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The Dirty Life A Story of Farming the Land and Falling in Love by Kristin Kimball

The Dirty Life A Story of Farming the Land and Falling in Love

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RRP £12.99

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Being a New York City Girl, Kristin Kimball really entered another dimension when she met dedicated farmer, Mark. A persuasive guy, in no time at all she’s engaged to be married, selling up and moving to a run-down farm where the biggest livestock population is rats. The book centres on their first year rebuilding and renewing the farm, their dream self-sustainable, local production and organic methods. I really warmed to this account, against all current farming trends they go back to horse-power, the mixed farm and supplying their produce locally. It’s heartening to know it can be made to work but equally the reader can’t ignore the incredible workload involved. There’s the story of Kristin and Mark, the land, their produce and their neighbours – and their lucky customers who can buy into a scheme buying everything from maple syrup to butter to meat fruit and preserves from the Kimball farm. I wish them every success in the future and beg Kristin Kimball to write more of her farming life.

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The Dirty Life A Story of Farming the Land and Falling in Love by Kristin Kimball

When Manhattan writer Kristin Kimball arrived to interview Mark on a Pennsylvanian farm, she was wearing high heels and a crisp white shirt and had been vegetarian for thirteen years. That evening, she found herself helping him to slaughter a pig. By the next morning she was tucking into sizzling homemade sausages drizzled with warm maple syrup, and within a few months she'd given up her life in the city and moved with Mark, their combined savings, and a dozen chickens to a derelict farm in a remote corner of upstate New York. They gave themselves a year to transform 500 badly neglected acres into an organic community farm. Passionate, inspiring and gorgeously written, this is a story about falling in love with a man and with a different way to live, complete with runaway piglets and dew-fresh lettuce, sceptical locals and a wedding in a hayloft.


In her beguiling memoir, Kimball describes the complex truth about the simple life in prose that is observant and lyrical, yet tempered by a farmer’s lack of sentimentality.

--Elle Magazine

About the Author

Before becoming a farmer, Kristin Kimball graduated from Harvard University and worked as a freelance writer, writing teacher, and an assistant to a literary agent in New York City. Since 2003, she and her husband have run Essex Farm in the Adirondacks, where they live with their young daughter.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th April 2011


Kristin Kimball

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Portobello Books Ltd an imprint of Granta Books


288 pages


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