Jul 21, 2011

The Dirty Life

on farming, food and love
by Kristin Kimball

Another book about farm life. Here the author describes how she made the decision to leave her busy, affluent New York City existence for the backbreaking labor and intense involvement of starting a farm with her new fiance. Not just any farm, but one that would provide a full diet to a small (at first) community of members who bought into "shares" of the farm's produce at the beginning of each year. Other farms that provide for people this way usually only grow vegetables, but the Kimballs' farm aimed to give everything a person would need for a well-rounded diet: milk, eggs, dairy products, meats, grains, etc. Even (eventually) other things such as wood for fuel. But the book isn't really about how this kind of farm works (it was the only one of its type when they started).

It's about the tough work of putting a functional farm together out of a neglected piece of land. It's about planning, planting, sweating, fixing things, learning animal husbandry, dealing with setbacks, getting to know the neighbors, battling weeds (on an organic farm they must all be hoed or pulled by hand!), desperately trying to prioritize chores, falling to bed exhausted, and rejoicing in the growth of plants, the birth of new animals, the taste of wonderful food two steps from its bed in the soil. A wonderful read, one that really takes you into the heart of what it's like to grow and raise the food to feed an entire community. It's about the soul of a farm, and how it won one woman's heart, through all the difficulties and small joys.

I discovered this book in a Friday Finds post on At Home with Books. Borrowed it from the public library.

Rating: 4/5 ........ 276 pages, 2010

more opinions at:
Esmerelda's Book Thing
A Life Sustained
Edge of the Page 
Stuff as Dreams are Made On


bermudaonion said...

This sounds like the kind of book I love.

Anonymous said...

So many books about leaving the city for the farm! At least, so many seem to have been crossing my path lately - perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something? Thanks for a great review of a book that sounds like it may just set itself apart from all the rest on similar subject matter!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

This one sounds really good. Love the heartfelt review. I'm going to check my library for this one.
2 Kids and Tired Books