Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What Are You Reading?

**Maybe you are wondering why there is a picture of C.S. Lewis on a farming blog. Keep reading and it will make sense.**

Hopefully I'll have a chance to share a farm update tomorrow. But, really life has been kind of bland on the farm lately with winter chores and such. The most exciting thing I'm doing right now is whittling away the massive 5 truck loads of wood that we have been gifted with this winter. But, more on that tomorrow. Today I want to talk reading material...

I don't remember if it was something Joel Salatin said, or if it was someone else. But, the gist of the quote was this, "I can tell everything I need to know about a farmer by looking at the books on their shelf and the magazines lying around". I thought that was an interesting thought and since I'm a guy that loves to read I thought it was a pretty truthful quote. You know what they say, "You are what you eat," and I think the same is true for what you read.

Here is what I've been reading:

"Acres U.S.A." - I just received my sample copy of this publication in the mail yesterday and I have enjoyed it so far. They make a specific "sample issue" so some of the current events stuff is dated, but it seems to be a publication full of good information. Plus, it covers everything from organic crops to grazing. Hopefully there will be some money in the budget for this sometime soon ... maybe after my birthday.

"Dirt Hog" by Kelly Klober - I'm still making my way through this book and I have to admit that it is a pretty good read. Maybe the only semi-bad thing (really it isn't bad at all) that I have thought so far is that he seems to be a little more uppity when it comes to pigs than I am. I don't really know how to express it, but maybe it is just a matter of scale thing since right now pigs are just a small part of our small operation. Nonetheless it is a book full of great information!

"The Future of Forestry" by C.S. Lewis - Yep ... I'm reading poetry! Actually there is a band out there by the same name that I just ran across and while I was reading up about them I found out that they got their name from a C.S. Lewis poem. That meant I had to look up the poem! I think it is a pretty profound piece of writing really, and even very applicable to the small farm that we are starting and the reasons behind what we do. Just check out these two lines and then I hope you will read the rest ... "Tarmac's laid where farm as faded, Tramline flows where slept a hamlet."

Now, I want to hear what you are reading! Give me some good ideas of what I should check out next, or let me know what you think of my latest selections.


Jena said...

I am trying to get thru All Flesh Is Grass (only 3 chapters left!) so that I can move on to Building A Sustainable Business Plan. It looks like a great book and I'm hoping to put together our own business plan as I go thru it. I've also got Starting and Running Your Own Small Farm Business sitting on my desk begging for attention. Then I really want to read Dirt Hog thanks to your suggestion. I've also got "The Duggars: 20 and Counting on request at the library for some lighter reading.

I really enjoy reading but lately it feels a little bit like work!

Yeoman said...

Well, anything by C.S. Lewis is pretty good reading. I recommend his "Mere Christianity", as many would. Books by his friend G. K. Chesterton are also recommended.

So, what am I reading?

Well, I just recently finished The Worst Hard Time, about the dust bowl during the Great Depression. I'd give it maybe 6 out 10 as a rating. I recently re-read sections of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and Burleigh's A New History of the Third Reich, after seeing Valkeryie, as I wanted to refresh myself on the history of the July 20 assassination plot. Just prior to that I read one of my son's books, The Darkest Evening, as it looked (and was) interesting. I'm presently reading "Monty", a biography of Bernard Law Montgomery. I also have out Salatin's You Can Farm.

Magazine wise, I subscribe to and read Montana, Wyoming Wildlife, Rural Heritage, Rifle, The American Rifleman, Cow Country, and The New Republic. That last one is probably odd for that group, but I started reading that journal over 20 years ago and still do, although I often disagree with it.

And the newspaper.

I read a lot, as you can tell. It's a family trait. In some ways, I couldn't hack my day job if I didn't have things to read. I travel a lot in that job, and I do not care for traveling. The only thing I like about it is that I always get to read wherever I go.

Or listen to books on tape as I drive. I've been tending towards listening to the same few I have and like. John Adams. Alexander Hamilton. A few others.

On farm books, or related to farms, I can't recommend enough the essays of Wendell Berry. Every farmer ought to read them. Heck, every American ought to read them. Maybe I'll send a box of them to Pres. Obama, as every President certainly ought to read them.

Yeoman said...

You tractor fans should, by the way, read Robert Welch's books. He has a nice one on tractors that you'd enjoy.

DanielRSeedorf said...

Just discovered your blog while cruising the web researching Dexter cattle. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of two of Joel Salatin's book, "You Can Farm" & "Salad Bar Beef".

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