Book Review

Posted by Missouri Rev on Jun 14th, 2006

Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian

by Herrick Kimball

I particularly enjoyed reading this book like one enjoys a summer evening with a friend on his quiet, country porch. You are there to enjoy the fellowship and deeply take in the delicious country air of the “good life,” not to study the engineering of his porch in relationship to the countryside. In the same way, this refreshing book is not an in depth treatise on the subject of Christian agrarianism, but rather a series of stories and anecdotes about Herrick Kimball’s transition into a biblically agrarian life, including the painful lessons and exhilarating triumphs. One can smell the garden soil he works with his family and taste the strawberries grown from it, while also smelling the coppery scent of blood and the wet feathers of the chickens he raises and slaughters. There is a hearty earthiness to the book that awakens the reader to the realities of being a steward of God’s creation.

By weaving his faith and practice, his fears and joys, into these earthly realities, he gives us a glimpse into the daily life of a family making the difficult and often snail-paced transition into a Christian agrarian lifestyle. One can feel the emotional journey and relate to the trials he and his wife have undergone in finding their agrarian roots while also establishing them in the lives of their sons. The stories of his grandfather and the humble, down-to-earth role he played in shaping his worldview are truly encouraging. Not that the book does not deal with the issues, as there some very succinct chapters devoted to very important issues that face us today like My Debt-Free Home and a Personal Testimony, the Industrial Providers, and the Theology of Food Independence. There is literally a world of difference between pontificating about agrarianism and living it; Herrick has done a good job in giving us a taste of what he has experienced thus far in seeking the “good life” of biblical agrarianism. One can contact Herrick at his website The Deliberate Agrarian.