When my husband’s grandfather passed away, he left us with a few acres of his land, and the home that he lived in for decades. Sadly, the house has sustained some major roof and termite damage, and is falling apart at the seems. It’s dangerous to walk in there, but it’s still full of most of his stuff. The family is slowly trying to get out what can be salvaged before the whole thing caves in.
It has been very interesting going through Papa’s belongings. You really get a closer glimpse into a person’s life when you go through their treasures. One thing that has struck us in our rummaging efforts is the vast amount of books that he had collected. And what has really been awesome is finding that most of the subjects he collected literature on are things that Jerry and I are also fascinated with: self-sufficient living, guns, organic gardening, The Constitution and government, Do-It-Yourself manuals, etc. What a treasure trove!
My favorite find so far has been the Foxfire books my husband uncovered. There are 12 books in the series, though we’ve managed to get our hands on the first seven (six were in Papa’s house, and Jerry found #7 for me at a used bookstore).
The Foxfire books are full of stories and how-to-guides from the people who lived secluded in the Appalachian mountains their entire lives, surviving off the land and what they could build by hand. Entire conversations with the elderly mountain people are recorded in these books. If you enjoy reading my stories of visits with Ms. Addy, and the wisdom I have gleaned from her, then you will love these books as well.
Chapter titles include:
Tools and Skills
Building a Log Cabin
White Oak Splits
Making a Hamper out of White Oak Splits
Making a Basket out of White Oak Splits
An Old Chair Maker Shows How
Rope, Straw, and Feathers are to Sleep on
A Quilt is Something Human
Cooking on a Fireplace, Dutch Oven, and Wood Stove
Churning Your Own Butter
Curing and Smoking Hog
Recipes for Hog
Planting by the Signs
The Buzzard and the Dog
Dressing and Cooking Wild Animal Foods
Moonshining as a Fine Art
Spring Wild Plant Foods
Making an Ox Yoke
Wagon Wheels and Wagons
Making a Tub Wheel
Making a Foot-powered Lathe
From Raising Sheep to Weaving Cloth
How to Wash Clothes in an Iron Pot
Midwives and Granny Women
Boogers, Witches, and Haints
Corn Shuckin’s, House Raisin’s, Quiltin’s, Pea Thrashin’s, Singin’s, Log Rollin’s, and Candy Pullin’s
Banjos and Dulcimers
Purple Martin Gourds
Summer and Fall Wild Plant Foods
Woodrow Shope Builds a Smokehouse
Building a Lumber Kiln
Brooms and Brushes
Cornshuck Mops, Dolls and Hats
Thomas Campbell, Plow-stock Maker
Bird Traps, Deadfalls, and Rabbit Boxes
And that’s just the first four books!! Everything you can imagine, these books cover it. And they are written in such a way that they are truly a joy to read.
If you can find the Foxfire books at your local library, or at a used bookstore, I’d highly recommend them to anybody interested in self-sufficient living and homesteading!
Do you own these books, or have you read them? I’d love to know what you think of the Foxfire series!