Welcome to The Switchel Philosopher

Switchel is a beverage dating back to 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.

The essence of switchel is vinegar, sugar, ginger and water. The sugar can be brown sugar or molasses or honey, but in my part of the world (Vermont) it is almost always maple syrup. Usually the vinegar is 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. Oh, and the ginger tends to settle out so you need to shake switchel before drinking it. Life is like that – sometimes you just need to shake things up a little.

My name is George Putnam. I grew up on a dairy farm in rural Vermont, graduated from college as an agricultural engineer, and after a few twists and turns ended up as a loan officer at Farm Credit, a financial institution that lends money to farmers. Farm Credit was my career for 32 years, ten years as president and CEO of Yankee Farm Credit. 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 my travel adventures in the physical world, see my other blog – imaginatively named George’s Other Blog. 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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