Environmentalism

Download At Home in Nature: Modern Homesteading and Spiritual by Rebecca Kneale Gould PDF

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By Rebecca Kneale Gould

Stimulated variously through the will to reject consumerism, to dwell in the direction of the earth, to include voluntary simplicity, or to find a extra non secular direction, homesteaders have made the novel determination to head "back to the land," rejecting smooth tradition and facilities to reside self-sufficiently and in concord with nature. Drawing from bright firsthand debts in addition to from wealthy old fabric, this gracefully written research of homesteading in the United States from the past due 19th century to the current examines the lives and ideology of these who've ascribed to the homesteading philosophy, putting their reviews in the broader context of the altering meanings of nature and faith in glossy American culture.

Rebecca Kneale Gould investigates the lives of recognized figures resembling Henry David Thoreau, John Burroughs, Ralph Borsodi, Wendell Berry, and Helen and Scott Nearing, and he or she provides penetrating interviews with many modern homesteaders. She additionally considers homesteading as a sort of dissent from patron tradition, as a departure from conventional spiritual existence, and as a tradition of environmental ethics.

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Additional resources for At Home in Nature: Modern Homesteading and Spiritual Practice in America

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Throughout this text, the lives of Helen and Scott Nearing serve as a touchstone. It is through the Nearings’ books that I first encountered “modern” homesteading, and it is through living at Forest Farm that I experienced the details of homesteading life through my own labors. In this study, the Nearings serve as a kind of linchpin between ethnography and history. I treat Helen Nearing primarily in the ethnographic chapters, not only because I knew her personally, but also because her own interpretations of the meaning of homesteading tend to reflect more recent attitudes.

Bill Coperthwaite’s main yurt beckons from a distance. Photo by R. K. Gould. and chief resident of this rustic kingdom. A visitor walking from the main house to the shoreline will soon stumble upon a guest yurt—capable of housing fifteen to twenty visitors—perched at the end of the slope. At the shoreline itself, an outdoor shower is rigged up and ready for year-round use by anyone seeking a bracing wash. Around the bend stands an outdoor kitchen with fire pits, benches, tables, and cookware all ready for the next summer of full-time use.

Homesteaders were and are passionate about what they do, but they are also ambivalent. Ambivalence toward nature is a dominant theme in American environmental history. Not surprisingly, it is also a significant theme of this book. Throughout this text, the lives of Helen and Scott Nearing serve as a touchstone. It is through the Nearings’ books that I first encountered “modern” homesteading, and it is through living at Forest Farm that I experienced the details of homesteading life through my own labors.

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