A few months ago after most of the garden had died off and things were slowing down enough that I could read at a leisurely pace I found this book, The Dirty Life.
It wasn’t entirely what I expected, but then again I’m not sure what I may have thought this book would be about. I find that in most cases non-fiction writers have very different voices and very different ways of explaining things from their lives than a fictional writer. This is more-or-less an autobiographical novel of how a city girl who met a diehard organic farmer learned to farm, love, and trust. The title “The Dirty Life” is well suited for the book because it’s certainly not a romance novel. In fact it’s very truthful about how tough love can be especially when you’re not even sure about yourself. I could relate to nearly every uncertainty she may have felt heading into the wild blue yonder.
In the end though Kristin does a really marvelous job retelling how their not so ideal farm came to be the best thing she never knew she needed. I cheered along with her as she figured out how to make cheese, when she picked her first draft team and grimaced at the frustrations of not knowing how to milk a cow, getting up before the sun and having to slaughter their first pig. It’s a real account of knowing where your food comes from and being proud that your own two hands helped shape it.
A good read for any time of the year, but especially now, right before the earliest Spring planting gets underway when you’re still dreaming up new things to sow.