Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

The most compelling memoirs are not about movie stars or teenagers who combat abuse, alcoholism or anorexia. They are really the ones where ordinary people do unusual things with their lives.  Things that we can picture doing ourselves.

Kristin Kimball lived life as a NYC writer. Lattes and Central Park and nice clothing.  On a story assignment, she met a farmer who took her breath away and in a short amount of time she gave up her lease on her Manhattan apartment and joined the man she would later marry in starting an organic farm in Northern New York near Lake Champlain.

The work is back breaking and she has little time for sleep or any of the activities that normally occupy her.  Her parents think she is a tad crazy, but by the last chapter she has agreed to have a wedding on the farm for 300 people and comes to a happy satisfaction with her crazy, dirty life.

Her partner is an optimist and always believes that people will come together to care for each other: that things will be given them and labor be donated.  Their new community proves to be an oasis of faith and love and neighborliness of which they participate in as well.  It is exciting to follow the story of how the farm and the CSA come together seed by seed, animal by animal. The climax of  the story is a big grand wedding and a small glimpse into the future of a new baby born at home under the watchful eye of their pigs and cows.

If you are interested in this simple life,  the farming life, a life transformed you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

1 comment:

Ceska said...

The Dirty Life is an engrossing and finely crafted look into the world of family farming. In an era when "farm" increasingly indicates gigantic agribusiness concern, this book shows what it's like for the small local farm. Spanning both the gritty details of the daily grind as well as larger reflections on the rural pastoral life, Kimball shows she has an eye for details great and small. I can't help but feel that this book could spur a new movement of local farmers.