25 March 2006


Three men in a tub, And who do you think they be? The butcher, the baker, The candlestick maker, They all jumped out of a rotten potato! Turn 'em out knaves all three.

Not to turn you toward childish prose (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but as an object lesson toward economic modality, I wanted to touch upon the subject of trades, home economies, and ways of living outside of the ‘norm’ or standards set from industrial age to the service sector economy as it pertains to sufficiency, labor and hearth.

I enjoyed pick up a copy of “Henry and the Great Society” over at Cumberland Books several weeks back after reading Chad’s Post on the material and related comments elsewhere. Always grateful when I can read something that challenges my thinking and makes me consider my ways.

Some other titles that I’ve had the pleasure to read relating to this topic were R.C Sproul Jr.’s “When You Rise Up” and “Family man, family Leader” by Phillip Lancaster as they began the thought I was having of what it means to provide for ones family and raise up children in a manner best suited to ones desire to honor God in our life and our relationships. It is with that pretext that I attempt to approach this topic as it relates to our family.

So to have others contributed greatly to our thinking such as KS Milkmaid, who helped inspire the beginning of our writing (my wife has begun her own work here) and as recently as Herrick’s contribution to our thinking of what home is as well as many others – if I were to name them all it would become the forward of a book, rather than the beginning of a blog post. So I’ll abstain in lengthier mentions and due credits.

As the saying goes, those who can’t do – teach, those who can’t teach –administrate and those who can’t administrate –legislate: to which I’d add, to those who can’t legislate –arbitrate. Knaves, the lot of them! Now I use this stereotypical axiom to make a point and not to disparage individual personages, obviously this consideration wrongfully applied to individual actions does more to apply heat rather than light if addressed improperly. The focus for my use can be found at it’s beginning, or if you will, what we do as a means to our own sufficiency.

The very thought of which begs the question of do we understand the term –sufficiency. I personally like the definition of the term, as I see it best applied to this consideration:

Sufficiency - Adequate means to live in modest comfort.

Taking a day or two to think about what that means and applied to ones own life, you might find that in comparison our goal or ideal is far a field from our practices. Surely it is a definition lost to or unfamiliar in our modern culture. Who cannot when reading that over, and over again give proper pause to consider and reflect on what is enough. Most posed the question, can we ever have “enough” would respond with a resounding NO! That by reference is the essence of the consumeristic mindset of our generation, and the habits and practices we daily engage ourselves in as a nation of consumers. There are untold volumes of information written on this subject or idea alone. A book read twice by me and now due again for a thrice, “Your Money or Your Life” addresses the concept of enough in well thought out terms. Good enough for this agrarian.

The final part of the equation is home – what it is, out of necessity what is required and what is accomplished by it. My thinking on this subject is far from complete or clear and somewhat linear and Americanized to a degree. Pardon it as a work in progress and be gentle in its critique. Somewhat like Google’s model for applications – its in beta testing – out there, but not always functional. So on with the show.

I’ll break this topic out in to three separate posts, this being it’s introduction, the following will be The Butcher, The Baker and (you guessed it…..) The Candlestick Maker. Then I’ll conclude (maybe) with some final thoughts which I’ll entitle The Rotten Potato. Stay Tuned…….


At 1:42 PM, Blogger Emily said...

When I hear the word sufficiency I automatically think 'enough' as a definition, which then reminds me of the Lord's promise that His grace is sufficient and that He will provide what we need to live. I take that to mean materially and spiritually. I'm looking forward to your next posts and insights on this topic, Scott. Oh, and I am on my way over to your wife's blog now. I wish every agarian husband and wife were writing together. It's beneficial to hear both perspectives, so I'm glad to hear that Brooke is making her own contributions now. God's blessings to your family!

At 5:09 AM, Blogger The Bradshaws said...

You have definitely peaked my interest. I look forward to the next posts. Thanks.

At 6:08 AM, Anonymous ksmilkmaid said...


Sounds like an interesting book. I am dumbfounded that anyone could glean anything from my writings. I am honored for the above mention. Thanks!!

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Scott!

Hope that spring is smiling on you and yours! We're getting freezing rain right now---no fun.

I found your definition of 'sufficiency' quite interesting--even profound.

I'm looking forward to your continued posts.

Best wishes and may God bless!!!

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Hey Scott,

Finally got a chance to check out your blog. I'll read more in depth soon. Our internet connection has been on the fritz lately.

Finished the electric tractor. Pix up on my blog.

Much Respect,

Chris @ Blue Fox Farm

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Melody said...

I have When You Rise Up too. Over all I thought it was a good book, but I felt uneasy about recommending it to anyone else. I just don't like Sproul's tone. He's very self righteous and judgmental about anybody who doesn't do things his way. I didn't much care for R.C. Sproul Jr's smug arrogance.

I went against my better judgment recently and loaned When You Rise Up to a friend who's considering home schooling. What a mistake! I learned the hard way that it isn't smart to recommend any books by R.C. Sproul Jr. My friend did a web search on R.C. Sproul Jr's name. What a shock! ! Did you know that R.C. Sproul Jr. was defrocked?

I don't need that kind of embarrassment again! I'll find some other home school books to recommend to anyone who's interested in home schooling.


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