Harmonious Homestead
Connecting Farms & Families In Central Ohio since 2010


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Homestead Heroines {Book Hounds}

books houndsLast month I devoured three accounts from fellow female real-food lovers. I read Kristin Kimball's The Dirty Life, The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker and How to Eat a Small Country by Amy Finley. Each was part inspiration, part 'what not to do' and thoroughly enjoyable. Finley's How to Eat a Small Country is the tale of a family reconvening in a foreign land from the verge of dissolution. Amy, her husband, and two young children leave their home in the US for an extended stay in France. They live in a farm house owned by an adventurous couple and their children. The families slaughter animals and eat French delicacies together, enthralling and appalling the Americans. Through their travels, Amy and her husband relearn how to enjoy their marriage and family.

The Dirty Life tells how Kristin Kimball abruptly changes the direction of her life when she meets future husband Mark during a writing assignment. After a short period of dating, they move to a neglected new england country estate. Mark's passion for feeding others through hands-on, horse-drawn organic gardening slowly transforms the land and Kristin's habits into a viable whole foods community supported agriculture experience.

chicken chronicles alice walkerAlice Walker is an approachable but formidable writer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize among other awards. In The Chicken Chronicles, she considers her flock of backyard chickens. The book's short essays convey Walker's complex values through seemingly simple conversations with her chickens. For part of the book she is writing to the chickens as she travels in India. A woman who misses her birds while visiting with the Dali Lama is a woman I can understand.

Walker's blog is a constant source of amazement. She is an activist with a gift for writing about her incredible experiences in an everyday accessible way. She is in Gaza right now and I am addicted to her updates.

Each read offers encouragement to urban homesteaders of both genders. The Chicken Chronicles is the quickest read and the most thought provoking. How to Eat a Small Country was a great warning sign to me: proceed with caution in the food media world. And The Dirty Life made me desire the farming life ever more.

What books have inspired you lately?


Added to Simple Lives Thursday 51.