A piece of history

The one time I’ve gone garage-saling in the past several years, I picked up a bundle of eight “Organic Gardening and Farming” magazines from 1969-1976 – cause they were $1. Looking at the covers I recognized a lovely old Samuel Ogden gardening book I’ve ended up with, so I figured these would at least have some growing tips in them.

Now that I’ve gotten them home and flipped through, I am amazed. They’re Rodales – part of that first big homesteading vogue from the 70’s that I’ve only heard about secondhand. It’s like a tiny piece of history. It is curious to see how exactly the tables of contents mirror the current literature, e.g. the current standardbearer “Countryside and Small Stock Journal“- here are articles on growing and using rare finds like Jerusalem artichoke, sorrel and hawthorn; composting and soil-building, and stories from the front. One could say something profound about the state of the homesteading movement based on this. Perhaps later.

But bestest of all, they have a column by Euell Gibbons, grandfather of the wild foods movement. I have re-read his seminal Stalking the Wild Asparagus umpteen times, lamenting his short in-print oeuvre – and now I find columns! *insert fangirl squeal* I was floored when the first column I picked up, Jan ’69, extolled the virtues of low-methoxyl citrus pectin for making jams and jellies that taste of fruit instead of colored sugar. I had written the exact same article for my recipe column in the company newsletter 2 years back. It truly is a small world.

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