Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Book Review - Harvest: a year in the life of an organic farm

Harvest: a year in the life of an organic farm
by Nicola Smith

I grabbed this book from the library shelf for 2 reasons:
1) the title
2) the cover picture

I was slightly afraid that the book might inspire me to give it all up, buy a little plot of land, and start a CSA. That's basically what this married couple of farmers did after finishing their Master's Degrees in Science. Sounds romantic, no? But then comes drought, animal sickness, and a harsh Vermont winter. The farming couple struggles to survive all of this while simultaneously raising a small child. I read this book rather quickly, in 2 days. I admit skipping through some paragraphs that I believed were extraneous. There is a strong emphasis on the "animal" side of farming, with very little said about the growing of the vegetables. It is a personal tale, not a how-to book. I shouldn't have been surprised to see so much text devoted to the animals, since this was the primary focus of the farmers. I guess I'm just biased toward plants, since I don't raise animals and eat very, very few of the ones that live on land. Anyway, I liked the book, but I'm not rushing out to tell my friends about it. And no, I don't want to become a professional farmer. This book scared that dream right out of my head!


Stefaneener said...

Gene Logsdon's books made me want to run off and start a farm, but simultaneously convinced me that since I hadn't stayed on the same land for generations, it was too late.

Are all the pictures that lovely?

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

I'm looking for gardening books to read for the winter time and haven't heard of this. Thanks for sharing I'll have to pick it up. I just finished reading the French Gardener which I loved. I'll have to post a review about it soon. -Jackie

Jackie said...

Stefaneener, I haven't heard of Gene Logsdon's books. Will have to check one out. Most of the pictures are not as nice as the one on the cover, actually.

EMC, I look forward to hearing more about French Gardener.