Simple Things: Lessons from the Family Farm

By Jerry Apps

Hardcover: $22.95

ISBN: 9780870208874

160 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 E-book edition available


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Celebrated rural storyteller Jerry Apps returns to the "simple things" that defined life on his post-Depression Era farm---- an old cedar fencepost, Fanny the farm dog, trust tools, the kerosene lantern--recalling the stories, and values, that spring from even the most familiar of objects.

In this collection of thoughtful essays, Apps holds each everyday item up to the light for a closer look, plumbing  his memories for the deeper meanings of these objects that share the values instilled in  him during his rural boyhood in the 1940s and 1950s. He concludes that people who had the opportunity to grow up on family farms gained useful skills, important knowledge, and lifelong values that serve them well throughout their lives. Apps captures and hares those things for people who remember them and for those who never had the benefit of living on a small farm. 

The fourth in the Society Press's quaint collection of Apps farm memoirs, which also include:

The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters,

Never Curse the Rain: A Farm Boy's Reflections on Water, and

Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist's Memoir.

These books have also inspired several Wisconsin Public Television documentaries, including A Farm Story with Jerry Apps, The Land with Jerry Apps and A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps.

Find these and more Jerry Apps books in the Jerry Apps section of our website here!

Award-winning Wisconsin author Jerry Apps has authored more than 40 non-fiction and fiction books, including 12and countingwith the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

Born and raised on a central Wisconsin farm before electricity, indoor plumbing, and central heating, Apps grew up to become a county extension agent and professor at the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Madison, Wisconsin.

Since his retirement, he has been writing full-time and has become the subject of several Wisconsin Public Television documentaries, including the Emmy-Award-winning "A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps", based on his Wisconsin Historical Society Press book, "The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters".

He is a Wisconsin Academy fellow. He and his wife Ruth split their time between their home in Madison and their farm in Roshara, Wisconsin.