The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love
Kristin Kimball fell in love with a farmer and traded her NYC life for one in the country. She shares how they reached their ambitious goal of growing everything needed to feed a community. For anyone who's ever wondered just what all goes into running a farm. Spoiler alert: a whole lot of hard work.
From a “graceful, luminous writer with an eye for detail” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), this riveting memoir explores a year on a sustainable farm.
When Kristin Kimball left New York City to interview a dynamic young farmer named Mark, her world changed. On an impulse, she shed her city self and started a new farm with him on five hundred acres near Lake Champlain. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of the couple’s first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through their harvest-season wedding in the loft of the barn.
Kristin and Mark’s plan to grow everything needed to feed a community was an ambitious idea, and a bit romantic. It worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, over 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. In The Dirty Life, Kristin 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.