COUNTRY WOMEN by Sherry & Jeanne Tetrault Thomas


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Part celebration, part women's newsletter, part practical manual of skills, this is an outsized, richly illustrated book from California--that part of the state ""bounded by ocean and redwoods,"" where a group of feminist farmers are laboring to root their sprouting consciousness in the fertile earth. Though many women have pooled their experiences they speak in a single, harmonious voice. And they have amassed bushels of information. Starting from scratch: how to select your homestead, secure boundaries, leases, and access rights; develop water sources from springs and wells; put up outhouses, milking sheds, goat barns, and chicken coops. Detailed, clear and specific, they are undaunted by augers, acetylene torches, hog butchering. Animals develop disease and parasites, serums, antitoxins, wormers, and other remedies are discussed at length. The garden is of course the mainstay of the arduous joy of subsistence farming; again, the women begin with basics such as soft PH factors, companion planting, natural disease and insect repellents, mulch and manure, hot and cold (""right from the start I liked it""), the tending of raspberries, asparagus, turnips. The gardening, like everything else, was done by ""vibration and experimentation,"" but the vibrations must have been positive because the book is encouraging, full of ways to improvise, adapt, recycle, refurbish, and make do. Where were the men? Well, for the most part they seem to exist as obstacles, daydreams, and hang-ups.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1976
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday