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Harvest: A Year in the Life of an Organic Farmby Nicola Smith
Synopses & Reviews
The world of farming--one that is disappearing quickly--informs every aspect of our modern culture, from the food we eat to how we use and preserve the land we live on. Most of us have never set foot on a working farm, however. Now, through insightful prose by journalist Nicola Smith and photographs by Geoff Hansen, readers can enter the life of a couple who believe in the importance of the land and its harvest.
It was a dream of Jennifer Megyesi's to run a farm, and when she and husband, Kyle Jones, founded Fat Rooster Farm, it became a dream come true. By tapping into the public's desire for organic and artisanal food--and with lucky breaks, such as selling their milk-fed pigs to celebrated chefs like Mario Batali--they are finding some success.
The farm embodies both the newer and more traditional faces of farming. Megyesi and Jones are in their early forties, college educated with advanced degrees, well traveled, influenced by the environmental and social movements of the 1960s and '70s, and savvy in their use of marketing and Internet skills. But in the scale and management of their operation, they revert to an older, more pastoral ideal: sheep out at pasture, chickens that roam free, cows trailed by their calves, hand-gathered honey and maple syrup, their four-year-old son helping with the chores. They're big enough to grow and sell their own meats, eggs, and vegetables at a modest profit, and small enough to have strong ties to the community. It's a life worth living--and learning about.
HARVEST gives us insight into the life of a farm run on a small scale, by a family, with support from the community. Its about the bucolic scenes of maple-syrup gathering and a young boy trailing his parents, helping with chores. But its also about the day-to-day reality of family life: arguments over work, money, and child-rearing, as well as disputes over who is going to take produce to market or how many animals to keep. Life and death are in stark relief here, but ultimately HARVEST is about relationships: the relationship between husband and wife,
parent and child, man and land. Its a book that will surprise and ultimately captivate you.
An unforgettable portrait of a family farm, in words and photographs.
About the Author
NICOLA SMITH, a freelance writer, holds an MFA from Columbia University.
GEOFF HANSEN is a photographer and editor at New Hampshire's Valley News and author of My Life As a Dog: The Many Moods of Lucy. His work has appeared in Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. They live in Tunbridge, Vermont, with their daughter. You can learn more about the book at www.harvest-book.com.
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