Click here to listen to Anne Strainchamps interview author Jerry Apps on the Wisconsin Public Radio program "To The Best of Our Knowledge." This program originally aired on May 24, 2009.
2008 Council for Wisconsin Writers, Inc.
First Place in the Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing Category
2008 ForeWord Reviews' Book of the Year Award
Bronze in the Environment Category
2008 Midwest Independent Publishers Association Midwest Book Awards
First Place in the Nature Category
Finalist in the Midwest Regional Category
2009 Chicago Book Clinic Book and Media Show
Winner in the General/Non-Fiction/Four Color Internals Category
2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Gold in Best Regional Nonfiction in the Great Lakes Region
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2009 National Indie Excellence Awards
Finalist in the History Category
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2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Finalist in the History/Historical Nonfiction Category
"Part stewardship manual, part memoir, and above all a consideration of the intangible power of a few buildings on a patch of land, 'Old Farm' blends instruction, reflection, and whimsy (giant zucchini, anyone?) to give us a record of the past that is vital to the future. Jerry Apps has a historian's eye and a storyteller's heart — count me among his legion of grateful readers." —Michael Perry, author of "Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time" and "Truck: A Love Story"
"Jerry Apps' latest is a wise and wonderful book. Read it. Listen to the voices you will find here - a remarkable combination of farmstead nostalgia, Leopold-like descriptions of ecology, and the clear message that the land can speak to you if you are wise enough to listen." —Ben Logan, author of "The Land Remembers," who was once told by Aldo Leopold, "You can't pick up anything one at a time. It's all fastened together."
"Jerry has cultivated a sense of connectedness with the land — the ultimate human experience: enjoying and learning one's place in the natural community." —Nina Leopold Bradley, founder and director, Aldo Leopold Foundation
"In 1970 Gaylord Nelson wrote that Jerry Apps, 'talks of a purity and a simplicity of existence that, for most of us, is lost forever. The lush green hills and the lone-standing farms are disappearing under the cities and ribbons of asphalt as we jostle together and every year, find less room to breathe. Perhaps we cannot return to the Apps cabin at Roshara, or to Thoreau's Walden, but we can affirm our own reverence for the land by doing something to protect it.' Nearly four decades later these words hold true — perhaps truer than ever as our natural places face increasing pressures from development and climate change. Jerry Apps reminds us that an appreciation for the outdoors contributes to a richer life; his 'Old Farm' is a heartfelt call for stewardship." —Tia Nelson, executive secretary, Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
"'Old Farm' neatly fits more of rural Wisconsin between its covers than a whole shelf full of books. Its message of honoring the land and passing it on in better condition to those who follow is more important today than ever." —Bill Berry, author of "Future of Farming and Rural Life in Wisconsin"
"What Aldo Leopold did for Sand County, Jerry Apps has done for Roshara. Combined with Steve Apps beautiful photography, 'Old Farm: A History' is a loving portrait of place calling all of us to respect and value the land we live on, not only for ourselves, but also for all those who will follow us." —LaMoine MacLaughlin, Editor, "The Hometown Gazette," Clayton, Wis.
"Apps, author of numerous books about rural life and history, teams up with his photographer son to document the history of Roshara, a Wisconsin farm purchased by his family 40 years ago. But the history of the farm doesn't begin there; it begins about a century earlier, when a Civil War veteran took advantage of the Homestead Act to settle on a parcel of untamed and unfriendly land and turned it into a place to raise a family. The book, then, isn't merely the story of family farm; it's a story of farming, and of family. Lavishly illustrated with photographs — both contemporary and historical — the book explores the bond between people and their land. Apps writes about his family farm lovingly, describing its flora and fauna and telling us about it the way we might tell a friend about some special and essential part of our lives. A beautiful blending of words and pictures." —David Pitt, "Booklist"
"In Wisconsin, a love of nature, respect for the land and its ongoing relationship with man have produced some of the giants in conservation, from John Muir to Aldo Leopold to Gaylord Nelson. It might not be premature to add highly acclaimed local author and UW professor emeritus Jerry Apps to that distinguished list. He and his talented photographer son, Steve Apps, have collaborated with clear vision, careful research, exquisite photos and loving memory to tell the story of 65 acres of cherished family land the call 'Roshara.' They trace it and its various inhabitants from the last glacier, through First People, surveyors, settlers and their own family's 40-year history. The book is a gentle, inspiring, deep breath of fresh Wisconsin air. It will be a welcome gift this holiday season and a worthy companion to Leopold's 'Sand County Almanac' and August Derleth's 'Wisconsin: River of 1,000 Isles'" —Gary Knowles, "Dane County Lifestyles"