Country Life Books

Living a Country Year: Wit and Wisdom from the Good Old Days

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Jerry Apps traces the wisdom gained in living a country year, chronicling each month with a tale about growing up on a Midwestern dairy farm in the 1940s. Wearing his hard-earned wisdom lightly, Apps accompanies each month’s tale with farm country aphorisms and the occasional recipe for good measure.

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Every Farm Tells a Story

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Jerry Apps’s Every Farm Tells a Story is a collection of true tales inspired by entries in his mother’s farm account books. The values recorded in the account books prompt recollections of Jerry’s childhood and the traditional family farm values and ethics instilled in him by Ma and Pa.

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Rural Wit and Wisdom: Time-Honored Values from the Heartland

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Jerry Apps has written and collected oft-spoken phrases, observations, comments, and conundrums celebrating country life and rural living. Black-and-white photographs by his son, Steve, complement the text, which offers humorous, touching, and unique glimpses into the lighter side of life in the Midwest.

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When Chores Were Done

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The Midwest in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s was a place where parents and children worked side by side to eke a living from the land, and neighbors stuck by each other through good times and disaster. In this affectionate, insightful memoir, Jerry Apps takes us to that world. Here we meet Frank, Pinky, and Harry, three farmers whose love of music could transform an entire community; Morty, the odd loner whom only a few wild animals could understand; and Fanny, the extraordinary collie whose role on the farm was as important as that of any human.  

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Simple Things: Lessons from the Family Farm

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In this collection of essays, Jerry Apps reflects on the “simple things” that made up everyday life on the farm—an old cedar fencepost, Fanny the farm dog, the trusty tools used for farmwork, the kerosene lantern the family gathered around each morning and evening. As he holds each item up to the light for a closer look, he plumbs his memories for the deeper meanings of these objects, sharing the values instilled in him during his rural boyhood in the 1940s and 1950s.

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Garden Wisdom: Lessons Learned from 60 Years of Gardening

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Gardening has always been a group endeavor for the Apps family. In Garden Wisdom, readers will learn gardening basics along with Jerry Apps’s grandchildren as they become a new generation of gardeners. They’ll devour Jerry’s wife, Ruth’s, recipes for preparing and preserving fresh garden veggies—from refrigerator pickles to rutabaga pudding. And they’ll savor son Steve’s beautiful color photographs, capturing the bounty of the family garden throughout the growing season.

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Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories

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Inspired by the dishes made by his mother, Eleanor, and featuring recipes found in her well-worn recipe box, Jerry Apps and his daughter, Susan, take us on a culinary tour of life on the farm during the Depression and World War II. Seasoned with personal stories, menus, and family photos.

Old Farm Country Cookbook cover