May 21, 2011

The Bucolic Plague

How Two Manhattanites Became Gentleman Farmers
by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Again, a good read but not what I expected. Actually, I had fair warning from all the other bloggers: this book has too much Martha Stewart in it. I guess I was somehow hoping everyone else was wrong! It's about two well-to-do New Yorkers who buy a mansion on a piece of farmland just because it strikes them as so beautiful. Then throw their sweat into making it a working farm again, putting in most of their hours on the weekend, with the help of a caretaker during the week. And the caretaker happens to raise goats. So in addition to having a huge vegetable garden from which they eat fresh, can and preserve, they also hit on the idea of making specialty soap out of goat milk, and selling it for enough profit to quit their city jobs and live full-time on the farm. It all sounds rather wonderful. Except that's not what the book is mostly about. One of the guys happens to work for Stewart, so it goes on and on about how they try and fail (or sometimes succeed) to live up to "Martha" standards, and how much being seen on TV would boost their soap-making venture. And all that got rather tiresome. I would have liked to read more about the garden, or the goats. There's not even a good description of how they make the goat-milk soap, for example! I don't even know why milk goes into soap... There's also quite a bit about how their relationship struggled due to the strain of keeping up with city life and the demands of the farm, and of new people they meet in the farm community. It was all entertaining and kept me turning pages, sometimes laughing aloud, but I did wish for more stuff on goats...

Borrowed from the public library.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 304 pages, 2010

more opinons at:
Sophisticated Dorkiness
Caroline Bookbinder
Ready When You Are, CB
BermudaOnion's Weblog

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