The Southern Agrarian

Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Tag: southern agrarianism (page 1 of 3)

White Privilege – Guilty As Charged

This is a slightly updated version of something I first wrote and published on February 17, 2011. It could be considered an illustration of my personal motto – Not for Our Time, but for All Time. Not for All People, but for Our People – and it remains one of my favorites.


One cannot be a vocal advocate of the Southern people, and our heritage and culture, without encountering the topic of race on a regular basis. It shouldn’t be that way but it is, so it must be confronted head-on.

We have all been hearing recently about the concept of White Privilege – what our accusers seem to define as an unearned, unmerited advantage that Whites have over other races. To that I answer, “Guilty As Charged.”

Let’s look at this White Privilege that gives me an “unfair” advantage over others:

  • I have the privilege of being raised by both my mother and my father in a stable home where drugs, alcohol, and crime never intruded.
  • I have the privilege of being raised by parents who understood the value of education and insisted that I and my siblings take learning seriously.
  • I have the privilege of being taught at an early age that making sacrifices today in order to have something better tomorrow is one of the keys to progress.
  • I have the privilege of having grandparents who taught my parents these same values – and generation upon generation before them.
  • I have the privilege of learning about the Western European culture – the music, the literature, the science, the art – that has enriched the lives of all who care to take advantage of that culture; freely bestowed on all who care for the finer things of mankind.
  • I have the privilege of having a strong work ethic instilled in me from a young age.
  • I have the privilege of being raised in a Christian home and taught about the wholly undeserved love of a God who would sacrifice His only Son to pay for my sins.

All these privileges were given to me, completely undeserved and unearned. They were given to me by the generations that came before me because they put the best interest of their children above all else. If other races or other groups of people choose to live for their own immediate gratification with little thought for the fate and reputation of their descendants, then that is their choice. It is my fondest hope – and expectation – that one day my grandchildren, when accused of White Privilege, will proudly proclaim “Guilty As Charged”.

More Than Just Food

There is a temptation to look at a vegetable garden as a home-grown food factory, where efficiency is the driving factor. I suspect that most of us have gone through that phase. We try to squeeze the most production out of every last bit of garden space – if it doesn’t put food on the table, then it’s given the same status as a weed.

We need to change that. We need to remember why we grow things, and why we feel a deep connection with the land and with our people. Southern Agrarianism is very much a cultural matter, and our culture has always placed a high value on beauty. We see it in the art, the architecture, and the music of our European heritage. It is an important part of who we are. To that end, we need to remember that there is an aesthetic, almost spiritual, aspect to raising our own food. I make it a point to try to make my garden areas as visually attractive as I can. I plant flowers (usually Zinnias) among the vegetables, both for cut flowers and to attract pollinators into the garden. The garden fence is covered with both bush roses and climbing roses (Old Blush, a vintage rose that requires virtually no care).

A garden is to enjoy – not just to provide our families with fresh eggs and healthy vegetables. It is there to show our children and grandchildren that food does not originate wrapped in cellophane and Styrofoam packaging. It is a very real part of home schooling – no matter where the formal lessons are held.

A garden doesn’t have to look like something from a magazine cover to be beautiful – no garden looks perfectly groomed at all times. Just remember that it is there to be enjoyed, and beauty makes it enjoyable.


This is a 90-second tour of our little one-acre homestead that I put together this past Friday.

Weeds, Immigration, and Culture

We can learn a lot about life from lessons learned in the garden.

Several years ago, in an effort to improve the quality of the soil in my garden, I bought a truckload of topsoil. It was carefully spread, then tilled and worked into the soil. The original soil and the new topsoil were mixed until they became as one. At first, it was great. The soil was darker and richer looking than the native sandy soil, and the plants that I grew there were bigger and stronger. Then came the weeds.

Hidden in among that rich-looking soil that I brought in to mix with the native soil were weed seeds. Specifically, nutsedge nodules. Here we are, years later, and I am still battling the nutsedge. It spreads its roots deep below the surface, and it stores nutrition in a large nodule deep down in the soil. Just cutting them off at the surface has no lasting effect – the weed springs right back in just a couple of days. Nutsedge must be dug out by the roots, one weed at a time. The nodule must be removed. The root runners must be removed. Everything about the weed must be removed, or it will continue to spread, sap the strength of the plants that are intended to grow there, and eventually they will take over completely.

Removing the weeds and their roots is not a painless process. It disturbs the roots of the garden plants, and it is slow and tedious work. There is no alternative if the garden is to be saved. It must be done.

Culture is a very precious thing, and it must be cared for and defended. A culture – just like agriculture – requires work to maintain. There are no shortcuts. Bringing in, or allowing in, foreign elements into a native culture brings with it serious risks. While on the surface, there may appear to be benefits to mixing cultures, the hidden costs will quickly show up. Like an invasive species in nature that finds no natural enemies, it takes over and the original culture disappears. Forever.

(Originally published on March 25, 2017)

Mercy and Chivalry

Commemorative painting of the Stigler/Brown encounter by John D. Shaw, courtesy Valor Studios.

 

What does the story of an aerial encounter over Europe during WWII have to do with Southern Agrarianism? That’s a very understandable question to ask. The answer lies in Southern culture – specifically the virtues of honor and chivalry that help define the Southern gentleman. Understand that Southern Agrarianism is not just about “agrarianism”. It is also about “Southern”, and that means the culture that we largely inherited from the English Cavaliers when they came to America.

Most of The Southern Agrarian blog has focused on agrarianism – being deeply rooted in the land that we cultivate and raising poultry and small livestock. That will continue to be the major focus of this blog, but it will also include more about the “Southern” part of Southern Agrarianism.

 


 

Mercy is one of the great hallmarks of chivalry. Mercy toward one’s enemy is the hardest mercy of all, which is probably why Jesus instructs us to love our enemies.

The following is taken from the Men Who Lead blog by best-selling author Marcus Brotherton. Mr. Brotherton’s post is titled, The Most Overlooked Command Ever (page no longer available).

On December 20, 1943, in the skies above war-torn Europe, two bitter enemies—an American B-17 bomber pilot and a veteran German fighter ace—met in what is undoubtedly one of World War II’s most remarkable encounters.

The American bomber, piloted by 21-year-old West Virginian Charlie Brown, was severely damaged. Bullets from German fighters had chewed the bomber to pieces. Others bullets had shot straight through the fuselage, and several crew members had been hit and were near death.

The German fighter plane, piloted by Franz Stigler, was poised to blast the bomber from the sky. It was Franz’s job to kill the enemy. His sworn duty was to triumph in blood.

In fact, encountering a wounded bomber was Franz’s lucky break. Other fighters had already done the initial damage, and when Franz flew up to the bomber, it was the most badly damaged airplane he’d ever seen still flying. That meant an easy target. And in the kill-or-be-killed quest to reach air superiority, the odds against the German’s survival were much worse than the American’s. Of the 40,000 German fighter pilots in WWII, only 2,000 survived.

But what happened in that tense moment when Franz and Charlie came to stare at one another across the frozen skies only can be described as other-worldly.

The American 8th Air Force would, in fact, classify the incident as top secret for decades.

The German military sealed the record as well. Franz was ordered never to speak of the act again, at risk of facing a firing squad.

What happened was, very simply … mercy.

Franz didn’t turn his machineguns on the Americans.

Instead, Franz risked his own reputation, career, and even life, to fly for miles in close proximity to the bomber’s wingtip, providing a “shield” for the damaged enemy plane.

Instead of killing his enemy, the German fighter pilot escorted the sputtering American bomber to safety.

The full story is both incredible and inspiring. The book, A Higher Call (Amazon link) fills in the details, including the admonition that Franz Stigler’s previous commanding officer gave regarding situations such as this.

Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown

Both men survived the war and became close friends.

Bright Sunny South

When people think of what music best represents The South, Dixie is almost always the song that comes to mind. They get no argument from me – it is almost the “Southern National Anthem”. With that said, it is Bright Sunny South that best represents The South that I know and love. It is a song that deserves to be better known, so that’s what this post is about.

Bright Sunny South is a hauntingly beautiful ballad of The South. While believed to have its roots in Celtic culture, its origins are uncertain, with some attributing it to a folk song from Nova Scotia. There are several versions of the lyrics, but those shown below are the most widely known. The video features a rendition performed by Bittersweet and Briers.

On a personal note, the first image in the video shows a man on a horse next to a cannon. That man is Lt. Colonel John Pelham – my cousin. He was killed in battle at the age of 24. He was first cousin to my great grandfather, William Pelham McGehee.


(YouTube video by SouthernSympathiser)

From the bright sunny South to the war, I was sent,
E’er the days of my boyhood, I scarcely had spent.
From it’s cool shady forests and deep flowing streams,
Ever fond in my mem’ry, ever sweet in my dreams.

Oh, my dear little sister, I still see her tears.
When I had to leave home in our tender years.
And my sweet gentle mother, so dear to my heart,
It grieved me sincerely when we had to part.

Said my kind-hearted father as he took my hand:
“As you go in defense of our dear native Land,
“Son, be brave but show mercy whenever you can.
“Our hearts will be with you, ’til you return again.”

In my bag there’s a Bible to show me the way,
Through my trials here on earth and to Heaven some day.
I will shoulder my musket and brandish my sword,
In defense of this Land and the word of the Lord.


John Pelham

William Pelham McGehee

 

The Ultimate Career

This being The Southern Agrarian, may lead one to think, “Ah, it must be farming or other agrarian field that is ‘the ultimate career’. Wrong. Producing food – like all other careers – exists only to serve and support the ultimate career. That career is Homemaker, wife, mother, and the endless sub-roles that comprise the honored title of Homemaker. Think about it. Is there any other role in human society that would continue beyond the current generation if not for the role of Homemaker?

Southern culture has always revered women and their role. Always. And Southern women have always taken great and justified pride in their place of honor. The image of the Southern Belle has no corollary. There is no “Northern Belle” or any other iconic image of women in any other culture that can match the cultural image of the Southern lady. There is good reason that Southern women are not found in significant numbers among the screeching radical feminists who strive not to be better women, but inferior men. Southern women are confident in the knowledge that their traditional role of wife, mother, and homemaker is valued, treasured, and revered in our culture.

It is the Homemaker who has the Ultimate Career that all others exist to serve.


The Homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career.
– C.S. Lewis


 

(Top photo is of our son, daughter-in-law, and hours-old grandson – April 2012)

New Era Resolutions

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America continues down the path to a new era – an era characterized by an extreme cultural split on a massive scale. Our task as Southern Agrarians is to move as far away from that dividing line as possible. We must stake out the cultural high ground so that there can be no doubt as to which camp we belong – or neither camp.

This post is updated from the New Era Resolutions that I publish about every year or so. It needs to be regularly repeated as a reminder that there IS something we can do. We have a choice. We can take positive steps to improve our selves, our families, our churches, our friends, our co-workers, and all those within our circle. Hope is not enough – have a plan.

To that end, this is a list of tangible things we can do, presented in no particular order.

  1. Be an encouragement and a help to your extended family in a way that will make it easier to decide to have a larger family. If that doesn’t apply directly to your current situation, then spend time helping another worthy family. The break-down of the multi-generation family has resulted in serious consequences for society.
  2. Boldly proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Leading a soul to eternal salvation is a greater accomplishment than anything else in this life.
  3. Strive to live a virtuous life at home, at work, and in public. Always speak the truth. We are ambassadors of our great Southern culture and must serve as an example of what that culture stands for.
  4. Be part of a church that truly believes The Bible 1 as the literal word of God – and acts on it. There are far too many modernist churches that lower standards and try to become like the rest of the world. If you’re in one of those modernist churches, leave and find a real church that is not focused on entertaining the congregation.
  5. Use the power of the spoken and written word to advance the cause of restoring civility to America.
  6. Dress more formally than what is customary in today’s society. It demonstrates a respect for others – and for yourself.
  7. Pay close attention to manners and etiquette, and make them a part of your daily life.
  8. Pray – not a vain repetition, but pray like you are talking directly with The God who created the entire universe, because that’s exactly what you are doing. He listens to “specks of dust” like us.
  9. Seek out like-minded people, and form strong bonds with them.
  10. Treat others with respect. As conditions worsen, there will be those who proudly provided for their families in the past, but find themselves without work or, if they are fortunate, doing menial work. Your turn may come. While those who willingly live off of money stolen from the productive deserve our open contempt, resist the urge unless pressed.
  11. Follow the Boy Scout slogan of “Do a Good Turn Daily”. Find some way to help someone who would not expect it.
  12. Follow the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared”. When hard times come, you can depend on no one but yourself and your closest friends and family.
  13. Produce some of your own food by gardening or small-scale farming, and raising chickens. Those are valuable skills that cannot be learned by just reading a book. It is also the key to our Southern Agrarian culture.
  14. Understand the foundation of what Southern Agrarianism is by reading I’ll Take My Stand. While Southern Agrarianism is not strictly defined by this book, it is the starting point.
  15. If you are living in an urban area, move to a semi-rural or rural area. The cities are not only increasingly dangerous, they are corrosive to the soul.
  16. Arm yourself and learn and practice to become effective in the defense of yourself and your family. Armed men are free men – disarmed men are slaves.
  17. Turn off the TV, cancel the cable subscription, and disconnect the antenna. TV has done more than anything else to destroy our culture. Don’t allow the filth and propaganda into your home.
  18. Home-school your children and help and support other home-schoolers if you can.
  19. Take control of your future by investing your retirement savings yourself so that the government cannot gain control of it.
  20. Make your home more self-sufficient: put in a well, start a garden, own a sewing machine 2 to make and repair your clothes, install a wood heating stove, increase the insulation in your attic.
  21. Adopt the idea of “Not for Our time, but for All time” when considering choices for your family and your home. Homes that were built centuries ago still stand today while houses slapped together only a few decades ago are abandoned and demolished. Think long term for your family and your home.
  22. Secure your home. Rampant crime is just one of the results of a decaying society where order and civility are no longer revered.
  23. Embrace old-school ways of doing things: use paper and pen rather than an electronic device for taking notes (bonus points for using a fountain pen 3); shave with a double-edge safety razor and brush and mug rather than the latest multi-blade gizmo; resist the temptation to automatically upgrade to the latest technology 4.
  24. Resolve to give no credibility to political correctness. When it comes up, question it and force the source to justify what was said or written. Don’t accept it.
  25. Watch your language. Make a conscious effort to avoid any obscene or profane word coming from your lips. Crude language identifies the speaker with the worst elements of any society. That such language is now commonly used by “celebrities” is reason enough to shun it.
  26. Cherish those who are close to you and resolve to repair any relationships that need repairing. Your family, your spouse, your friends – those are more important now than ever, and will become even more so in the future.
  27. Display the Confederate flag – any one of them – on a regular basis. (see the Code of Confederate Flag Etiquette)
  28. Sharing a meal as a family is a time-honored tradition. Make the extra effort to have a more formal, structured dinner.
  29. Resolve to take away the power that the word “racist” has over us; at the same time, remember to treat all men of every race and creed with the respect they deserve as men and as souls that Jesus died for.
  30. Language is an important part of any culture – the English language is the language of our people. Don’t allow yourself to slip into the sloppy language habits that have become a mark of modern popular culture. Writing and speaking well are the marks of a civilized man or woman. Use correct English in your speech and writing. 5
  31. Collect books – not digital text, but real paper and ink books that can be read without batteries. As the popularity of digital text increases, there are bargains to be found in used books. 6
  32. Carry a pocket knife. A generation ago, every Southern male carried a pocket knife – it was almost a rite of passage. Somewhere along the way, the Nanny-state took over, and an incredibly useful tool came to be viewed as a dangerous weapon and a threat to be banned.
  33. Get out of debt as quickly as possible. Make it a top priority in your financial planning.
  34. Reduce or eliminate your income dependence by laying the foundation for your own business. Find something that you truly enjoy doing and that others are willing to pay for, and acquire the tools and the skills to provide that service or product at a profit. 7
  35. The Christmas season has become the emblem of materialism in America and a brief glance at the mayhem of “Black Friday” shopping will confirm that. Turning away from the greed and materialism is a wonderful opportunity for a family lesson in setting priorities. Rejecting materialism now will make life easier later when it is forced on America by a failing economy.
  36. Find something that you can grow or make at home to give away to others. For some, it is home-canned vegetables or preserves or home-made soap; for my wife and I, it has been vanilla extract; for our son, it is egg nog in a variety of flavors. Turn back the clock a bit to a day when people didn’t buy everything from the store, but made it themselves. We also give away much of what our garden produces, and the surplus eggs from our chickens and ducks.

This list was inspired by a list posted at The Thinking Housewife blog. What can you add to this list?


This is an updated version of a post that I first wrote in 2012.

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Notes:

  1. Finding a church that insists on using only the King James Version is a big step in the right direction
  2. The old cast iron sewing machines will last for generations. Treadle and hand-crank sewing machines in excellent condition are still readily available – we have several of them in our home.
  3. While a quality fountain pen is not inexpensive, they will last for generations if well cared for. I have my father’s fountain pen that he purchased in the 1950’s. I had it refurbished and it is now as “good as new”.
  4. At the very least, consider using open source software and Linux rather than falling into the Windows/Mac upgrade trap.
  5. There are, no doubt, plenty of grammatical errors scattered throughout this blog. If you find them, please let me know so that I may correct them.
  6. A first-class library can be assembled by making regular visits to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store.
  7. I spent nine months of evenings and weekends developing the software package that has provided a comfortable living for my family since 1995 – it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Victory Gardens and Southern Agrarianism

It would be easy to take a cursory glance at Southern Agrarianism and think that it is about everyone being a farmer or some sort of Utopian vision, but that would be far from the truth. In fact, Southern Agrarianism is very much like the Victory Garden programs during both the First and the Second World Wars.

An agrarian society is hardly one that has no use at all for industries, for professional vocations, for scholars and artists, and for the life of cities. Technically, perhaps, an agrarian society is one in which agriculture is the leading vocation, whether for wealth, for pleasure, or for prestige – a form of labor that is pursued with intelligence and leisure, and that becomes the model to which the other forms approach as well as they may.
Introduction: A Statement of Principles in the book, I’ll Take My Stand

Victory Gardens were about making people aware of the fundamental importance of food. It was about promoting the idea that food is everyone’s job – not just commercial farmers. It was about encouraging people to achieve some level of self-reliance. Each of these fits within Southern Agrarianism.

Southern Agrarianism is, of course, far more than that since it is a cultural movement; however, let’s continue with the comparison to the Victory Garden program. In addition to the posters and programs that encouraged people to grow their own vegetables and raise their own chickens, the Victory Garden programs were also about educating people in how to do it. Victory Garden programs were not just here in America – it was also done in England, where the situation was far more critical. Part of the Axis strategy was to cut off shipping and starve England.

Just like the Victory Garden programs, one of the aims of The Southern Agrarian blog is to share information on the how-to aspects of growing your own food and increasing your level of self-sufficiency. Some of the upcoming posts include reviews of tools like the SoilSaver Composter, the Hoss Wheel Hoe (both the double wheel and the high arch models), the Blackhawk corn sheller, and many other things found in our tool shed.

 

 

Sheep being raised and grazed on the White House lawn.

 

Victory garden in England – 1944.

 

Program to encourage the raising of pork in England.

The Trashing of Robert E. Lee

A friend and Southern Gentleman (interesting how those often seem to go together) sent me this link to an article titled The Myth of the Kindly General Lee in The Atlantic magazine and asked me to comment on it. The subtitle of the article is The legend of the Confederate leader’s heroism and decency is based in the fiction of a person who never existed.

I had not seen this article, and frankly, I couldn’t even finish reading it. Was Lee an imperfect man? Of course. Did he make some bad choices along the way? Of course. Have we built his legend beyond the reality? Probably. Such is the fate of all great men. Would they dare to do the same critical study of Lincoln? The purpose of the article is not to discover the truth. Its purpose is the same as those who are, right now, removing Confederate statues. It is about destroying a people. The Southern people. My people.

The article is just another example of the on-going attacks against The South, against the White race, against any one or any thing that does not bow down and worship at the altar of political correctness. Some wonder what led to the rise of the alt-right and why Trump is in the White House. The answer is that they created us. Using myself as an example, I was quite content to simply enjoy my family, tend to my chickens and my garden, and promote the Southern Gentleman and Southern Agrarianism in very much a live and let live manner. It has become plain to me that the Left will not allow me to do that. I am given the same choice that the Muslim gives a Christian – convert or die. There is no room for compromise. No chance to coexist. One side will be the conqueror and one side will be the conquered. I know which side I will be on, and I intend to play a very active role in that. I will not be a mere observer and bystander in what will be seen as one of the great cultural shifts in history.

I will not apologize for my heritage, for my ancestors, for my family, or for who I am. I cannot sit back and watch this happen to the world that my grandchildren will inherit. And I will not.

The Southern Agrarian Last Ditch List

Okra pods and flower

Most of us garden primarily for pleasure. It’s what we do because – well, because we are Southern Agrarians. Yes, what we grow ends up on our table or given to friends and neighbors; however, what our garden produces generally does not determine whether we eat or starve.

But what if it did? What if our very fragile system were to collapse leaving the grocery store shelves empty and the streets too dangerous to venture out in? Part of Southern Agrarianism is being independent of that complex system, so this is very much a topic for discussion.

My garden tends to be planned more around what we enjoy eating and growing rather than for maximizing food production when lives depend on it. The Last Ditch List is what I would be planting if lives did depend on it.

 

The Southern Agrarian Last Ditch List

Sweet Potatoes (Centennial)
Incredibly easy to grow; I’m still growing them from the very first slips that I got about eight years ago. I keep moving them around to avoid soil-borne pests and diseases, and they will take transplanting without any problem.
ꔷ The taste is delicious
ꔷ High in nutritional value
ꔷ Will last for months if stored in a cool, dark place
ꔷ The leaves are edible

Okra (Clemson Spineless)
ꔷ Continuous production through hot weather
ꔷ Very resistant to disease and pest
ꔷ Each plant will produce one or two edible pods about every two to three days
ꔷ Easy to save seeds
ꔷ Delicious when fried

Eggplant (Florida Highbush)
ꔷ Highly productive through hot weather
ꔷ Easily prepared and makes a good, filling meal
ꔷ Minimal problems from disease or pests
ꔷ Relatively easy to save seeds if you know the technique
ꔷ Should plant a fairly large number to maintain genetic diversity in seeds

Seminole Pumpkin
ꔷ Fruit can last up to a full year when properly stored
ꔷ Almost impervious to disease or pests
ꔷ Huge vines that drop roots along the way making the plant very resilient and able to thrive on relatively poor ground
ꔷ Lots of organic matter at the end of the season to keep the ground rich
ꔷ Needs good care and lots of water to get started; once established, requires almost no care

Collards (Georgia Southern)
ꔷ Winter crop
ꔷ Other greens will not reliably produce seeds in this area

 

Second Tier crops

These are ones that I am still working with but don’t have enough experience yet to put them on the Last Ditch List. Nothing other than lack of a well established track record keeps me from putting them on the Last Ditch List.

Potatoes (Yukon Gold)
This is only my second time planting these, but all indications are that they should make the Last Ditch List in the next year or two.

Squash (Tromboncino)
The variety makes all the difference. I have given up on the more typical yellow squash; bugs have destroyed them every single time I have tried. Tromboncino, on the other hand, is highly resistant to pests due to its tough outer skin. The fruit is pale green, long and thin, and grows on a vine. I have them growing along a fence.

 

Not On The List

These are crops that I grow now, but they don’t meet the criteria for inclusion on the Last Ditch List.

Beans (Kentucky Wonder or Blue Lake) – Too many poor results. Sometimes I get a good crop, and other times it’s a poor crop. Inconsistent. May be moved to the Last Ditch List once I learn more, but not yet. Good potential once I learn more.

Corn (Reid’s Yellow Dent) – Low yield for the amount of space it takes up. Heavy drain on the garden soil. If any crops would be available for purchase following a collapse, it would be grains. They are well suited for large scale, highly mechanized farming, and they transport and store well. I keep some seeds on hand for use in corn meal or for chicken feed – just in case.

Tomatoes (Homestead 24) – Too easily damaged by bugs or disease or blossom end rot. They stop producing when the weather gets hot.

Peppers (Carolina Wonder) – Susceptibility to Blossom End Rot keeps peppers off the list. If I can get the calcium deficiency solved, this might be moved to the Last Ditch List.

 

Final Notes

Vegetable gardening is very location-dependent. This Last Ditch List is what works for me here in north central Florida. There is a really good chance that your Last Ditch List would be different. Maybe very different. Perhaps the most value from this list is in the criteria – why I chose what I did for this list.

What is on your Last Ditch List – and why?

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