“The Dirty Life” – review

Having a week off I finally managed to read one of the books I got for Christmas — “The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love” by Kristin Kimball.

It is a pleasand to read book written by 30-something-yo woman from New York, who met Mark — an interesting man running a farm, and moved with him. They both started a large and modern farm, having several acres of land.

The farming is not described in detail. The book says a lot about milking cows and plowing land with a couple of horses. But very little or nothing about technical matters like mulching and fertilizing. No wonder, who would want to read about that, except for me? 😉

The farm was run by Kristin and Mark as a CSA, Community-Supported Agriculture. This way of farming requires the buyers to pay a flat fee, and in return for that they can once a week get some vegetables, meat or dairy. Kristin nad Mark wanted to set the farm so that people could live entirely off the food they buy here, without the need to get milk or meat elsewhere. The idea of CSA shortens the lenght from the farm to the table, as the food doesn’t have to be processed by various traders. So the farmer gets more money, and in the same time the customer pays less. It is important especially in the organic food industry.

The book shows that farming requires a lot of hard, exhausting manual labor, and the farmer doesn’t get much sleep. No wonder if you milk the cows manually and do all the tilling without tractors, but using horses instead. What is more interesting is that the author says this hard work is most rewarding thing you can have on a farm. And the high quality food, of course. 😉






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