Unwasted: The Knowledge Resource

I learned richly from “outdoor books” and still do. Sensing that others do not—and that they may disrespect the content of my collection of books, books that led me through “scouting,” into interesting paths and topics within the university, world travel, and now to quaint remembrances. I am troubled by the probable loss of my books and the riches they may provide among novel, untested, and seemingly irrelevant topics of the day. I am still looking for a new home for them.

The imagined “save” from the waste-paper box gives me some pleasure as I imagine some of my books read with enthusiasm, as if I might be talking to my grandchildren and those who might be building toward love of the land and its wild flora and fauna and special places. View from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Among my treasures, especially the family gifts, are:

  • Fun with Bow and Arrow a booklet by the Bear Archery Company, 1953 (No Online Copy Available)
  • The Natural History of Deer by Rory Putnam, 1988 (As seen here)
  • The Book of Woodcraft by Ernest Thompson Seton, 1922 (As seen here)
  • Wild Animals at Home by Ernest Thompson Seton, 1913 (No Online Copy Available)
  • The Grizzly Bear by Thomas McNamee, 1982 (As seen here)
  • Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart, 1972 (As seen here)
  • Scout Field Book by James E. West and William Hillcourt, 1948 (As seen here)
  • Woodcraft by George W. Sears, 1920 (As seen here)
  • Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell, 1946 (No Online Copy Available)
  • Fieldbook of Natural History  by E. Laurence Palmer 1949 (As seen here)

With gifts from Professor A.B. Massey (botanical) and Prof. Henry S. Mosby (the lesson of the extensive “reprint collection,” now threatened), knowledge is often poorly saved, inadequately used, rarely synthesized, cores rarely reached, joy of unifications rarely experienced, or another “annual,” leading to a future like the past.

I learn now from Palmer’s “ancient” work (listed above)—a pattern for the future with new illustrations and expanded text—to make each observation and provide for its expansion. There are so many potentials! Many are likely to be useful (or harmful, as indicated within each text entry) in several ways now known (and positioned for feedback as needed). Old books, while out of print and sometimes out of practice, still hold knowledge and inspiration worth reading for. I’ll look for those readers who believe the same.



Rural Future: An Alternative for Society Before 2050 AD describes one system, Rural System, designed to meet the many interconnected rural problems in America, and ultimately worldwide. Visit the book page to download the full manuscript or individual chapters in .pdf format. Subscribe to the Rural System blog to receive more supplements to Rural Future on a variety of topics relating to the future of superior rural land management.

This is a supplement to Rural Future. Find other supplements in the Rural Futures Supplements category.



Conversations with a Founder: The Didactron

In writing Hats Off for the Skilled Land Force, I was still uncertain of just how far Rural System proposes to go in aiding employees. But once again, demonstrating values that go far beyond mere profit, Dr. Giles proposes to make Land Force personnel more employable by providing educational opportunities.

I was sitting across the table from him in Our Daily Bread, a nice cafe in Blacksburg, VA, lamenting at some of the problems with the education system in the U.S.

Me: You’d think that education would be about preparing students to become competent, skilled, critically thinking professionals in their field of interest. Instead people are forced to learn a smattering of gen. eds. in high school that only, well, generally prepare them for college and not much else. the_didactron

[Read more…]

Organic vs Conventional Farming or is There Another Option?

The use of chemical pesticides, growth enhancers, and synthetic chemical processors in agriculture has created a highly polarized industry of either organic or non-organic foods. Organic farming means that crops are grown with limited synthetic additives and are not subjected to non-natural chemicals for processing. Advocates of organically grown foods argue there are human health benefits as well as overarching environmental benefits for consuming only organic foods. The criticisms of non-organic farming practices, often referred to as conventional or industrial agriculture, are well known.  [Read more…]

Interpreting Ishmael: It All Boils Down to Land Use

Ishmael by Daniel QuinnTo some, Ishmael might be the Silent Spring of our generation.

The novel by Daniel Quinn is indeed philosophical but it has real world implications to those who study, or have interest in, how we manage our environment. While reviewers hotly contest whether the book is well-written, the thought-provoking nature of Ishmael is undeniable. [Read more…]