“For it has been our history that each generation in this place has been less welcome to it than the last. There has been less here for them. At each arrival there has been less fertility in the soil, and a larger inheritance of destructive precedent and shameful history.”

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace | A Native Hill p.8

“The idea was that when faced with abundance one should consume abundantly – an idea that has survived to become the basis of our present economy. It is neither natural nor civilized, and even from a “practical” point of view it is to the last degree brutalizing and stupid.”

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace | A Native Hill p.11

“A year ago, almost in this same place where I found his beer can, I found a possum that he had shot dead and left lying, in celebration of his manhood. He is the true American pioneer, perfectly at rest in his assumption that he is the first and the last whose inheritance and fate this place will ever be. Going forth, as he may think, to sow, he only broadcasts his effects.”

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace | A Native Hill p.20

Trash Turkey

A few years ago, I came across a recipe for cooking a turkey in a trash can and was instantly intrigued. The idea stewed in my mind for a while and finally came to fruition this past weekend. Even though I was the chef in this case, I was skeptical right up until we tasted it. Thankfully, it turned out fantastic!


  • 31 gallon trash can
  • 13 pound turket
  • tin foil
  • stake
  • charcoal

If the trashcan is galvanized (which it probably is) make sure to spend some time burning out the inside so you all don’t get zinc poisoning. No big deal …

To cook:

  • pound the stake into the ground so that the turkey can perch on it without touching either the can or the ground
  • cover the ground with foil in case the turkey slides off the stake as it cooks (ours did)
  • flip the trash can over the turkey and stake
  • pile charcoal onto of the can as well as all around the base and lite
  • roast marshmellows over the coals
  • let the turkey cook for 2.5 hours (do not lift the can until the end of the 2.5 hours)

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Ours came out so good that the meat literally slid off the bones and people couldn’t even wait to get it out of the pit before digging in!

Song for Autumn

by Mary Oliver

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.