The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Get your Pitchfork On!

Get your pitchfork onIn the interest of full disclosure, the author emailed me a review copy of Get Your Pitchfork On!  That's always a dicey situation since it's hard to write a bad review while the author is right there chewing on her fingernails, but in this case, I would have given the book five stars even if I'd bought it myself. 

Get Your Pitchfork On! is the antidote to The Bucolic Plague --- just as engagingly written, but with more down to earth information that a normal homesteader can relate to.  Kristy Athens and her husband were happily growing vegetables and fruit in the city, but they wanted more, so they snapped up a 7 acre farm beside the Columbia River Gorge.  Kirsty's book tells their story, interspersed with lots of fascinating information that will prepare city-dwellers for the country life.

Although I don't agree with everything the author says (when do I ever?), I wanted to recommend this book to several folks I know who have recently moved from the city to the country.  It's a bit like an immersion course to ensure you speak the right language when in a foreign land.  For example:

Country dogs ride in the backs of pick-up trucks. A friend told me that she was leaving the grocery store one day, and as she was about to get into her pickup a young man (clearly a tourist) ran up to her and scolded her for endangering her dog, which was wagging its tail in the bed of the pickup. She managed to remain civil, but was irate.

“Who does he think he is?!” she sputtered to me on the phone.

Don’t let this be you. I know it’s not “safe” to have one’s dog in the back of a pickup. That isn’t the issue. You don’t have to transport your dog that way, but don’t tell other people what to do.

If you're considering buying land in the country and want to learn to fit in, this book should definitely find a place on your permanent bookshelf.  And it's worth checking out of the library even if you're an armchair homesteader or already have your perfect piece of paradise.  Since it was put out by a small press, Get Your Pitchfork On! isn't very well known, but it deserves better recognition --- go tell your friends!

Our chicken waterer is the clean solution to fowled water.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I like the trailer, but I always have trouble learning new skills from a book. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I am too impatient. Maybe that's why I don't do half of the things it looks like her and her husband are doing :)
Comment by Sara Sun Oct 21 08:51:46 2012
Speak the right language? Fit in? Sounds like bs to me. Of course you don't, like the tourist, go about lecturing people on the "right way" to do things. But if a subject is at hand, you don't hide your point of view for the sake of conforming or being kewel, either.
Comment by Jackie Sun Oct 21 19:54:44 2012
Jackie, I agree with your point. You're bound to miscommunicate, even when you're from the area. Fortunately when you're a resident, rather than a tourist, you can always talk it out later unless you have really grouchy neighbors, and if that's the case then who really cares?
Comment by Sara Mon Oct 22 09:38:58 2012

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