The Dirty Life

9781416551614_p0_v1_s260x420Kristin Kimball is the woman behind the Dirty Life blog.  She is also the author of The Dirty Life, which was published in 2011.  I’ve just finished this book – and I really liked it!

It is a chronicle of her departure from her busy writing career in New York City to a farm in a rural part of New York state.  This is not only a departure from life as she knew it, but it’s also a conversion from city life to farm life, in which she becomes more in touch with the earth, the soil, and her partner in this adventure, Mark.  I’ve never wanted to live in New York City, and I’ve also never wanted to live on a farm, yet this book was incredibly interesting.  It was also a tale of how opposites attract.  The reason why she leaves NYC is because she meets a man so intriguing she was willing to make this astounding leap.

Mark had been farming for a while, on a small scale, before they met.  She was working on a story that led her to interview Mark.  She became interested not only in his way of life, but also in finding out how and why this college-educated man would choose this lifestyle.  And once she understood, she became a convert as well.

Her husband Mark had a vision of starting a farm co-op, in which individuals would pay a yearly membership in exchange for crops, fresh meat, eggs, cheese, and other goods.  At first this is quite a lofty goal, with  Kristin as his partner, who has no farming experience at all.  She certainly had her doubts, several times throughout the book she questioned whether or not they would be able to make their farm co-op successful.  It took a little bit of love, a little bit of luck, and a lot of hard work.  One thing that made this project work was their commitment to each other, and their commitment to this goal.  Her faith was shaken quite a few times – and she’s open about that, yet she continues to work tirelessly alongside Mark.

In reading this book, I have gained a better appreciation for the fresh food that I eat.  Through her words, I have a better understanding of just how hard farming can be.  I guess I forgot to mention that when they started this project, they weren’t married yet.  So, in many ways, this challenged their relationship.  Because they survived and succeeded at getting their farm co-op off the ground, what other challenges couldn’t they face?  They eventually did get married, there on the farm that they owned, and were able to feed the wedding guests with food they had grown themselves.  It was a proud moment in so many ways for them; and it was especially surprising for Kristin’s family and friends who thought she was crazy for getting involved with Mark and leaving her career in NYC behind.

I was really inspired by this book!  I probably won’t be starting my own farm anytime in the near future, but I will be more mindful of where my food comes from.  I also have a greater appreication for food, how it is grown, how it arrives in the supermarket, and for the people who worked hard to grow and cultivate it.

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