Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

UPDATE 2/24/14: The giveaway is now closed, but you can still join the book club! Details here

Calling all readers: HOMEGROWN is hosting an online book club dedicated to Gene Everlasting, the brand new book by Ohio farmer Gene Logsdon, and we’ve got an extra copy to give away.

Want it? In 250 words or less, describe one lesson you’ve learned from growing something yourself: tomatoes, basil, rabbits, a kid—whatever. To submit your entry, just paste it into the comments box below by Friday, February 21, 2014. We’ll pick one winner and notify him or her on Monday, February 24.


The fine print: We’re asking whoever scores the freebie to help shepherd the upcoming book club. Soon after February 21, we’ll decide as a group how much to read per week, what day of the week we’ll post comments—all of the nuts and bolts. (Check out last summer’s Cooked book club for an example.) Commitmentphobic? Don’t be! Gene Everlasting is a slim 175 pages. Easy peasy!

Wendell Berry once called Logsdon “the most experienced and best observer of agriculture we have.” Here's more on Everlasting, from its inside flap: “Readers will find Logsdon in top philosophical form as he recounts the joys and tragedies from his childhood in Ohio, adulthood, and childrearing, as well as his recent bout with cancer. With each story, Logsdon keeps an eye toward the lessons that farming and his underlying connection to nature have taught him about life and its mysteries.”


For those who don’t snag the freebie, don’t despair! Anyone who can get his or her hands on a copy of the book is encouraged to join the club! Sparkling conversation, thoughtful material, HOMEGROWN togetherness. What’s not to love? If you've got questions, post ’em below and we’ll respond ASAP. Good luck! We can't wait to learn from Logsdon—and from you!

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I think the most important lesson I've learned while growing veggies of all sorts is to return to the soil as it gives to me. I've seen garden plots over the years that have gradually faded from fertile and glorious to pale and lifeless, and I've also seen bad garden beds with solid clay soil turn into rich, beautiful soil after faithful years of adding compost and mulch. Throughout my days, I lookout for any opportunity to return organic matter to my soil, whether it's by burying twigs and logs in the beds or adding generous amounts of compost while planting. Before anything goes into the trash, I ask myself if I can work it into my garden, whether it is thread bare cotton rags, coffee grounds, or junk mail. 

As a fellow Ohioan, I am excited to have the opportunity to win and read this book! 

The last five years of learning the homestead lifestyle and starting our own urban farm business has been a crucible. It has tested myself in ways I could never expected.I have to lay aside expectations and personal struggles with perfectionism and have to learn a new way.

The heartaches and triumphs of the act of raising one's own food, be it animal or vegetable,  has test me to see how brave, strong, and consistent I can be.  Even when faced with failure, loss, and disappointment. While striving for personal and farm goals, I still have to let go and live in the moment. Yes, you have to plan for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter but you have to be completely present in the here and now to really get the most from each season you are in. This quote has been the point of much meditation for me as I quiet my soul and balance planning, living, and waiting. "Don't waste the season of life you are in now because you want the next one to come." 

All we raise teaches us this lesson, whether it is our chickens and waiting on that first egg, our rabbits and waiting on our next litter, our seedlings and waiting on them to germinate, our harvest and waiting on it to ripen. 

Bah! I totally missed out on this! I'll be waiting for the next one, I promise you!

Tasha: It's not too late! The freebies are gone, but you can still join the club!

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