Good Pickins’ #26

Sunshine, sweet sunshine. 60 degree weather, fresh greens, first fishing trips down at our stream, and lots of MUD. The first few really warm days we had, V would run outside with her arms high in the air, squealing and laughing. That’s exactly how I feel when I get to this time of year too.  April 2015 002This week, my friend Rachel shared what’s on her nightstand, and she inspired me to give you a “nightstand edition” of Good Pickins’. Here are the books I’ve got my nose in recently:

The Odyssey– I recently finished rereading Homer’s Odyssey as part of the classical education program for adults outlined in Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Educated Mind. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this “Great Book” as a thirty-year old, compared to when I was a disinterested teenager. What’s better? My husband and his 7th & 8th graders were reading it at the same time, so we got to have nightly discussions on it!

The Resilient Farm and Homestead– My husband bought this book after hearing Ben Falk speak at an organic farming conference a couple of years ago. Pretty soon after, he was digging up the yard to put in swales and small ponds supplied by spring water, as well as burying rotting logs underground. Turns out he was inspired by Falk’s innovative permaculture- based agriculture at his research farm in Vermont, Whole Systems Design.


I’m finally getting around to reading the book myself. Falk shares principles for developing a sustainable, versatile, and resilient homestead on your own property. The book has the makings of a richly informing college textbook, with just the right amount of conversational tone to keep it interesting. I’m enjoying absorbing all the ingenious suggestions and gorgeous photographs throughout the book.

The Art of Gardening– Susan of Learning and Yearning graciously gave me a copy of her e-book for review. I am about a third of the way into it, and I have to say that it is a clear, well-written guide to soil-building, seed selection, gardening- and of course, eating the harvest too! This book, beautifully illustrated by Deb Hamby, is 25% off through May 31 with the code SPRING entered at checkout. Keep an eye out for a full review in a couple of weeks. 🙂

How Children Fail – by John Holt. I’ve been paging on-and-off through this educator and author’s book on what really can make or break a students’ grade. His views on how trust and mistrust, fear, and expectations can greatly color a student’s school experience are eye-opening- and convicting. Well worth the read for any educator- home or otherwise.

With that, I’m off to enjoy some fresh air and clucking chickens. Enjoy your Saturday!

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