Good Husbandry | Granta

  • Published: 07/01/2021
  • ISBN: 9781783784707
  • Granta Books
  • 304 pages

Good Husbandry

Kristin Kimball

When Kristin Kimball fell in love with a farmer and left behind her life in Manhattan to start a new farm with him in the Adirondacks, she had to learn a lot about farming – and fast. But, it turns out that starting a farm is not as challenging as sustaining it. Over the next five years, as two children are born and more land is acquired, the farm has its ups and downs, but then the downs keep on coming. Kristin’s husband gets injured, the weather turns against them, the financial pressures mount. Suddenly, Kristin is facing not only the daily juggle of planting and milking and putting dinner on the table, but bigger questions about the life she has chosen. Is she still a farmer or is she now a farmer’s wife? What does the farm need in order to survive? What does a family need in order to thrive?

Beautifully written and refreshingly honest, Good Husbandry is about farmers and food, friends and neighbours, love and marriage, birth and death, and about how to grow and harvest the good things in life.

I've been making an effort to read more narrative nonfiction and I couldn't have found a better choice than Good Husbandry by Kristin Kimball. From her naïve beginning and the capriciousness of weather and time, to the particular challenges she faced as a partner and a mother, I felt as invested in Essex Farm as she is. Like all good stories - fiction or nonfiction - Kimball's memoir considers what it means to build a good, happy life, and how we are tested in that endeavor. You don't need to know the first thing about farming to love this book

Mary Beth Keane

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. This is her first book.

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From the Same Author

The Dirty Life

Kristin Kimball

Kristin Kimball had no plans to become a farmer. But then she met Mark and everything changed. Within a few months, she’d traded her high heels, vegetarian diet and city apartment for a pair of boots, a troupe of chickens, and a shared commitment to turning 500 swampy acres into an organic community farm. Passionate, inspiring and beautifully written, this is a true story of following your dreams and learning to grow your own happiness.