Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

I mentioned a few days ago that Kristin Kimball's A Dirty Life is one of our featured books for this
summer's reading program. It's a story that's timely for the organic and eat local movement, but it's also a testimony to the difficult life that brings those foods to the table. Subtitled "A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love", it could also include the phrase "and hard work" in that list.

Kristin Kimball met her husband-to-be, Mark, when she drove six hours from Manhattan to interview him on a Pennsylvania farm about the farmers who were growing the local organic food that was becoming so popular. And, that defines the difference between Kristin and Mark right there. She was a city woman with a degree from Harvard, a woman who loved the bars and night life of New York City. He was a farmer to his soul, yearning for his own land, and a place where he didn't even care if there was electricity. But, his passion for farming kindled a flame in her.

It wasn't long before the two of them were on a five hundred acre piece of property in upstate New York, with only a promise of one year rent free. They couldn't even move into the farmhouse until the tenant's lease was up. So, they planned the farm, and then tested each other and their love in a year of creating a farm. They planned to farm with horses as much as they could, and make a living through Community Supported Agriculture, a CSA. People would buy shares in the produce. In return for the money up-front, they would get weekly produce. And, Mark's vision was that they could produce everything on the farm, grains and flour, dairy products, eggs, and meat.

And, it all started with one cow. Kimball's account is a riveting story of hard work, struggle, and eventual success. But, success is fleeting on a farm when the next day may bring bad weather, the death of livestock, any kind of disaster. This is the story of one couple trying to live their life as they dream it, producing what they need, and sharing it with neighbors. It's fascinating, a story that forces you to look at farming and farmers in a different light. The Dirty Life takes courage and stamina, and Kristin Kimball tells about it in this absorbing memoir.

Kristin Kimball's website is www.kristinkimball.com

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball. Simon & Schuster. 2010. ISBN 9781416551614 (paperback), 291p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


HollyJacobs said...

Lesa, I read this a while back and absolutely loved it! I included a CSA in A Walk Down the Aisle because she inspired me! If you like this one try A Feast Nearby. Loved it, too.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Holly. I'll have to look for A Feast Nearby!

HollyJacobs said...

I loved it as well. Hope you do, too!