Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Husbandly Fare

    It was more than three centuries ago that native Thomas Tusser, musician, chorister, and farmer, gave to the world his incomparable "Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry." He covered the farm year and the farm work as completely as Vergil had covered it more than fifteen centuries before; and he left us sketches of the countryside of his day, and the ways of the good plain folk, and quaint bits of philosophy and counsel. He celebrated the Christmas festival with much conviction, and in the homely way of the home folks, deriving his satisfactions from the things that the land produces. His sketches are wholesome reading in these days of foods transported from the ends of the earth, and compounded by impersonal devices and condensed into packages that go into every house alike.
...May we not once in the year remember the earth in the food that we eat? May we not in some way, even though we live in town, so organize our Christmas festival that the thought of the goodness of the land and its bounty shall be a conscious part of our celebration? May we not for once reduce to the very minimum the supply of manufactured and sophisticated things, and come somewhere near, at least in spirit, to a "Christmas husbandly fare?" - L.H. Bailey, The Holy Earth

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