A New Beginning

Dateline: 11 August 2016 AD

Many years ago (2005) I started a blog titled The Deliberate Agrarian. I wrote about "Faith, Family and Livin' The Good Life." I made a lot of friends there, and I made a lot of good memories. But now, after more than 1,000 blog posts, and several million page views, I have decided to leave The Deliberate Agrarian. I have created this place called Upland. It is here that I will begin anew.

Upland sounds to me like the name of a venerable English country estate (but it's not). Indeed, if I had a venerable country estate—English or otherwise—I would make certain it was on high ground, and I would most certainly name it Upland. I just like the sound of it.

My fondness for Upland comes, in large part, from it's spiritual connotation. And the spiritual connection flows into the subtitle of this blog: "The Journal of One Gardening Pilgrim's Progress." 

Having recently immersed myself in John Bunyan's epic, I have had Pilgrim's Progress on my mind a lot lately. I am, after all, a pilgrim on my own journey. I left the City of Destruction years ago. I went through the wicket gate, and took the straight Way. The heavy burden I carried fell away and rolled into the open sepulcher (never to be seen again) when I got to the place of deliverance (the cross of Christ). I was given my scroll of assurance there. One day I will present it at the gate of the Celestial City. And I will be welcomed in. 

But, until the Celestial City is reached, there is the journey...

Life is full of choices, and the consequences of those choices. There are disappointments, hardships, failure and sorrow. But there is success and joy and satisfaction too. And always, there is hope. Such things are the experience of every person who lives their life and, amazingly, such things are also the experiences of every person who gardens. Thus it is that gardening is truly a metaphor for life.

Bearing that in mind, as a Christian man, I see the work of gardening as a means of sanctification. Which is to say, gardening can, if we are sensitive to the lessons, teach us much about things like love, humility, patience, faith, the brevity of life, and the hope of life after death. We can be better people when we pursue a life that revolves around the work of gardening. God is, after all, revealed and magnified in His created order—in the garden.... if we have the eyes to see. 

So it is that I am a gardening pilgrim. And this blog will, to a large degree, chronicle my progress (or my lack of progress) as a gardener. I will also include subjects related to food (gardening for food is my main gardening interest). And I will, at times, speak to matters of faith, from my Christian perspective. The blog posts will be short and simple (but I reserve the right to occasionally stray from that).

I will no longer write about social, political and economic issues. I will endeavor to avoid current events. Suffice it to say, Western civilization is in decline (probably irreversibly). In light of that reality, one of the few things that makes practical sense is to garden— to better learn how to grow food for our families (and our communities). And to also learn the spiritual lessons that gardening can lead us into. This is, I believe, something profoundly positive in the midst of a very negative civilization.

I invite you to join me here at Upland.  I invite you to walk with me.


  1. Looking forward to your new endeavor.
    Roxy in north Idaho.
    PS I love my clothespins!

  2. Great, now I have to figure out how to add this blog to my reading list... :)

    I hope you don't take your old blog down, I reference it all the time

  3. Glad to hear that you are staying within your wheelhouse, gardening and Christian values. I very much enjoyed the Delib.Ag posts on current events, and the op/eds, essays (or whatever you wish to call those posts) regarding economics, the family economy etc, but I think you probably have covered that ground about as well as possible, and further posts would likely be somewhat redundant. I too hope you keep the former site up so I can link stuff for my family to read. With that said, I look forward to you new endeavor here.

  4. Look forward to reading the new blog. Please keep the old one available.

  5. Always enjoy your posts. Glad you'll still be blogging.

  6. I would hope you keep the old blog around. I learned to butcher chickens from it. That skill is old hat now, but I refer others to your blog so I don't have to explain it myself.

    I also appreciated some of the suggested reading websites you posted over the years. http://generations.org/radio and https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/blog/ are blogs that I follow daily and I am grateful for you pointing them out.

    I agree that Our country is in decline, but there is a God and He is in control for sure. That is what gives me hope. This November, at least vote to support the local magistrates that fear God and then trust God to take care of the details. We've GOT to be getting close to the times that are talked about in Revelations.

  7. OK - well, I'm on board. Looking forward to it

  8. Looking forward to following along on this journey.

  9. Way to be "the change you want to see." Looking forward to following your endeavor.

  10. Herrick, glad to see that you will still be writing on gardening. I agree that it is one of the things in our troubled world that makes sense. I always appreciated all of your posts and learned much but there are many out there with posts on the woes of the world. I look forward to your continuing gardening journey as it echoes mine. For those who treasure the old site there are ways to personally archive it for your own use - just do a web search.

  11. Thanks for the comments everyone. Good to see you here!

    I wish I knew how to get the font on these comments a bit larger. The older I get, the more I need larger type for reading.

    I have no intention of doing away with my Deliberate Agrarian blog. It will stay there until Blogger eliminates it for some reason. Or until the electric grid goes down. Whichever comes first.

    Roxy in Idaho—
    Congratulations. You are the very first person to post a comment to Upland!
    I'm pleased to know you are happy with your Classic American clothespins. I wish I could get more of them made. The waiting list is getting longer and longer. Maybe this winter...

    Yes, redundancy is the word. Redundancy was setting in over there.

    Ron C.—
    I'm glad to hear you continue to be a Generations Radio listener. I listen to the program every day. They have changed their web site and I like the new look. Today's program was very good. It turns out that most of the richest women in America (according to Forbes) are not as self-made as the official narrative would have us believe. Kevin's insights into the matter are yet another endorsement of the wisdom of a family economy. Anyone interested can listen to today's show here: The Richest Women In America.

    Also, I see that Kevin Swanson has a new book coming out about family life, in which he covers the family economy. I ordered a copy today. Hmmm... perhaps there is a way to work the family economy into this Upland format. Where there's a will, there's a way. :-)

    And I still get Martin Armstrong's e-mails daily.

    Lady Locust—
    You get it. :-)

    You're right. Many "woes of the world" web sites out there. I will have to do a Google search and figure out how to get a personal archive of my own blog. I do not have the posts in any sort of archive. Only online.

  12. Riding along on the Herrick train!

    Looking forward to your content, and more videos.

    Dan Grubbs
    Stewardculture blog

  13. I'm on board. Looking forward to reading all the new stuff here!

  14. Herrick, if I remember correctly you're on a Mac. Just download a program called DeepVacuum and make a local copy of your site.

  15. I guess I am confused why you had to change platforms? Why not just change your content? Your journey was deliberate agrarian and you are still speaking on agrarian matters. If you changed to international banking- I would see the need. Oh well, will go with it.

    1. Unknown—
      I didn't have to change platforms. I could have done as you say. The Deliberate Agrarian was "working." It was successful. In some respects it doesn't make sense to leave a relatively popular blog to start a new one that will probably not ever be so popular. But the popularity bothered me to some degree. After 11 years, it was time to pull back, regroup, downsize my efforts, and start anew. If you were me, you'd understand better. :-)

  16. Herrick,I really appreciate your work and all that I have learned from your blog. There is no one else like you and I am so glad your faith and wisdom will continue to be in my mailbox.

  17. "I will no longer write about social, political and economic issues. one of the few things that makes practical sense is to garden— to better learn how to grow food for our families (and our communities). And to also learn the spiritual lessons that gardening can lead us into. This is, I believe, something profoundly positive in the midst of a very negative civilization."

    HOORAY! for your new venture. I've always really enjoyed your gardening/agrarian/creative projects. The other stuff, I can get on Fox or MSNBC, etc. Your special sweet spot for me is your creativity. I'll enjoy this change. After all, I'm a rare bird 'perpetual optimist' who thinks we're actually doing pretty well in spite of what others want to tell us and have us think. I just refuse to let somebody else put me into a negative mood. So, I go to 'church' in my woods and my garden every time I go there. Nature has many more positive lessons for us than negative ones. Let us go there with you, too. I'm currently building a chicken hoe - a 'lego' modular contraption to house and move my chickens within my garden rows. This is the kind of thing I so much enjoy and hope you'll continue to share with us - as I hope to be able to share with you. Anyway, again, HOORAY FOR YOU!

  18. Though I will miss your comments on society and politics. I am also just glad to see you are continuing to teach us what you learn from your experiences. We all can glean much from each other, and reap what successes you have learned from your endeavors. And hopefully not make the same mistakes when there is a failure. Isn't this what we are supposed to do ? Isn't that were knowledge comes from ?

  19. Wonderful idea - I'm thrilled and relieved that you will continue to be in my life. I'm still going through your other posts, learning sooooooo much and enjoying all the articles. I'm glad to hear that you are keeping it up and open to the public. Still no chickens, but hubby keeps looking through your chicken plucker instructions that we purchased earlier this year. I do believe that next year hubby will be planting our carrots using your black plastic method with the cut out circles. He thinks you are just so "cool" and is truly enjoying your ideas and creativity. <my husband doesn't read or write - and your blog is the only one he wants me to read to him - that speaks volumes!)

  20. This new venture sounds great! Excited to be joining you at Upland, and glad to know your original blog posts will still be available.

  21. I don't know what else to say after reading all the comments above other than to offer a hearty agreement. The Deliverate Agrarian was the first, and to this day the only, blog that I read regularly. As a young man in my 30's, I appreciate your ability to put your years of wisdom and lessons from God into a readable format that men and women in my generation can learn from. I pray that God blesses this new adventure!

  22. Hi Herrick, You made it real easy and now Upland has the number one spot on my list of sites with DA still right next to it! I am absolutely sure this blog will vie with DA for prominence as time goes along. You already have a huge base to get you started! Now, back to making buckets of tomato sauce grown on trellises, and from holes in black plastic, and bucket watering devices, and hoed with push type oscillating hoes, all learned from you and the DA!!! Keep 'em coming!

  23. Hi Herrick, I understand your need to cut back and will continue to follow your new blog. Your views were spot on with the economy, banking, etc, and it will be missed. There are very few out there that give a the perspective of those topics with a common sense Christian mindset. It will be missed. Thanks for what you gave us, always looked forward to what you had to say (and think too).

  24. I'm so thrilled to find you again. I also got here via a Whizbang Garden Cart link. Right when you left Deliberate Agrarian site, I lost my mother, and things were bad for a while, and needless to say, e-mails were off for some time. I just deleted over 5,000 of them, and then I saw one of yours from March 2016. I flew to the old site only to find out you died!!! Really upset me, then I realized it was the blog that died and clicking on the link, made me smile again for the first time in a long while.
    The really strange part of all this is, I had made a decision, just like yours, to let go of all the things that I wanted to get away from, and zero in on Gardening and self sufficiency. The worries just continued and continued, and I knew it was time to think on the good. Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
    I don't think there is anything much better than seeing God's creation continue in the garden. That time when you stop and watch a bird eating, the trees taking on a brisk breeze, and of course, seeing big fat happy worms in your garden. It's good to be with you again. Bless, Sheila