The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm (Hardcover)

A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm

By Terra Brockman, Deborah Madison (Preface by)

Agate Surrey, 9781572841031, 320pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2009



Henry's Farm is in central Illinois, some of the richest farming land in the world. There, Henry Brockman and his family five generations of farmers, including sister Terra farm in a way that produces healthy, nutritious food without despoiling the land. Terra Brockman tells their story in the form of a yearlong diary/memoir with recipes that takes readers through each season of life on the farm. Studded with vignettes, photographs, family stories, and illustrations of the farm's vivid plant life, the book is a one-of-a-kind treasure that will appeal to readers of Michael Pollan, E. B. White, Gretel Ehrlich, and Sandra Steingraber. The book opens a window into what sustainable farming really entails and why it is vital and relevant to everyone who eats. Though rooted in the rolling oak-hickory hills and fertile fields and flood plains of the Mackinaw River Valley, the book ranges widely, incorporating literary, scientific, and culinary reflections occasioned by the week-by-week events of farm life.

Praise For The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm

“The Seasons on Henry’s Farm, a book to be reckoned with, lifts you high enough to witness the tremendous possibilities people are capable of expressing in their working lives—in this case, through farming. If you’re a fan of Aldo Leopold, or have long suspected that time-honored methods of farming are best for the earth (and our taste buds) and require intelligence and thoroughness exceeding the levels demanded by most occupations, you will discover here that your suspicions are well founded…. The Seasons on Henry’s Farm is an exhilarating story of observation. It’s a humbling one, too, for few of us can imagine mustering the endurance and precision needed to farm this deeply. But that Henry and his familial band of followers can and do, again and again, makes the world of the farm more than a dream or an ideal. It’s a great encouraging kick in the pants for all of us, regardless of how we spend our time, or what we do, to achieve such excellence in full consciousness of all its complexities and consequences. This book tells a tale as raw and vivid as one could hope for, while gently imparting what we need to know about the soil, plants, and animals that sustain us.”
from the foreword by Deborah Madison

“Here's what you get when the farmer's sister turns out to be a masterful writer: a compelling argument for rebuilding our nation's food security that is threaded within a lyrical, funny, suspenseful narrative of life on her brother's Illinois farm. The cycles of the agrarian calendar are so vividly described within these pages that I was sure I would wake up the next morning with sore muscles.”
Sandra Steingraber, author of Living Downstream and Having Faith

“Terra Brockman's new book is such a delightful synergy of poetic inspiration and realistic descriptions of life on a farm. Here is everything from the joy and satisfaction of growing garlic and raising turkeys, to tending fruit trees and growing vegetables. At the same time, every farmer/gardener can relate to the graphic description of the complexity and difficulty of producing these same foods, and to the fact that ‘nothing is perfect, nothing lasts, and nothing is ever finished.’ Given the recent renewed interest in gardening and urban farming, the appearance of this inspiring book could not be more timely.”
Frederick Kirschenmann, president,
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture