Archive: Gene Logsdon, The Contrary Farmer


gene-tractor1931 – 2016

Gene Logsdon lived in Upper Sandusky, Ohio with his wife, Carol. He was an American man of letters, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He was a prolific author of essays, novels, and nonfiction books about agrarian issues, ideals, and techniques. He wrote many books and hundreds of articles for numerous publications including New Farm, Mother Jones, Orion, Utne Reader, Organic Gardening, Draft Horse Journal and the Wall Street Journal.

See also Gene and His Books here.

Weekly Posts (9 Years)

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

[Farewell, Dear Gene…]


[Gene’s last radio interview]
[Compilation of Gene’s radio interviews]

Reposts Beginning August 2016…
•  Just What We Need: Faster Tractors
•  Corn Is For Eating… Or Drinking
•  Learning Reality The Ram Way


Gardening In The Nude (or New Use For Rhubarb)
Raw Deals Over Raw Milk
Lawn Farming, The Next Big Thing
Farming Is A Special Calling
Anthropomorphism, A Big Word Getting Bigger
Your Favorite Farm Or Garden Job?
Farm Success Brings Farm Failure
Farming Controversies Are So Complcated

Milk Is Going The Wine Route
Factual Science And Maybe Science
Scratch An American, Find A Farmer
Shall The Meek Inherit The Earth After All?
New Age Farming Is Not About “Going Back” To The Land
Organic Farming News Almost Too Good
Part-timers Do Most of the Farming
Does Art Sense Social Change Before Science Does?
Small Scale Farming Really Isn’t Small
The Kingdom of Corn

Sex Is Such A Botheration
The Sanctuary of the Barn
Contemplation On A Dead Chicken
No Such Thing as “The American Farmer”
It’s All About Money, Even When It Isn’t
Watching the Gardens Go To Sleep
Toward  A New Farming Image
Looking At Climate Change Like A Farmer
• Happy Thanksgiving from Gene and Carol Logsdon
How Can You Keep Them Down In Paree’, After They’ve Seen The Farm?

• One Lonely Little Red Clover Plant
Good Farming Means More Than Good Food
How About a Manure Magazine?
The Good, the Bad, and…the Zucchini
• Who Really Owns The Farmland? 
 Manure: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
 Dancing With the Weeds
 Missing From Syria’s News: The Ag Angle
 Firing The Landlord
 The Sustainable Farm — New Monastery?

 Cover Crop Frenzy
• Two Peachy Economies
Basket-less In the Garden
Nature’s Rush To Brush
Deep Trouble Down In The Ground
To Survive In Farming, Try Taoism 
Foodroom Gardening: No Rows, No Woes
Backyard Hay Too
Wild About Wild Black Raspberry Pie 
I Live In A FarmUNtopia

Farming Starts In Cities
Financial Discretion Equals Happy Farming
First Strawberries
Farming: A Not-For-Profit Enterprise?
Dead-End Work
Soil Science Spelled It Out A Whole Century Ago
Speed Farming
“Stop Mowing and Start Growing”
• The News Is Blind To Farming
• What Truly Is Progress In Farming

• Watching The Basketballs Float By
• Bravo The Bloody Local Butcher Shop
• The Happiest Farmers
• Corn Lover Delights
• Village Farming
• Same Land, Same Crops For 2000 Years
• “Dear Gene and Carol”…Friends and Family Honor The Logsdons
• Shipping Hay Overseas
• Starting An Old Tractor
• GM Stands For Genetic Muddle

• Will Genetic Modification Save The Chestnut Tree?
• Could King Corn Be Our Downfall?
• Out A Winter Window
• Strawing Strawberry Beds
• How Henny Penny Came To Rule the Roost

• Front Porch Garden
• Searching For A Floodgate That Really Works
• Signs Of Change In Food Farming
• What’s Behind The Pet Craze
• Shocking Stories

• When Herbicides Fail
• Gene Logsdon Appears in GMO OMG video and Interviewed on NPR…
• How Much Does Soil Influence Taste?
• Keeping Prejudice Alive
• Another Kind of Baby Food
• Marking Time On The Farm
• Food Fads Affect Farming
• Faith and fears in Wendell Berry’s Kentucky
• The Absence of Noise
• Commenting On Your Comments

• Stay Home
• Auction Anguish
• Trivia That May Not Be So Trivial
• Wanted: A Farmer
• Pssst…. Wanna Invest In a 900,000 Acre Farm?
• How Many People Equals Too Many People?
• Pseudo Cisterns To The Rescue
• Love and Hate In the Chicken Coop
• Farmers Learned Long Ago How To Handle The Weather 
• The Democratization of Agriculture

• Old (Farm) Wives’ Tales
• Invasion of the Paranoids
• White Clover Might Be God In My Bible
• Have You Seen A Skinny Farmer Lately?

• Sunbathing On The Tractor
• Hanging Out The Wash
• Cornstalks Floating Down The Highway
• Food Farming As Artistic Endeavor
• Bird Manners
Pink Pistol Packin’ Mommas

Will Society Spurn Animal Factories?
Working Too Hard At Farming To Succeed
• Sitting Your Way To Success
• Easter Lambs
• Hemp Is Coming Back As A Farm Crop
Home Places
Human Society Is Losing Touch With Wild Nature
Why Will Livestock Eat “Bad” Hay?
• More Evidence of Nature’s Resilience
• A Conversation with Gene Logsdon

• Hot Opportunities For Innovative Farmers
• Nothing New About Robot Tractors
• Is the Day of Socialized Mail Delivery About Over?
• Amazing Prices For Organic Crops
• Travelholics Anonymous
• Drone Groans
• The Creekside Stalker
• Keeping It Simple Not An Option
• Gene Everlasting
• “Holy Shit” Becomes A College Textbook

• Playing God With The Weather
• He Is Just So Happy
• Tiny Details About Farm Life
• Land Grabs, Now and Forever
• Arguing About Raw Milk
• More Trees Than A Hundred Years Ago
• The Cow Stable: Health Spa of the Future
• Overdosing On Bread
• Small Mysteries Never Solved
• The Decentralization of Nearly Everything

• “The Need For New Herbicides Has Never Been So Critical”
• A Shortage of Straw? Oh Pshaw
• Our Mysterious Pear Tree

• Wendell Berry on Bill Moyers
• Do We Belong Here?
• Good Invasive/Bad Invasive
• Overlooked Opportunities In Forest Farming
• And How Is The Corn Doing In Your Area?
• Do School Lunches Taste Like Vomit?
• Have Yourself A $300,000 Lab Burger

• The Green Monster In Our Backyard
• Corn Growing Everywhere
• Organic GMOs?
• Still Negative About No-Till
• Backlash On Backyard Chickens
• Defining Freshness
• The Virtues of Virgin Soil
• Humble Beginnings Humbug
• Uprooting Independent Garden Farmers
• Too Much Food?

Hay Doodles
An Old Tightwad’s Thoughts On Planting Old Seeds
• Too Many People
• Using Food As Medicine
• Lawns Of Purple and Gold
Once A Farm Boy, Always…
Can Wee Little Businesses Save the Nation?
Sacred Springs
Unexpected Good Results Make Me Look Smart
Another Shoe Drops In The Global Warming Debate

Big Farms Going Belly Up Again?
Horse Filet Mignon. Yum.
Here’s Mud In Your Sty
Burning Brush Piles

Shit Makes Good Medicine
The Fallibility of Numbers

We Need More “Perspeck”
Pigweed Is Bringing Us To Our Knees
Yes, What Is Art Anyway?
The Artists In My Barn

January Thaw
My Woodpile Is Bigger Than Your Woodpile
Water Costs As Much As Gas
Cobbled Up Gates and Fences
Pounding Beef
Another Advantage Of Backyard Hens

Look Out, The World Is About To End Again
What Is Space Anyway?
Planting Rather Than Mining
Falling Leaves

Human Bodies For Fertilizer?
Lima Beans Into November

Better School Lunches Should Taste Better Too
A Wind And Solar Powered Corncrib
The Wild Side of Local Food

Hens Are Changing The Meaning of “Profit”
A Small Thing But Maybe Not
Fires In the Fields

Using The Old Farm To Sell The New
Veiled Prejudice Against Farmers

Weeds That Like A Sip of Roundup Now and Then
The Weather May Not Be the Problem

Tire-Eating Cornstalks
Feeding The Buzzards
• Curious Observations About The Drought

• The Return of the Enclosed Garden
•  Gambling With Our Food
•  The Wild Empire Strikes Back
•  Even Earthworms Are Bad Now
•  The Hoe Is Better

•  A Farmer Who Actually Farms
•  Today’s Farmer: Nine Hours Daily On A Computer
•  Can Garden Farming Be Too Successful?
•  Do Potatoes Have Free Will?
•  What Is The Secret Of Parsnips?
•  Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees and Trees Don’t Grow On Money
•  Why Such A Lack of Common Sense About Dogs?
•  Chickweed May Not Be The Worst Weed, But…
•  Writing “A Sanctuary of Trees”
•  It Pays To Stay Home

•  Erratic Effects of Spring Frost
•  Living At The Whim Of The Weather
•  Nature’s Promises Kept Again
•  Watching Hens Eat
•  The Great, Invisible Brain Wave In The Sky
•  Scars Keep The Record Of Our Lives
•  Solo In The Silo
•  Yet Another Look At Winter Grazing

•  Secret Crying Places
•  A Country For Old Men

•  Cold Weather Conundrum
•  At Last, The Plowgirl Has Arrived
•  Talking To Animals
•  Can A Godless Farmer Be A Good Steward of the Soil?
•  Hail, The Mighty Pocketknife
•  Maybe Old Tractors Do Die
•  No Till Farming Not So Great After All
•  Any “Tidings of Great Joy” This Sad Christmas?
•  My Search For The Imperfect Christmas Tree
•  Old Tractors Never Die

•  The Ramparts People
•  Sanctuary
•  Harvesting Crops in the Mud and Snow
•  Economic Awakening: Corn Can’t Grow Like Money Grows
•  Occupy Absentee-Owned Farms
•  Free eBook Gift from Gene Logsdon
•  The Myth of the Self-Made Yeoman
•  Pretend Jobs
•  The Biggest Ear of Corn This Year?
•  Pope Mary and the New Wave of Food Hubs

•  The Achilles Heel In Pasture Farming Is It’s Best Foot Forward
•  A Barn Full of Bats
“Planning To Plow Deeper Than 16 Inches?”
Small Farms Create More Jobs
Why I Farm — A City Version: Barbara Ayers
No Two Garden Years Alike
City Forest Farming
Bill Gates Wants To Solve The Poop Problem
August Glut
Why I Farm: Jeff Pence

Licking Inflation The Homestead Way
Why I Want To Farm: Chris Geddings
Corn Pros and Cons
Why I Farm: Paul Kempf
Barnyard Irony
Why I Farm: Dennis Hitzeman
Why I Don’t Farm Yet: John Depew
Why I Homestead: Jenn Campus
Why I Farm: John Finlayson

Why Do Humans Congregate In Big Cities?
Why I Farm: Chiara Dowell
Why I Farm: Beth Greenwood
Basketball Patches and Plastic Jug Blossoms
How and Why I Farm
Why I Farm: Betty Taylor
Yo! Farmer Dude!
Bigger Farms, Bigger Headaches
What can I do with my Small Farm?

Praise Be Baling Wire and Binder Twine
Goats: An overlooked pasture-raised animal
Stay Home And Make Some Real Money
Wendell Berry: The Work of Local Culture
The Champion Loser
A Field Guide To Farmers

Alan Kapuler — Peace Seeds: Man of Science, Ideas, and Humanity
Calling Home The Sheep
Real On-Line Democratic Farming
When The Gumboots Come Marching In
The Gentle Approach to Animals Saves Time and Money
Gene Logsdon Radio Interview
• Are Food Prices Too High Or Not High Enough?
Farmers Ditch Tractors for….Oxen?
Wendell Berry on Mankind’s Ecological Imprint

A Wallet Full of Scrambled Eggs
Archeology Not Agriculture Teaches Good Farming
Tired of Tires
What’s Your Game Plan As Corn Prices Skyrocket?
Holy Food — A sermon based on Gene Logsdon’s book ‘Pope Mary & The Church of Almighty Good Food’
Pasture Plants That Poison
Getting The President To Laugh
Oaken Resilience
Trying To Make Sense Out Of The Last Supper
Hitching Farm Implements To An Older Tractor

Roundup Ready Alfalfa — Monsanto’s Big Goof?
Tasty Meat Comes From The Kitchen, Not the Field
Heating With Wood Is An Eco-Crime?
Ecological Farm Conference Sold Out Again
Interview with Gene Logsdon
Wood By the Cord Yields Lots Of Discord
Readers Write About Their Love Of Tree Groves
An Affinity For Tree Groves
Human Manure Shops Are A Hot Business In North Korea
Everything Has A Dark Side

Oh What A Beautiful Morning
Acquiring Knowledge By Accident
It Does My Heart Good
Convincing Nice People That Deer Numbers Are Too High
Who Can Go The Longest Without Feeding Hay?
Lost On A Farm
Aliens From Inner Space
Corn Crazy
The Best and Worst Smells On A Farm

The Lonely Hickories
A Pumpkin In The Apple Tree
Our Math Is Not Nature’s Math
Picking Blackberries Without Bleeding To Death
Too Many Farm Markets?
Selling A Book That Has No Name
Buried Treasure
The Egg Hunter
Transplanting Tree Seedlings
Good Agriculture Fosters Good Art, And Vice-Versa

Throwing Away Billions of Dollars In Pet Manure
Good Hoes/Bad Hoes
Coping With Vomitoxin In Wheat
Happy Homestead Happenstances
Despite Gloom, Things Are Looking Up For Garden Farming
Fireflies In July
Pancakes From Perennial Wheatgrass Grain
Crazy Ideas For Crazy Garden Farmers
Acres and Pains
“No Till” Is A Big White Lie

Fast Growing Plants
Real Farmers Have To Be Real Smart
Irony In Garden Farming
The Straight Row Mentality
Something I Bet Hardly Anyone Else Knows
Learning Reality The Ram Way
The New Drovers
Farming Is Cultural As Well As Agricultural
Hauling Farm Animals
The Twenty Seven Cent Melon Seed

Pitching Manure
Sowing Clover, Sowing Hope
Flyswatters: Don’t Try Homesteading Without One
Tiny Homestead Discoveries Inspire Big Wild Ideas
Looks Like The New Agrarian Age Has Arrived
The Race Goes Not Always To The Fastest
“No One With Land Should Be Without A Job”
Harvest Art
Kill People But Not Dogs and Cats
An Offbeat Way To Make Good Hay

We’ve Been Going “Back To The Land” For A Long Time
Our House Frog Liked Beethoven
My Clunker Pickup Is Too Old To Junk
Good Farming Was More Advanced A Hundred Years Ago
The Two Sides of an Organic vs. Chemical Story
A Startling Lesson in Pasture Farming
Sometimes Its Hard To Tell the Vegetables From the Flowers
More Choices at Garden Farm Markets
Gardeners and Farmers Less Fearful of Death?
The Gentle Art of Non-Gardening

Burning Off The Asparagus Bed
Down with Raised Beds
Time To Start Growing Your Own Bread
Manure More Precious Than Gold
Chore Time
The Aim Is Joy
Pole Beans Need Better Public Relations
Harlan Hubbard – Painter, Writer, Agrarian Homesteader
“Grazing” The Trees On Your Garden Farm
An Ecologically Sane Farm

Our Love-Hate Relationship With The Red Cedar Tree
The Pond at the Center of the Universe
The Percheron On The World’s Most Famous Farm
Did The Amish Get It Right After All?
Knowing One’s Place
The Fire Fiddler
The Barn Raising
Mulch Can Cover A Multitude Of Sins As Well As Weeds
My Wilderness
Unexpected Benefits From Pasture Farming
Stoking Up The Woodstove: Winter’s First Ritual

Hunting For Your Dream Place
Our Hidden Wound
What’s Organic Farmland Worth? Or Is It A Pearl Without Price?
A Nutting Expedition
Organic Money
The Irony of Giant Ragweed

The Man Who Created Paradise
Cheapskate Haystacks
Garden Farming: The Best Investment
Thinking Eco-logically and the Food Web of a Bluebird
Taming The Wild Black Raspberry
An Ode To Horse Manure And Other By-Products Called Waste

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Farms, Or Maybe A Million
Pasture: The Foundation of Garden Farm Success
More Than One Reason Why Bluegrass Is Blue
A Farm Is A Large Garden (or A Garden Is A Small Farm)
Listening To The Trees
Getting The Corn Planted This Year
What Organic Homesteading Is All About
Peach Trees Light Up The Old Hen House – And Vice Versa

Our Ewes Are Having Lots Of Lambs, But Is More Better?
A Fairly Simple Way To Save Millions In Energy
First Spring Things
Yes, I Care For Animals And Then I Eat Them
Bouncing In The Wool Sack
How Organic Corn Triumphed Over Chemical Corn – A Story Of Farming Life
A Farmer Goes To A Rock Concert
A Death In The Family
The Acorn Tree Syndrome Strikes Again
Organic Art?
Wood Is More Precious Than Gold

Snow Pastures
What Kind of Tree Do Acorns Grow On?
Sweet Corn From the Garden – In December
Easy Way To Start A Grove Of Trees (with Black Walnut Jam Cake Recipe)
The Lovely, Life-Saving Virtue of Laziness
One Man’s Fertilizer Is Another Man’s Bomb Or Illegal Drug
A Grove Of Trees To Live In
A French Picnic (But Not Quite In Manet’s Style)
An Organic Hero
Big Tractor, Green Hypocrisy

In the Fields of Home: What’s the Best Farm Fence?
In the Fields of Home: Through Flood and Drought
The Making of Some Very Rare Organic Wine, Not To Mention Organic Liqueur
Thoughts On Economic “Inevitability”
The Great Organic Potato Race (With Johnny Carson Potato Chip Video)
The Adventures of Uno the Chick
Gems from the Lives of Contrary Farmers
Oh Deer, What Can the Matter Be?
Pssst. Got Bootleg Milk?
Uhhh, explain that carbon credit deal again please…

Gardening In The Nude (or New Use For Rhubarb)
Do we need a new definition of Organic?
Haymaking Revolution
Just What We Need: Faster Tractors
Corn Is For Eating… Or Drinking
A Quiet Revolution Coming to a Farm Near You
The Contrary Farmer

Beginning May 2007 ↑




– Practical Skills Series –
(Excerpts with Updates)

 Food Preparation…


Feeding, Catching, and Butchering Chickens

Garden Skills…


Building Horse Manure Hotbeds

Things to Build…

Anatomy of a Homestead Landscape

An Easy Practical Farm Gate

• A Home Cistern

Maintaining and Repairing…

• Backyard Clotheslines and Washboard Secrets

Making and Making Do…

Making Wooden Kitchen Spoons and Similar Utensils

Wooden Combs

Simple Homemade Toys

Around the Barn…

A Chicken Coop for a Small Flock


A Pigpen for the Backyard

Training Cows

Oxen Power For Family Farms

In The Fields…

The Minimum Tools for Small-Time Garden Farming

Getting The Most Out Of A Tractor