Welcome to The Switchel Philosopher

Welcome to The Switchel Philosopher! I started this blog on February 8, 2017.

Switchel is a non-alcoholic beverage from Colonial times. It has been enjoyed by generations of farmers, especially on hot summer days in the hayfield. My mother made switchel for our family when I was growing up on the farm. It’s good stuff!

The essence of switchel is sugar, vinegar, ginger and water. In Vermont where I live, the sugar is usually maple syrup, but honey is also good. The vinegar is almost always apple cider vinegar.

There is a yin and yang aspect to many things in our world, as noted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism (or Daoism). Switchel is like that – with the sweetness of maple syrup and the sourness of vinegar. Hence the switchel philosopher.

My name is George Putnam. I grew up on a dairy farm in Cambridge, Vermont. After graduating from college with a degree in agricultural engineering, and a few twists and turns that included a masters degree in business administration, I became a loan officer at Farm Credit, a financial institution that lends money to farmers. Farm Credit was my career for 32 years, including ten years as president and CEO of Yankee Farm Credit headquartered in Williston, Vermont. I retired at the end of 2016.

In retirement I am spending time traveling in both the physical world and the world of ideas, looking for adventures to blog about. This blog is about adventures in the world of ideas.

For adventures in the physical world, see my other blog – The Switchel Traveler. My wife Nancy and I just returned from a 3+ week road trip to Florida, and there is a series of 20 posts there about interesting things we did and saw.

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