Monday, November 11, 2013

At Home in Dogwood Mudhole {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

We have a minuscule hobby farm, so it's always fun to read about other hobby farms or small farms. The farming, ranching lifestyle has interested me for decades, actually (my dad was raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin!).

When the opportunity came along to read At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, Volume 1: Nothing That Eats, by Franklin Sanders, I was pleased, because I'm always up for reading a good book.

At Home in Dogwood Mudhole will be a series of three volumes, comprised of a collection of letters Mr. Sanders wrote to subscribers of The Moneychanger over a period of seventeen years.
Volume 1: Nothing that Eats starts with the family moving from city life (in Memphis, Tennessee) out on to a small farm. Mr. Sanders discusses their experiences learning to farm, as well as various other topics, such as Civil War reenacting, Christmas traditions, the Southern lifestyle, and his Christian faith.

Not only do he and his wife and the children still living at home move on to this farm, but eventually his grown children and their families move to the farm as well. It becomes a multi-generational farm (sort of like the Waltons). This idea has always had great appeal for me, and now that I have two grown children of my own, my heart desires something like that even more (because I'd like to keep them close! ;) ).

It is easy to determine that this book is a series of letters, rather than a "story." It is sometimes difficult to figure out if the events follow a chronological order, or not. Occasionally there are snippets recommending various businesses they have come across, such as a restaurant they visited during their travels, or a gift shop, etc.

Mr.Sanders discusses quite extensively their involvement in Civil War reenacting, and the Civil War itself...or rather, the "War for Southern Independence." As he says about the Southern perspective: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." I certainly have found that to be true in the decades I have lived in the South!

There are certainly parts of the book that resonate with our own experiences here on our little hobby farm, such as experiencing the death of beloved dogs (our hearts still ache over the loss of our beautiful Blaireau), and the general learning curve that comes with animal husbandry.
"Life here on the farm is unpredictable, hard in so many unsuspected ways, but never as hard as it used to be." (from the Preface)
This book would be a good read for anyone interested in a down-to-earth, tell-it-like-it-is style. I'd recommend it for adults and teens. We received the Kindle edition, so it is available on Jen's and Botanist Boy's Kindles, but I don't think either one has even begun to read it. Hubby might enjoy the style of writing, but he just doesn't enjoy reading at all, so I am not sure if he'll ever "get around to reading it."

Be sure to read what the rest of the Crew has to say about this intriguing book.

Cost: Paperback copy costs $22.95; Kindle, ePUB, or PDF copy costs $16.95.
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ADDENDUM: Dear readers, this is my final review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew. The boys and I are feeling the need for a break, for now. The Lord may guide us to rejoin for the 2015 Crew Voyage, but for now, we are taking a Sabbatical. Watch for other changes coming to my blog, though! 

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1 comment:

  1. On behalf of the Sanders family, thank you for taking the time to read the book and post your review. We would like to let your readers know they can get free shipping (for up to 2 books, to US addresses only) by using the discount code TOSFREE at checkout. Thanks again, and God bless!

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