. Finances and family obligation(taking care of my mother when she gets home from the hospital) or I would go to the funeral. I’m going to miss you buddy. Good bye Gene. sincerely Tim S. Henslee

Amazing that I feel sick to my stomach with sadness for the loss of a man I never met. Genes writing touched me in ways I could never explain. The world is truly A bit darker today.

I am so sorry to hear the news! I have appreciated his blogs for a long time, and I am grateful someone is able and willing to keep them around for us. I am sorry for the loss of this dear friend I never met… Thank you, Gene. You will be missed.

I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with Carol, his kids, and his wider family. I grew up reading Gene’s books; at Indiana University Press, we were privileged to bring out his memoir, You Can Go Home Again; at Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, we published several of his books. It is one of the greatest gifts and honors of my life that Gene dedicated one to me, All Flesh is Grass. Gene supported me in my own writing, giving me feedback on an early draft of my Shepherd: A Memoir, and then contributing a wonderful blurb. Gene was truly one of a kind, an independent thinker, genial and wise.

What a huge loss for his family and all of us – he will be missed! “Gene Everlasting” will be back on my nightstand…

I lack the words. Simply been a fan of all Gene’s work, and the other folks his writing led me to, over many years. That I will miss his essential kindness and wisdom is a great understatement. My most sincere condolences to Carol, family, and friends.

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