Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Tag: southern agrarianism (Page 3 of 3)

Confederate Jasmine – The Sweet Smell of The South

Spring time in The South means many different thing – Azaleas in bloom is certainly one of most visually pleasing parts of Spring, but when it comes to the sense of smell, nothing beats the fragrance of Confederate Jasmine.

I don’t have the vocabulary of one who deals with fragrances, so I will have to resort to saying that it is simply beautiful. We have hundreds of feet of fence covered with Confederate Jasmine, and trees that are close to the fence become covered with it also. In the early morning and late evening when the air is still, the sweet small of Confederate Jasmine seems to be everywhere. It’s just another reason why I am so grateful to call The South my home.

Confederate Jasmine covers the fence surrounding our property.

In the Spring, Confederate Jasmine is covered with these small white flowers that have the sweetest fragrence.

The bees are always at work when the Confederate Jasmine is in bloom.

Tim Manning on Southern Agrarian Writers

Tim Manning

Much of the material we have here at The Southern Agrarian is about the “how-to” aspects of living an agrarian life – raising a garden and chickens and that sort of thing. As important as that is, we need to also understand the philosophical aspects of the Southern Agrarian movement. There are few people today who understand Southern Agrarianism as well as Tim Manning. Mr. Manning regularly publishes his essays on Facebook, and he has granted permission to re-post this one here on The Southern Agrarian.

The following was written by and reprinted with permission from Tim Manning. Mr. Manning is the founder of The Southern Partisan and lives in Kernersville, North Carolina.

I was asked, “Tim…who are your top 3 favs Agrarian writers/titles? Thx”

My reply:

1. Richard M. Weaver,
2. Andrew Nelson Lytle,
3. Donald Davidson,
4. M. E. Bradford,
5. Tom Landess,
6. Cleaneth Brooks, and
7. Marion Montgomery

Sorry, but I could not get it down to three. They are all the older and deceased writers. Among the living:

1. Clyde N. Wilson,
2. James Kibler,
3. Wendell Berry, and
4. Fred Chappell.

I will list the titles a little later.

I also like Lyle H. Lanier, Frank Lawrence Owsley, Robert Penn Warren, John Gould Fletcher and Allen Tate. It is the agrarian writers that turned me on to the Southern culture and heritage, because they gave me a sound perspective for my Christian faith in the time and world that I live in. This is an aspect of understanding missing in most churches today.

Now, Christians are waking-up and thinking that the USA may be moving into Marxism and they think that is a great insight. Most of them do not have a clue about what Marxism is and how it works. Our society, especially the political and academic world, was fully Marxist when I was born in 1945. Now we are quickly becoming a global communist empire. The word society no longer applies. We have lived in a period best described as the “death of western civilization”, meaning a society where Christian beliefs and ethical practices were the norm.

Every college student should have to take at least 2 4-hour semesters of Southern agrarianism to obtain a college degree. Instead, we were forced to read trashy New England writers (yep, a host of nasty yankee writers) that no one of faith would be reading if it were not a requirement of their school and this was in a Southern University, to their great shame. Many Southern institutes, organizations, and societies will not tolerate their members being Southern agrarian in their perspectives. Some Southern churches will not place Christian agrarians in positions of leadership and real spiritual influence.

Worse I had to pay money to study those unskilled trashy writers at a Christian University, because my church was too liberal (affected by agnostic and socialist cultural engineering) to know that these great folks even existed !!! (Insert anger and amazement for the stupid here!) My faith grew more in reading their works than in any class I took in Seminary and grad school.

Not having read this wonderful agrarian literature is why so many Southern people no longer understand the great truths of why the South was right. Many have too narrow a focus on the legal issues which are good and in our favour. If you are not acquainted with these literary giants it is likely that “you ain’t got no book learnin'”, and that is that ! Studying the battles and the great heroes is wonderful and uplifting, but it just does not have the spiritual influence of studying these insightful works which is why there is not a unified Southern movement today.

The League of the South, The Abbeville Institute, The Rockford Institute, and the Stephen Dill Lee Institute understand this. I sent my son each year to these three plus The John Randolph Club, The Mises Institute, The William Gilmore Simms Society, and The Southern Heritage Society.

If you are Southern and spending tens of thousands of dollars sending your children to today’s Marxist public American universities or the semi-Marxism Christian universities, you should make the added investment to build their spiritual understanding by having them read the agrarian writers and attend the above institutes to counteract the poison of modernity. Their lives will be spiritually enriched and will never be the same.

Tomislav Sunić on Southern Agrarianism – an SNN Interview

Tomislav Sunić was interviewed by Michael at the Southern Nationalist Network on the topic of Southern Agrarianism. While we have only touched on the philosophy of Southern Agrarianism so far, it is going to play a much larger role here at The Southern Agrarian in the future. As a review, this is from the Why We’re Here page of this blog:

The Southern Agrarian movement in its purest form was described in the book, I’ll Take My Stand, (first published in 1930) by Twelve Southerners. One of those “Twelve Southerners” – Stark Young – was a cousin of mine. His section of I’ll Take My Stand was titled Not In Memoriam, But In Defense.

From the Wikipedia entry for Southern Agrarian: The Southern Agrarians bemoaned the increasing loss of Southern identity and culture to industrialization. They believed that the traditional agrarian roots of the United States, which had reigned since the nation’s founding in the 18th century, were important to its nature. Their manifesto was a critique of the rapid industrialization and urbanization during the first few decades of the 20th century in the southern United States. It posited an alternative based on a return to the more traditionally rural and local culture, and agrarian American values. The group opposed the changes in the US that were leading it to become more urban, national/international, and industrial. Because the book was published at the opening (1930) of what would eventually become the Great Depression, some viewed it as particularly prescient. The book was anti-communist. I’ll Take My Stand was originally criticized as a reactionary and romanticized defense of the Old South and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Some critics considered it to be moved by nostalgia. But, in more recent years, scholars such as Carlson, Scotchie, Eugene Genovese, and others have re-evaluated the book in light of the modern problems of highly urbanized/industrialized societies. They acknowledge the effects which such urban-technological-industrial systems exert on human society as a whole, as well as individuals, the environment, various social issues, politics, economics, etc. Today, the Southern Agrarians are lauded regularly in the Southern Partisan. Some of their social, economic, and political ideas have been refined and updated by writers such as Allan C. Carlson and Wendell Berry. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has published books which further explore the ideas of the Agrarians. “All the articles bear in the same sense upon the book’s title-subject: all tend to support a Southern way of life against what may be called the American or prevailing way; and all as much as agree that the best terms in which to represent the distinction are contained in the phrase, Agrarian versus Industrial. … Opposed to the industrial society is the agrarian, which does not stand in particular need of definition. 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. But an agrarian regime will be secured readily enough where the superfluous industries are not allowed to rise against it. The theory of agrarianism is that the culture of the soil is the best and most sensitive of vocations, and that therefore it should have the economic preference and enlist the maximum number of workers.” “Introduction: A Statement of Principles” to their 1930 book I’ll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition.

Tomislav Sunić is a Croatian-American and a Director of the American Third Position political party. His professional career includes working as a professor, a lobbyist, and a diplomat for the nation of Croatia. He is fluent in English, Croatian, French, and German.

The interview was conducted by Michael – a staunch supporter and prolific author of pro-Southern material. He is the owner of Southern Nationalist Network. He also posts regular podcasts to his YouTube page.

A Few Quotes About Southern Agrarianism

Yesterday’s Old Virginia Blog post by Richard G. Williams, Jr., has a couple of great quotes that get to the heart of the Southern Agrarian movement.

“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.” ~ Thomas Jefferson to John Jay 23 August 1785

“Bureaucrats hate the quintessential American culture of family farms. The independence-centered, ‘pull yourself up by your boot straps’ emphasis on responsibility goes against everything they believe in. Simply put, people who think for themselves and work hard don’t live off the government . . . Farming is part of our identity. It is our way of life, our heritage, our patriotism, and the foundation of our generational values. Farming is the essence of our loyalty to our families and our God — and there is nothing more sacred than that. That’s why unelected liberal elites don’t want farm kids working on farms.” ~ Josiah Cantrall

Making Vanilla Extract

Self-reliance. Making things for yourself rather than buying them – or at least knowing how – is central to agrarianism. That doesn’t mean that do-it-yourself is always better than buying something from someone who can do it better and more efficiently than you can, but at least knowing how to do something gives a great feeling of satisfaction and self-confidence.

We decided that we wanted to make our own vanilla extract. We were looking for something fairly unique that we could give away as gifts, and all-natural vanilla extract was a good fit for us. Here is how we did it:

We used quart jars, so the vanilla beans are weighed for the amount to be added to 4 cups of 40% alcohol. A recommended amount is one ounce per cup, but we added just a bit more than that.

The beans are sliced lengthwise using a sharp knife.

After slicing, the inside of beans are scraped with a dull knife. The black material that is scraped from the inside is called "vanilla caviar".

Use kitchen scissors to cut the bean husks into short sections.

Vanilla beans with the caviar scraped out and the husks cut into short sections.

Add the husks and the caviar to a clean jar.

Jar with vanilla, ready to have 40% alcohol added.

Fill the jar with 40% alcohol. Vodka is the most commonly used form. My understanding is that the more times it has been distilled, the better.

After pouring, screw the lid on tight and shake it well. Put it away in a cool dark place - it needs to be kept away from light.

The jar should be shaken well once each day for at least the first week (more is better, but too much is just a waste of time). After the first couple of weeks, you can cut the shaking down to once or twice a week. After a couple of months, you can start using the vanilla extract, but letting it age for at least six months will give you better results.

When your vanilla extract has aged and you’re ready to give it away and use it in your own kitchen, pour it through a coffee filter in a funnel, then into brown bottles (the bottles and caps should be sterilized before use).  We will be using 4 ounce “Boston Round” bottles that we bought on in a case of 12. Remember, this is a hand-made gift. That calls for a nice label to go on the bottle.

  • Vanilla beans can be ordered through
  • For more information on vanilla beans, go to

Interviewed on

In today’s post at, Brett Stevens interviewed me about the Southern Agrarian movement. is one of those refreshing islands of original thought on the web that makes you stop and think. As with any good writing – indeed, with anything in life that truly makes you stop and think – you probably won’t agree with everything you find there, and that’s a good thing. Take a few moments to read the interview and discover what else Mr. Stevens has to offer at

Smell The Roses

While our focus is on the vegetable garden and chickens, we try to keep things in perspective. God created roses and other things of beauty for a reason. They are for us to enjoy and to reflect on the great God who created them – and us.

A Man to Till the Ground, from Faith and Heritage

Plow Days at Dudley Farm, Alachua County, Florida

The Faith and Heritage blog recently had an interesting post, written by Colby Malsbury, titled A Man to Till the Ground: The Christian and Agriculture. The conclusion to that post had a paragraph that contains the essence of the Southern Agrarian movement:

The ‘urban peasant’ who yearns to start a little herb garden is not merely looking for a secure food supply. He is also searching for a sense of purpose and mission that cannot be obtained in a cubicle. Even if he does not realize it consciously, he yearns to return to God’s ways.

I hope to write more about the philosophy of Southern Agrarianism in the future, but this is a good taste of it.

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