Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Dirty Life

I just finished this memoir, written by NYC journalist-turned-farmer Kristin Kimball. It was a great read, one I'd highly recommend.

The story is fairly simple: East Villager forays into the country to interview a farmer. They fall in love. They move to Upstate New York and live happily ever after. But not without a lot of detours en route.

Kimball is a gifted, honest writer and she manages to promote farm-raised food without coming across preachy, ala Barbara Kingsolver. She and eventual-husband Mark come up with a new model of farming, a CSA-style cooperative that provides a whole diet.

One thing of the best things about this book is that the author doesn't shy away from the gory part of life on Essex Farm -- the killing, butchering and preparing meals of farm animals, and the tending to their health, which involves castration and artificial insemination. And while we all guessed that farming is hard work, she details how endless and exhausting it is without whining. There's the sleep deprivation in the peak season, living on the edge financially, the constant assault of weeds, the shear physical labor from milking the cows to planting to building fences and repairing barns, the hauling of crops, the canning.

Kimball praises their farming community and the relationships they develop with their neighbors, who help with the horses and pigs and chickens and rats, the wedding and the weeding. And she talks about her relationship with dirt, days too busy to bathe, change clothes or do laundry.

In the end she fully commits to farm life and to Mark, and the journey there, shared with us, is treat I am glad she shared

1 comment:

Mario | Barcelona Apartments said...

Many times We dream to go away from the big city to a dream life we imagine, but in fact this lifestyle requires much personal sacrifice.