The Contrary Farmer

( 1 )

Overview

Gene Logsdon has become something of a rabble-rouser in progressive farm circles, stirring up debates and controversies with his popular New Farm Magazine column, The Contrary Farmer. One of Logsdon's principle contrarieties is the opinion that--popular images of the vanishing American farmer, notwithstanding--greater numbers of people in the U.S. will soon be growing and raising a greater share of their own food than at any time since the last century. Instead of vanishing, ...

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Overview

Gene Logsdon has become something of a rabble-rouser in progressive farm circles, stirring up debates and controversies with his popular New Farm Magazine column, The Contrary Farmer. One of Logsdon's principle contrarieties is the opinion that--popular images of the vanishing American farmer, notwithstanding--greater numbers of people in the U.S. will soon be growing and raising a greater share of their own food than at any time since the last century. Instead of vanishing, more and more farmers will be cottage farming, part-time.

This detailed and personal account of how Logsdon's family uses the art and science of agriculture to achieve a reasonably happy and ecologically sane way of life in an example for all who seek a sustainable lifestyle. In The Contrary Farmer, Logsdon offers the tried-and-true, practical advice of a manual for the cottage farmer, as well as the subtler delights of a meditation in praise of work and pleasure. The Contrary Farmer will give its readers tools and tenets, but also hilarious commentaries and beautiful evocations of the Ohio countryside that Logsdon knows as his place in the universe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly-
"Cutting down a large tree should be an act charged with ritual." Why? Farming columnist Logsdon ( Organic Orcharding ) points to the tree's "wonderful accomplishment" and to its "feat of survival" as models for ourselves. Then he goes on to discuss ways of felling trees that have come to the end of their lives and can therefore spare their wood for fuel. This collection of essays recommends cottage farming--the small-scale, part-time growing that aims to reduce food expenses and increase pleasure in living--in a tone that combines even-handed pragmatism, idealism ("Measure the value of products in human terms," he urges) and impatient realism ("Let those who put their faith in fancy threads laugh at your jeans"). The author rejects "institutionalized claptrap" for the greater benefits of rural independence and freedom, and outlines ways we can pursue these. "Flee the evils that centralized power always generates," he advises, calling himself an investor in "the tools that make sweat more productive." Logsdon raises a sanely unruly voice in a society where life too often only seems civilized. His correctives are not easily applied, but their promise and appeal (like his own) are powerful. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Cutting down a large tree should be an act charged with ritual.'' Why? Farming columnist Logsdon Organic Orcharding points to the tree's ``wonderful accomplishment'' and to its ``feat of survival'' as models for ourselves. Then he goes on to discuss ways of felling trees that have come to the end of their lives and can therefore spare their wood for fuel. This collection of essays recommends cottage farming--the small-scale, part-time growing that aims to reduce food expenses and increase pleasure in living--in a tone that combines even-handed pragmatism, idealism ``Measure the value of products in human terms,'' he urges and impatient realism ``Let those who put their faith in fancy threads laugh at your jeans''. The author rejects ``institutionalized claptrap'' for the greater benefits of rural independence and freedom, and outlines ways we can pursue these. ``Flee the evils that centralized power always generates,'' he advises, calling himself an investor in ``the tools that make sweat more productive.'' Logsdon raises a sanely unruly voice in a society where life too often only seems civilized. His correctives are not easily applied, but their promise and appeal like his own are powerful. Apr.
Library Journal
Logsdon is a writer for New Farm magazine and author of several books on small-scale farming and American agriculture, including At Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream LJ 12/93. He is also a farmer, and experiences from his small Ohio farm provide much of the the subject material for The Contrary Farmer, which explains how he deals with crops, animals, machinery, the weather, and the neighbors. Just what is a contrary farmer? Among other things, one who is not afraid to go against the grain of conventional agricultural wisdom, who does not believe that bigger is always better or that no-till chemically maintained monocultures are superior to crop rotations and diversified farming. Logsdon is as staunch an advocate for the small family farm or acreage ``cottage farm'' in his parlance as you are likely to find. His latest book is thoughtful, entertaining, often irreverent, and brimming with ideas and practical advice. For public and academic libraries.-William Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780930031749
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/1995
  • Series: Real Goods Independent Living Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 387,517
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

A prolific nonfiction writer, novelist, and journalist, Gene Logsdon has published more than two dozen books, both practical and philosophical. Gene’s nonfiction works include Holy Shit, Small-Scale Grain Raising, Living at Nature’s Pace, The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening, Good Spirits, and The Contrary Farmer. His most recent novel is Pope Mary and the Church of Almighty Good Food. He writes a popular blog, The Contrary Farmer, as well as an award-winning column for the Carey Ohio Progressor Times, and is a regular contributor to Farming Magazine and Draft Horse Journal. He lives and farms in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. You can visit his blog at http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/.

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Table of Contents

The Ramparts People
1. At Ease with the Work of Farming
2. Pastoral Economics
3. The Garden is the Proving Ground for the Farm
4. The Peaceable Kingdom of the Barnyard
5. Water Power
6. A Paradise of Meadows
7. Groves of Trees to Live In
8. King Corn
9. Cottage Mechanics
10. Winter Wheat, Spring Oats, Summer Clover, Fall Pasture
Books the Contrary Farmer Treasures
Index

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2001

    I love Gene!!!

    Gene Logsden is brilliant! I would marry him, even though I am half his age! This man is a genius! He writes passionately, yet frankly, with a dash of humor.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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