Here is a book that will either turn you on – or completely off! It’s called The Dirty Life, a Memoir of Farming, Food and Love, by Kristin Kimball. The author of this book meets a man who has a small organic farming venture, they fall in love and the next thing you know she’s giving up her vegetarian lifestyle and career as a travel writer in the big city and the two of them end up in a small town/rural area starting a farm on 500 acres. And not just any farm – an organic farm that aims to provide the community subscribers with a full and balanced diet. Not just choice veggies and herbs, but those, plus eggs, cheese, meat, and milk – all year round! And they are going to do it without using diesel tractors, they will use draft horses for the plowing, planting and harvesting.
She is an excellent writer and has you on the edge of your seat as you read about runaway horses and falling haystacks; you’ll shudder at stories of rats in the house, and her account of catching blood in a bucket during the pig slaughter, commiserate when the entire planting of tomato plants is killed by frostbite and, very likely read with a pinch of disgust the detailed account of making pan-fried bull testicles. When I got to the recipe section at the end I was gratified to see that dish was not included (nor was the blood pudding).
I was exhausted just thinking about her day – up before 4 AM, in bed, tired and dirty and very likely unshowered by 10 PM. That level of farming is much more intense than the little hobby farm we are considering. But then they feed over 100 people – I just have 5! It’s a great read – here’s a link for those of you who are thinking some day you might like a little farm of your own.