Thursday, September 15, 2016

From My Bookshelf

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For anyone who lives by the cycle of the seasons, Jenna Woginrich's book, One Woman Farm, is a celebration of that rhythm. The book chronicles a year-in-the-life at her place, Cold Antler Farm, in upstate New York. With bewitching insight, she harvests the aura of farm life that keeps some of us, with muck boots firmly planted, tied to our homesteads. If you've ever daydreamed about a life defined by the time of year and not by the time of day, then this book will capture your spirit and send it in search of its own patch of land.

She sorts the book into seasonal chapters — autumn, winter, spring, fall and, her most-loved Holy October. Interspersed throughout are spellbinding characteristics that define her time on the farm: cider making in October, lambing in winter, milking lessons in spring and summer gliding in her hammock. She weaves a rich tapestry that is her farm life, complete with tending to her animals, planting a garden, completing unending chores and daily learning, inspiring us to take a step out of our artificial time zones and embrace Earth's natural life cycle.

Her expressive prose is romantic, revealing the intensity of her love for her livestock, her land and her life. It's not easy. The work is hard. The hours long. The trials at times overshadow the rewards. Her lifeline is her determination. She says, "It's harder to fail when success is your only choice for survival."

If, as part of your daily routine, you traipse between chicken coops and tomato beds, eat apples standing under the tree and get goosebumps at the farm store, you will find a kindred spirit in Woginrich and the blueprint to making a dream happen.

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