A Year in the Life of an Organic Farm
by Nicola Smith 
The Lyons Press, 2004.

Anyone contemplating a career in farming, especially on a small scale using organic methods, must read this book.

Before you buy a piece of land and some livestock and face the realities of feeding and birthing and doctoring and slaughtering animals, have a look at this book.

And prior to subjecting yourself to pre-dawn chores, unseasonable weathers, byzantine government regulations, and the mercy of fickle consumers, see what modern-day homsteading is really like.

Nicola Smith, a freelance writer in Vermont, spent a year (2003) following the fortunes of fellow Vermonters Jennifer Megyesi and Kyle Jones on their 20-acre Fat Rooster Farm. Illustrated with color photos by her husband, Geoff Hansen, Smith presents a words-and-pictures portrait of the certified organic operation that seeks to portray the realities of farming and truths about how foodstuffs are produced in this country.

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We impute virtue to farming, and we mythologize it in a particularly American way, as the little guy, the underdog, holding on in the face of corporate greed and governmental indifference because of his or her attachment to The Land. We romanticize it, although much of American agriculture is a business like any other, propped up by subsidies and tariffs and lobbying, and the history of the independent farmer in the twentieth century has been, to say the least, turbulent.

M. Hofferber Books 
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