Aahhh, farm life. It’s all sunshine, green grass and baby lambs, right?
We love what we do, but there’s another side too! Want a real look inside? Here are a few of my favorite farming books.
“The Dirty Life: A memoir of Farming, Food and Love,” by Kristin Kimball. This book is fabulous. Kimball is an excellent writer and tells a wonderful (and true!) story of how she left her job and life in New Your City to start a farm with her now husband. This is a laugh and cry type of book. I may have loved it because a few of her stories seemed oddly familiar to ours, but this is a must-read!
“A Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape”, by James Rebanks. By chance, I listened to this as an audiobook while reading the book next on the list. It was fascinating to see how the two books mirrored each other in many ways. This is also a nonfiction book that weaves questions about education, permanency, societal values and other life questions into the daily (and yearly and generational) care of a flock in the Lake District of England.
“Shepherds of Coyote Rocks: Public Lands, Private Herds and the Natural World”, by Cat Urbigkit. Set in Wyoming, this nonfiction book tells of Urbigkit’s time moving with her flock through it’s spring and summer range, experiencing lambing, predation, weather and the challenges of public policy and opinion. She does a wonderful job describing plants and wildlife and their interactions with the flocks. I found this, along with “A Shepherd’s Life” particularly fascinating in light of the current discussion about the Monument.
“Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm”, by Forrest Pritchard. This book will hook you from the beginning, as Pritchard tells of his efforts to save the family farm, netting a grand total of $18.16 for a year’s effort. He retells hysterical stories of goats in cars, consumers thinking eggs grow…and heartbreaking ones too. Again, I saw a few similarities to our own experience in some of his mishaps - I think you’ll enjoy this one!
“Everything I Want to Do is Illegal”, by Joel Salatin. I’m not sure I need to explain this one! Using story after story, Salatin aptly describes the struggle many farmers face getting their products to market legally. It is well-written and easy to ready, and gives an insight into why I can’t just provide you certain products, even if you trust me and the safety of the product.
What is your favorite farming book? I’d love to hear! I’m always looking for a good read! Let me know if the comments below.