Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I am going back through some of my massive quantities of books and seeing if I can't thin them down some. While doing this, I ran across some of my favorite books, the FoxFire books. These books come from a magazine that was started in a Georgia school in the mid-1960's by an English teacher who was trying to get his students to care about the language. The students chose to start a magazine and the purpose of this endeavor was to gather and collect stories and interviews from the old timers in Appalachia.
There are 12 books in the series now, a few extra books that are additions to the series but not numbered the same. They still put out a twice-yearly magazine for a few bucks a year. I haven't seen the magazine, but the books are well worth the price (I own 1-4 and the 40th anniversary).
I love these books. The stories about the people that grew up and lived in the mountains at that time are just great because in many ways that is what a lot of the homesteading today and the self-sufficient movement is all about. Read stories about mountain folk who lived long and well with no plumbing, electricity, or gas. Read stories with pictures and diagrams how to build a butter churn, fiddle, banjo, etc. Learn how to tan a hide, dress a hog, make a cabin or wagon, and so much more.

The stories and articles included in these books hearken back to days of simplicity. Harder lives and the attitude and environments that give rise to the people that survive. I don't know if they are in the libraries around the country, but whatever you can, I highly recommend giving them a read, at the least! Psst, buying them is even better!


Chris W said...

I love the foxfire books. I've had most of them for years. I started reading them when I went through a "mountain man" phase in my 20's. One rendezvous and I was ready to do it all! lol
It's different now. At that time, I read a lot of the kinda "how to" articles, and skipped over the interviews and ones on real homesteading. Now I endlessly re-read the interviews. I'd love to have met some of these people.

DivaHick said...

We aren't getting rid of these right?

FarmerGeek said...

Nooooo, there's no way I'm getting rid of these books!