The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love

Dirty LifeKristin Kimball's The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love is one of those books that seemingly magicked its way onto my reserve shelf. I don't know if I saw it on a blog and added it or if I was just browsing the library catalogue (a frequent and dangerous activity) when I found it. I'm just glad I did.

A couple of weeks ago I was exhausted. I think I was fighting some kind of bug and we decided that we'd keep errands to a minimum that day. We did our usual Saturday library run and then had to go across town to the vet. I fished The Dirty Life out of the library bag and read a few pages. Then I read a few more pages. By the time we go home I was few chapters into it. I grabbed my water bottle and headed up the bedroom where I settled onto the bed in a patch of sunlight. Over the next few hours I basked in the sun streaming in through the window and read how this woman, living in New York City, turned her life upside-down.

It started as a simple assignment. She went to interview a farmer. She weeded, picked rocks, and cooked lunch before she had much of a chance to talk to him. When she finally did something shifted and before she knew it she was leaving the big city life behind and they were looking for land on which to start their own farm together. Oh and avoiding planning their wedding.

I grew up someplace where you always know someone who farms. I've always known it was hard work so it fascinates me when people just jump into it with two feet. It does make sense though. I think if you were wade into it you'd never do it. Farming life is easy to romanticize, all the fresh air and lovely fresh food (if you are that kind of farmer). Kimball does a great job of balancing the great parts with the really gritty, "omg wtf were we thinking?" bits.

The Dirty Life is kind of the perfect read for this time of year. It opens you up to possibilities. No, I'm not going to run off the country and start a working (or hobby) farm. But maybe I need to start thinking about those containers in the garage and what I can plant in them this summer. Do I want to tackle tomatoes again? And herbs...I can do an herb garden on the deck. It's time to start plotting and planning and thinking about the possibilities.