The unforgettable story of one family’s attempt to live an authentic life.

Volume One: Nothing That Eats

Available Now  When Y2K looms and 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, a three-volume collection of letters, provides a running account of an attempt to live an authentic life, as Franklin writes every month for seventeen years a personal letter to his The Moneychanger newsletter readers.

$22.95 paperback
$16.95 Kindle/ePUB/PDF


Volume Two: Best Thing We Ever Did

Available Now  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.

$22.95 paperback
$16.95 Kindle/ePUB/PDF


“…at once hilarious, humbling, and holy…”

“The Sanders’ family farm saga of relearning agrarian home-based craft, at once hilarious, humbling, and holy, proves that learning curves are real. From feverish preparations for Y2K to eventual pig litter tsunamis, At Home in Dogwood Mudhole reveals the despair and wonder of building a self-reliant homestead. To recreate one from scratch, in modern America, with quintessential greenhorns, and live to tell about it is indeed a story worth reading. Profound ignorance punctuated with epiphanies illustrates God’s providence… and humor.”


Agrarian, “lunatic farmer,” and author of Folks, This Ain’t Normal and Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal

Copies sold to all 50 US states and over 40 foreign countries!

“As back-to-the-land books go, this one is unique.”

The perfect gift for anyone who loves the simple life!

“Faith, family, farming, hard money, and Southern history. Those are the core themes that coalesce into Franklin Sanders’ newest book, an autobiographical collection of essays titled At Home in Dogwood Mudhole. As back-to-the-land books go, this one is unique. Over the course of generations (going back some 200 years) commercial-industrialism has almost completely destroyed the agrarian traditions that once epitomized not only the South, but all of America. But there is good news as a growing remnant of concerned people are returning to the land, establishing small farms and homesteads, and rediscovering the manifold virtues of agrarian-based life.”


Author of Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian and inventor of the Whizbang Chicken Plucker

“…an agrarian epic—no, the agrarian epic…”

“At Home in Dogwood Mudhole is an agrarian epic—no, the agrarian epic—a tale of the odyssey of Franklin Sanders and his family making their way toward home—that is, back to the land and the farming life of their forebears in Middle Tennessee. The tale is told with vivid and unflagging immediacy, courage, wisdom, Christian faith, and good humor. Franklin Sanders is a gifted writer and original thinker who avoids two of the most common American faults: spiritless practicality and easy sentimentality. The land teaches us, writes Sanders, that ‘life is not science, it is mystery.’ This is the kind of writing that the late Southern philosopher M.E. Bradford called ‘hard pastoral,’ neither preachy nor sentimental about the demanding life on the land but aware of its deeper rewards. The ‘hard pastoral,’ Bradford further avowed, is one of the hallmarks of great Southern literature. Add to this that Volume 1 is what they call these days a ‘page-turner,’ difficult to put down, and in At Home in Dogwood Mudhole we have a lasting achievement with many lessons for us all.”


Emeritus Distinguished Professor of History, University of South Carolina,
and editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun

Listen to what other readers have to say:

It’s wonderful … I will let you know how I really feel when I quit laughing or crying, or both. Reinforces the importance of family, and puts my remaining days on earth in a whole new perspective.


My copy is already stained with tears of laughter, beer, wine, and various unidentifiable solid products that appear to be in the ham sandwich family.


I have really enjoyed reading Dogwood Mudhole . . . again. You were able to put into words something that I had felt for a long time, i.e. the closer you are to the land, the more you are in tune with God’s real world and the better you feel at the end of the day.


Excellent with its profound wit, insights and humor—well done!


Wow! Just got Volume 1—laughed myself silly! Put me down for an advance order for Volume 2.


Great book! I laughed and cried and pondered and rejoiced—often at the same time—at just about every page.


Plenty of humorous episodes as [the Sanders family] relearns what most of our great-grandparents would have thought as being common sense.

To be entertained in the most delightful way, you must hear Franklin Sanders tell a story, or at the very least read At Home in Dogwood Mudhole. It is Southern storytelling at its finest!

Rev. David O. Jones, Heritage Covenant Schools

It seems to stick itself to my hands and I can’t put it down. My coworkers are beginning to think I’ve lost my marbles. I sit in the lunch room reading and periodically lapse into spasms of laughter.


A whole hearted embrace of life, for better or for worse.


I really, thoroughly, enjoyed the book. I had all of the dogs barking from laughing so hard.


Full of highs and lows, the [Sanders] family’s journey to an agrarian lifestyle is a must-read for all homesteaders!

Melissa Jones, From Scratch Magazine

Franklin Sanders writes about modern farm life with equal parts of hilarity, profundity and grace… I devoured every word and dog-eared more than a few pages.

“…Southern storytelling at its finest!”