Monday, September 30, 2013

On the Same Page: The Farming Life - Memoirs

Find out what life is really like on the farm with this list of farming memoirs.

Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich. 

Jenna Woginrich organizes her farm story by subject, and includes practical tips for those who want to emulate all or part of the homestead lifestyle.  Whether you’re interested in backyard chickens, keeping bees, gardening or making music, there’s something in Made from Scratch to inform and delight you.  In addition, Woginirich has a pleasant, conversational style that makes reading this book like having a talk with an old friend.

Jessie Knadler left her home state of Montana for a high-powered lifestyle as an editor in Manhattan without a backward glance. Then a story assignment took her to a rodeo, where she met bull-riding cowboy Jake.  Before long, she found herself in the wilds of Montana, canning, raising chickens, and wondering what on earth she’d gotten herself into.  Knadler’s narrative is a fast-paced, sometimes humorous look at the transition from city to ranch.

Michael Perry moved with his wife and 7 year old daughter to a farm in Wisconsin for varied reasons – to keep family land in the family, to have a more self-sufficient lifestyle, and because, in his opinion, chickens are better entertainment than TV.  Raised on a farm himself, Perry intersperses his story with vignettes from his childhood farming experience.

After nineteen years of marriage, Mardi Link’s husband decided to call it quits, leaving her and their three sons on the small farm that was Mardi’s dream.  Unwilling to let her dream of a sustainable, farm-based life die, she resolved to keep the farm.  Bootstrapper tells the story of her struggle to raise her children, hold on to her farm, and create a new life from almost nothing. 

Not a memoir, per se, but Up We Grow is a great introduction to the cycles of a small farm for children.  With colorful pictures and informative text, elementary school age children can get a taste of farm life.  Parents can use this book to spark conversations with their children about food and agriculture to begin to build awareness of the importance of farms in our lives.

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