I'm writing this during the Covid-19 quarantine. As I scroll through social media, I see lots of families planting vegetable gardens and posting pictures of their new baby chicks and their quaint self-built chicken houses. I'm in no position to judge the scope of this phenomenon, but it does turn my thoughts to Laura Ingalls Wilder's first book. In some ways, Little House in the Big Woods was a how-to manual for self sufficiency. Even as a kid, I was fascinated by how Ma made straw hats for everyone, the butchering and smoking of meats for the winter, milking and butter churning. I'm so glad the author recorded her childhood memories of a time when taking care of the family was a full-time job.

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