The way Kristin Kimball writes this account of her life moving from New York city girl to farm girl is absolutely amazing. I felt like I was there experiencing her tears, her elation and all the trials and tribulations in between.
I was so inspired by her. I love the way she would read books on things she knew it was inevitable that she would encounter, like the chickens. She found some other women who were planning to butcher their own chickens, she called them to ask if she could participate in terms of research. Here these women were pulling in the aura of mother earth and all the other worldly prayers saying things like, We thank you mother earth for your wonderful, bountiful addition to our table . . . meanwhile Kristin was praying that the chicken didn't experience pain.
I loved the way Kristin went through all the ups and downs of wondering if this was really right for her. It was simply awe inspiring to read all the stories of developing their farm from the ground up; acquiring the different animals - cows for milk, horses for work, chickens for eggs. It was amazing how she describes how they worked the farm without using an machines and what they did instead of them. I was truly heart warmed with the way the families and neighbors came together in sharing and helping with the work loads on visits. I loved the way she learned the difference between an animal resting and an animal who had passed. It was a true pleasure to read the transition of mud and run down land to a living, breathing, working farm.
I refuse to spoil the ending, but my favorite part was the ending. (not gonna say any more) Which it has been a little bit since I have read a book where the ending was just as good, if not better than the meat of the book.
Pick this one up. You will definitely want to read this!! And if you have an eReader, this is available as an electronic book.
Summary of the book:
I really enjoyed this article and the pictures by NPR on The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball.
Single, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season—complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn.
Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the "whole diet"—beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, maple syrup, grains, flours, dried beans, herbs, fruits, and forty different vegetables—produced by the farm. The work is done by draft horses instead of tractors, and the fertility comes from compost. Kimball’s vivid descriptions of landscape, food, cooking—and marriage—are irresistible.
"As much as you transform the land by farming," she writes, "farming transforms you." In her old life, Kimball would stay out until four a.m., wear heels, and carry a handbag. Now she wakes up at four, wears Carhartts, and carries a pocket knife. At Essex Farm, she discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land