Thursday, November 3, 2011

Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass

Clabbered Earth, Sweet Grass by Gary Paulsen is a poetically written nonfiction work that describes four seasons of living on a farm about 70 years ago in an age when tractors are just beginning to be used on the farm and most work is done with horses. 

Paulsen writes this book almost like a continual run-on sentence to give you the feel of the farmer's never ending round of relentless, grinding work - except for short, but incredibly sweet, respites of dances, picnics, or fishing.  

"The garden.
But not one, not just a simple garden, but almost a separate farm, a separate life.  There are four gardens, four completely different plots.  the potato garden, the corn garden, the kitchen garden and the garden garden.  
They are life.  More than the farm, more than the crops and the animals, the gardens are life -- all food.  There is never money, not ever, not even small bits of change, not one extra dime to waste and food from stores --"store boughten"-- is simply too expensive except for flour, sugar, salt and pepper and canning spices.  It is unthinkable to buy meat or potatoes or other produce, totally outside thought."  
~ excerpt from  Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass.

I've written and re-written about how Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass makes me feel and can't quite put it into words.  I love any kind of book about sustainable living and homesteading and this book gives a wonderful hands on account about early century farming.  

Reading this book makes me realize that as hard as anyone in today's time period works, we're really kind of soft and live a life of relative ease - and I thank God I don't have to toil so hard for every bit of food or drop of money!  

At the same time, Clabbered Dirt, Sweet Grass inspires me to live more simply and closer to how these people lived because they really enjoyed life and relationships, but I won't  take for granted the modern conveniences that make my life so much easier!

I got this book at our local Coudersport Library, but you can get it here on Amazon. 

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