The True Story of One Family’s Quest

When modern life fails to satisfy, Franklin Sanders and wife Susan go from nuclear family to multigenerational farm. Despite Susan’s admonition that they acquire nothing that eats, they gain dogs, chickens, horses, cows, pigs, ducks and sheep. Their children move back in and bring their spouses, filling Dogwood Mudhole with grandchildren. It’s no Green Acres, but through sheer persistence and good humor, they learn to farm. At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, Volume One: Nothing That Eats chronicles one family’s attempt to live an authentic life.


Breaking new farming barriers, Franklin and Susan go from making home-cured bacon, through Franklin successfully whispering bees into a hive, to Franklin finding himself in a “discussion meeting” about the National Animal Identification System. Grandchildren arrive almost as fast as lambs and piglets, Franklin finally gets his sheep dog, and the worst thing that ever happened happens. Through it all, Franklin keeps right on farming. The rewards are too great—a living legacy of farm know-how, land, and animals, right down to fruit trees for his great-great-grandchildren to know him by.

VOLUME Three: The SAge of Dogwood Mudhole

As he unwittingly becomes The Sage of Dogwood Mudhole, Franklin seeks out, meets, and becomes fast friends with other likeminded advocates of an older and happier—or sometimes newer and more satisfying—way of farming. Feasting on the wisdom found in old books, Franklin works diligently to restore his own fields and ponders love’s perfection while keeping vigil at Susan’s bedside as she undergoes open heart surgery. When danger is past for now, Franklin returns to felling trees around his house, eyed warily by sons a little too willing to relieve an old guy of the work, all for the love of his wife and her desire for HDTV.