Ep. 7 – Returning to Smallville

Like Clark Kent in “Superman and Lois,” it’s time to think about returning to Smallville, and all that that means.

Listen to “Returning to Smallville” on Spreaker.


Cover of the Action Comics in which Superman first appeared:

Way Back Home, by Bob Crosby

Those Old Time Records Playlist, including Way Back Home by Bing Crosby

Ep. 6 – Bragging Rights and Blueberry Boy Bait

On today’s podcast, I’m exploring the tradition of competitive baking – whether for the heart of the judge or your intended. Come have a slice of pie and listen:

Listen to “Bragging Rights and Blueberry Boy Bait” on Spreaker.

Read about the history of the PIllsbury Bake-Off.

Below is the original recipe for Blueberry Boy-Bait. Modern versions often omit the reservation of some of the streusel to top the cake with, but I do think it makes for a more interesting texture. I admit I sometimes add just a drop or two of almond extract. And now I’m wondering how this would be with Saskatoons (Juneberries).


Sift together:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar

Cut in:
2/3 cup butter or margarine until particles are the size of small peas. Measure 3/4 cup of this mixture and reserve for crumb topping.
Add to remaining mixture:
2 tsps. double-acting baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 unbeaten egg yolks
1 cup milk
Beat for 3 minutes with electric mixer at low speed.


2 egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold gently but thoroughly into batter. Spread into well-greased and lightly floured 12″x8″x2″ pan.

1 cup drained blueberries (fresh, canned, or frozen) over batter. Sprinkle with reserved 3/4 cup crumb mixture.

Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 40 to 50 minutes. Serve cold with whipped cream as a dessert, or warm as a coffee cake.

Ep. 5 – Hand to Hand to Hand

In today’s episode I talk about why it’s important to learn from another person. Transmission of skills from one person to another prevents us from losing them altogether.

Listen to “Hand to Hand to Hand” on Spreaker.

Some places to learn a skill or three:

John C. Campbell Folk School

Driftless Folk School

Tillers International

Canadienne Cow
Ep. 4: Baa, Baa, Blacksheep

Come along and explore the chasm between the animal agriculture industry and heritage breeds of livestock.

Listen to “Baa, Baa, Blacksheep” on Spreaker.

Visit The Livestock Conservacy for more information about American Heritage Breeds.

If you’re interested in British heritage livestock, visit the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

If the Idaho Pastured Pig project caught your attention, visit the breed association.

Tell me in the comments below if you want to hear more about importing livestock – both the history and the modern practice. Or if you’d like to here more about heritage breeds, and what species.

If you’re enjoying this podcast, please give it a rating or review on your favorite podcast app, and click that “Subscribe” button.

Episode 2 – The Stories We Tell

In this week’s episode, I’m exploring story and why it’s important to our personal and national identities. Story is a potent antitode to “narrative” as practiced by the destruction-based dominant culture. Come listen to some stories.

Listen to “The Stories We Tell” on Spreaker.

For more stories, consider a few of my favorite books:

Little Women is a classic. But don’t bypass the sequel, Little Men, that tells the story of All Grown Up Jo, and her gentle raising of a gaggle of boys. Most of Alcott’s work is worthwhile, including the much less-known Jack and Jill.

One of my favorite general poetry collections is Best Loved Poems of the American People. It contains a broad range of popular poetry. All the famous poets are included, along with a good selection of those you’ve never heard of.

David McCullough is an earnest historian who can weave his research into a compelling tale. I suggest John Adams and 1776.

And, of course, the classic Johnny Tremain.

The above volumes are all from major publishing houses, and therefore mostly available from mass market sources like Amazon or B&N, so I won’t bother with links. The following books are small press products, so I will make the image a link. Buying directly from the small press means both the press and the author get paid more.

Wendell Berry has a wide variety of volumes in print, some fiction, some poetry, some essays. I’m most familiar with his essays, so I’ll recommend starting with the collection he’s best known for, The Unsettling of America.

Another beloved rural writer, Jerry Apps, is published by the Wisconsin Historical Press.

I don’t think it’s possible for Rabbit Room Press to put out a bad book. I’ve recently finished Fiddler’s Gun, and am looking forward to the sequel as soon as it arrives.

And, if you’re looking for a story to read to your kids (or for them to read, while you’re knee-deep in something a bit chewier), you can pick up the first book in the Wingfeather saga, that caused my 2 AM epiphany.

And, if you’re interested in sharing your own story, I can heartily recommend Adorning the Dark, as a guide to the deeper questions of how and why to go about it.

Go read stories. Go tell stories. Go push back against the Narrative(TM). And we’ll meet back here next week. Maybe we’ll talk about apples.

What are your favorite stories. that shaped you and the way you view our culture?

Coppice, Pollard, and Hedge

In the first real episode, we’ll talk about the ancient art of manipulating woody plants for our own gain. These are techniques that were common in the Old World, practiced some in the new, and deserve to be revived for a well stewarded farmstead. Country people have always been good at making the things they need, and at its most fundamental level, that means producing the raw materials.

Listen to “Vintage Americana” on Spreaker.

The following books are mentioned in this episode:

This one is out of print, but if you’re at all interested in the story of the Dutch in America, it’s a good one. “Netherlanders in America,” by Jacob van Hinte:

“Carving Out A Living on the Land” by Emmet Van Driesche, available from Chelsea Green.

The other book I mentioned (and well worth a read), is “Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees,” by William Logan Bryant.

You can find more resources regarding hedgelaying in America at the North American Hedgerow Society. (Be a little patient, it’s still in its infancy).

Further information on tree hay, including a nice little video can be found on the Agricology website.

And a great site on the history of landscape design in America, including a discussion of hedges, at the National Gallery of Art.

Please bear with me as I learn how to record a podcast. This time, I learned not to forget the pop filter on the microphone! It’s really hard to take that out in post, and I’m still not entirely happy with the result.

I’m not sure if this will end up being a weekly schedule or every two weeks. Or whether I will go continuously or break things into season. If you have an opinion, leave me a comment!

An Introduction

Less than a first episode, this is more of a brief introduction. A road map, if you will. (Does anybody still know what those are?)

Why is rural American culture important? How will we find it? Where will we look? And are you coming?

Listen to “Vintage Americana” on Spreaker.

In the introduction, I make reference to the following article, in case you’d like to give it a read:

“The Ghosts of Place”: