Grit Blogs > Cultivating a Dream

Magazine Madness

Propped up in bed, we howled. My graduate-student-daughter ran in to see what was wrong. 

“We hee hee hee.” Much belly-shaking and eye-tearing. “We’ve been reading about how to kill chickens!” Boisterous, gut-wrenching laughter spilling uncontrollably from our mouths.  

I wiped my mouth and sat up straighter. “We’ve been reading about killing chickens and there is a way where you turn them upside down in a cone and, and” giggling erupts again. Tom finished the sentence. 

“You chop their heads off!” 

We are doubled over by that time. Our daughter looks concerned. “And you think that’s funny?”  

“Why yes!”  

What she didn’t understand was us. Both raised in the city, we wondered how we’d managed to eat chicken all these years, believing them to be skinless, beakless, mounds of flesh instead of actual birds. 

Plus, we didn’t quite know if we’d be able to do the deed. Sure, raising chickens was on our farm plan. But that was imaginary. The article in the magazine contained real pictures. 

Soon after we contracted the farm bug, we ordered the magazine deluge. Tom began to hang pin-ups of chickens. We oohed and aahed at wood chip machines, and drooled over barns.  

Who knew there existed a group of magazines that regularly used the words green manure, and harry vetch, and hoop houses? 

Good-bye Good Housekeeping, hello Grit. 

What books and magazines do you find most helpful? (Besides Grit, of course.)

Magazine Deluge Madness  

pauline hylton
12/7/2012 9:36:01 PM

Thanks for those suggestions, Dave. I do get both periodicals you suggested, but don't have those books. Are they for hobby farmers or commercial farmers?

nebraska dave
12/6/2012 5:57:00 AM

Pauline, it can be quite disturbing for homesteaders that haven't been exposed to the some what harsh country life. Life and death go hand in hand on the farm. It can be a bit emotional to have to process the fried chicken dinner yourself. I receive GRIT magazine and Mother Earth News. Other magazines that I haven't quite got the money for but hang out at Barnes and Nobles and read while sipping a steaming cup of Joe are Backwoods Home, Mary Jane's Farm, Organic Gardening, and Heirloom Gardener from Baker Creek. As for books, my favorite has always been Ruth Stout's "No Work Gardening" and my next favorite has been "Square Foot Gardening". They have been the two books I come back to the most. Of course I always sprinkle my own ideas into the mix as well. Have a great day getting used to the country life.