Guest Posts

“Dear Gene and Carol”…Friends and Family Honor The Logsdons

g2Gene’s First Article
Transcibed at the end of this post…

 Solicited and Compiled by Beth and Ed Greenwood

Me and Gene have had conversations about his strain of corn that has long ears. I got a collection of old farm journals and one which Gene said touched him was his first article he sold to Farm Journal beginning his career. I finally got to meet Gene at a small farm conference close to Indianapolis in. Though I missed his writers class he taught at in Greenfield, In. While I was a great fan of Louis Bromfield and visited his Malabar farm twice and even named my farm in reference to one of his stories, Gene’s people and stories were and are real unless he says otherwise. That made Gene’s writing even more valuable to me as a farmer both in my younger days farming and working for farmers, and now as a 54 year old trying to get started again on my small farm in failing health both trying to help my folks and take care of them and get my small farm going starting almost from scratch. Gene’s writing has given me a direction and a sense of knowing that the way I want to go on my farm is really my way and not something I read in some farm magazine that was pushing someone’s dream of agriculture that made everybody but me rich! Not that I am a money grubber. Gene’s articles have kept me on track through the years and have been my college education that no college could give me.

On Being a Worthy Heir of the Agrarian Contrarians…

Front Porch Republic

There arrived in yesterday’s mail an attractive book, new from Chelsea Green, titled A Sanctuary of Trees. A hand-written note from the director of communications, addressed to me, said “Gene asked me to send you a copy of his latest book.”

“Gene” is Gene Logsdon, a name well-known, I expect, to many denizens of the Front Porch. Gene belongs to that fraternity of older agrarian contrarians that includes, among others, Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, David Kline, and the late Maury Telleen.

Gene Logsdon: the Contrary Farmer. His many books include The Contrary Farmer, Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind, Homesteading: How to Find New Independence on the Land, The Mother of All Arts: Agrarianism and the Creative Impulse (reviewed here by yours truly), You Can Go Home Again, and three works of fiction: The Lords of Folly, The Last of the Husbandmen, and Pope Mary and the Church of Almighty Good Food, which I hear great things about but haven’t read yet.

I had just enough time between mind-numbing meetings yesterday afternoon to leaf through A Sanctuary of Trees. The early pages have a good bit to say about Logsdon’s early mis-education: a preparatory school for boys who were seminary-bound

Chiara Dowell: The farm teaches virtue through the means of necessity

Little Flower Farm

[A comment, from the ongoing conversations of our readers, that deserves its own post… as many of our reader’s comments do… DS]

I think you might be surprised… if there were a new homestead act, or a breaking up of these mega farms, how many people would step up to the plate and seize the opportunity to scratch their living from the dirt. If land was opened up significantly, all those dreamers out there can move out of their conventional jobs, and all those “lazy unemployed” whose vision is often narrowed simply because of the stresses and strains of real need, can slide into the vacant positions. I don’t call those conventional jobs the end game, but in the meantime, it’s a temporary solution.

All this said, you don’t need to own land to farm: you can rent. You just need to start to throw all your weight (sometimes literally) into the effort…