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Seasons on Henry's Farm

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"Locavores will appreciate Brockman's book as a testament to sustainable agriculture; those just looking for an engaging read won t be left hungry, either."--Janet Fuller"The Chicago Sun-Times" (11/11/2009)" This is by far the most informative and earnest of the back-to-the-land memoirs; anyone thinking about farming as a way of life should read it. "The Seasons on Henry's Farm" isn t full of peril. It doesn t warn away or beckon hither. It s a sober, cleareyed assessment of what needs to get done, when, how and why. By describing a year s worth of chores on her brother s farm in central Illinois, Brockman give us an excellent idea of how demanding and profoundly rewarding farming can be....Her prose is brisk, yet richly detailed. The chapter on the ice storm that felled a beloved oak, which gave Henry a way to propagate mushrooms, is a marvel of concise wisdom, and so is one called Drakes Mount, for anyone who ever wondered exactly how birds do it. By the time spring arrived, I was eyeing my suitcase and seriously contemplating a stint as an intern. Brockman gives new meaning to the term earth mother. She brooks no nonsense or misplaced sentimentality about life on a farm. She can be eloquent even on the life of swine, watching piglets suckling while the mother sow s grunts and moans turned erotic. And then, in the next line, there s a reference to the hogs we ll butcher that same day. When Henry decides to charge customers for biodegradable plastic bags (and Brockman adroitly explains why even those aren t good), some of his customers are furious. She s wryly funny about how heresy quickly becomes practicality. Brockman is an avid reader: Shakespeare, William Carlos Williams, Marcel Proust and Gabriel Garcia Marquez stride across Henry s fields. And their eloquence rubs off: her descriptions of winter s quiet make you want to try experiencing those grueling summer days on the farm, simply to deserve that rich relaxation when the crops are all in.--Dominique Browning"New York Times Book Review" (06/06/2010)" "This literary, yearlong memoir documenting the weeks on a central Illinois sustainable farm is filled with poetry and beauty as well as advocacy and science...This is not a confrontational book that takes on corporate chemical farming. It's a gentle book that points to an alternative path."--Clare Howard"Peoria Journal Star" (10/19/2009) "Interlacing vibrant description, thoughtful reflection and mouth-watering recipes, Brockman's book explores and recounts the physical and personal realities of a daily relationship with the land."--Elizabeth Janicek"Radish Magazine" (10/30/2009) "Terra Brockman gives the reader a view of the world of the farm, and a glimpse of a greater world of literature and art. With the log of daily activities throughout the year, and interesting recipes, this book offers the reader a bountiful and varied feast. Read it and be joyful that you can take advantage of the produce from Henry's farm without the unending labor."--Joan Richards"Chicago Botanic Garden" (02/01/2010)

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