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Master D Gets Down and Dirty

July 19, 2011 by Reader's Connection

The Dewey Decimal System 600´s include medicine, cooking, metallurgy, engineering, and perhaps most importantly, air conditioning. I´m going with agriculture.

The 000’s: Generalities The Amazon and the Blue Hotel
The 100’s: Philosophy & Psychology Three Questions We Never Stop Asking
The 200’s: Religion What Was Lost: A Christian Journey through Miscarriage
The 300’s: Social Sciences How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle: A History of American Intervention from World War I to Afghanistan
The 400’s: Language Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World’s Most Endangered Languages AND Wordwatching: Breaking into the Dictionary
The 500’s: Natural Sciences & Mathematics A Grand, Bold Thing: An Extraordinary New Map of the Universe Ushering in a New Era of Discovery

The 600s. Technology (Applied Sciences)

The 700s. The Arts
The 800s. Literature & Rhetoric
The 900s. History & Geography




The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love If you were intrigued by the “Food for Thought” theme of last year´s Spirit & Place Festival, you might want to read about the beginnings of the Essex Farm, which distributes its food to its paying members in upstate New York

Freelance writer Kimball went to interview Mark, a young farmer with some strongly held views, and she found him intriguing. Each of them was romantically taken with the other, but when he visited New York City, Kimball’s sense of the differences between them was sharpened.  

He liked taking taxis, because more often than not the driver would be from an agricultural village in some timeless quarter of the world, and Mark could engage him in a lively discussion of halal slaughter methods or the nuances of donkey harness or a particular village’s strategies for controlling rat damage in stored grain . . . What I learned from these experiences was that there were more cultural differences between Mark and me than there were between Mark and a random selection of taxi drivers from the developing world.

 The woman in the hayloft on the book’s cover is indeed Kimball, so you know where the story goes. Against all her expectations, she becomes a farmer, and readers learn about weeding, making maple syrup, killing cucumber beetles, planting potatoes, cooking various pig parts, and trying to herd some steers that have broken out of the pasture (“It was the first time in my farm life that my experience as a high school cheerleader helped me.”)

We read about generosity on the part of neighbors, many of whom believe that this farm will fail. And we learn how a wedding can go all wrong and still be perfect. And this woman loves scrapple! If I were to return to pork consumption after all these years, it would be for the sake of scrapple.

I’m satisfied on all levels.



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