Rediscovering Foxfire Magazine

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Shown here (top left) is the very first issue of Foxfire, completed and published in Spring 1967, followed by each fifth anniversary issue since, up through 2006's 40th anniversary issue. This spring's release of issue 173/174 of The Foxfire Magazine will mark the 45th anniversary of the Foxfire organization."

If you were a hippie, or your parents were hippies, or your aunt was a hippie, or your ex-Rajneeshee neighbor that you house-sat for was a hippie, then you probably remember seeing Foxfire Magazine. It was on the bookshelf next to the Whole Earth Catalog and Our Bodies, Ourselves.

The magazine was first published in 1967 in Northern Georgia as an experimental school project and included folklore, oral history, and how-to articles based on interviews conducted with elder Appalachian residents. The magazines were collected in 1972 as the first Foxfire book (several more were subsequently published) and became a national best seller and bible of sorts for the back-to-the-land movement.

I am very happy to see that not only is Foxfire still in existence, but that they celebrated their 45th anniversary last year and continue to publish their magazine and create other interesting publications such as Foxfire's Book of Wood Stove Cookery:

Yum, that sounds good. I have a feeling everything tastes better cooked in a wood-burning cook stove.

I also found it interesting to find an article about ramps on their site, which have become the vegetable du jour of Portland foodies recently. Seems they've been hip to their merits (and demerits!) in Appalachia all along:

To prepare fried ramps: parboil three minutes, drain, throw water away, add more water, cook until tender, drain. Season in frying pan with melted butter. Serve covered with bread crumbs. Or fry in grease along with tuna fish and/or eggs, or add potatoes, salt, pepper for flavor. Clifford Connor says, "Most important, go into solitary in the woods somewheres, stay for two or three weeks, because nobody can stand your breath after you've eat 'em."
                                                --From Spring Wild Plant Foods, Foxfire 2

"Several Foxfire contacts had information to offer on ramps, and a few
of them even took students out into the woods to show them where
ramps naturally grow, and what they look like in the wild."

There's a lot of terrific info on the Foxfire site. You can learn about the Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center, the Foxfire approach to teaching, and visit their online store where you can subscribe to upcoming issue and purchase their commemorative collection published last year in celebration of their 45th Anniversary:

Echoes Companion CD featuring gospel and bluegrass musicians from the book
Commemorative Leather Bookmark Set featuring illustrations from the book


  1. love this! i remember my friends mom had these books and as a teenage hippie, i'd flip through them and daydream of living off the land.

  2. They're so good and we are so lucky that they are still around!


Bell and Star © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger