The Dirty Life
On Farming, Food, and Love
Publication Date: June 2011
List Price: $34.99*
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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 AM, 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.
Producer Tavia Gilbert is an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, an Audie Award nominee, and a Parent's Choice Award winner. She makes her home in Portland, Maine, where she works as a writer and a stage and voice actor. Tavia produces, directs, and narrates unique audiobooks, full-cast recordings, and documentaries, and she is currently pursuing an MFA in creative nonfiction at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
"Kimball has a gift for throwing into high relief contemporary Americans' disconnect between farm-life realities and city ambitions." ---Booklist