The Seasons on Henry's Farm
Through closely observed natural phenomena and engagingly told stories, The Seasons on Henry’s Farm takes readers deep inside the world of a small-scale farmer, and in so doing, opens a window into what sustainable farming really entails and why it is vital and relevant to everyone who eats.
Henry's Farm, run by Henry Brockman, is in central Illinois—some of the richest farming land in the world. There, he and his family—five generations of farmers, including sister Terra, the author—have bucked traditional agribusiness thinking by farming in a way that's sensible, sustainable, and focused on producing healthy, nutritious food in ways that don't despoil the land.
Terra Brockman tells the story of her family in the form of a year-long memoir—with recipes—that takes readers through each season of life on the farm. Studded with vignettes, digressions, photographs, and family stories, the book is a one-of-a-kind treasure that will appeal to readers of Michael Pollan, E.B. White, Gretel Ehrlich, and Sandra Steingraber.
Though rooted in the rolling oak-hickory hills and fertile fields and flood plains of the Mackinaw River Valley, the book ranges widely, incorporating literary, scientific, and culinary reflections occasioned by the week-by-week events of farm life.
Brockman has created a mindful and mouthwatering invitation to eat great food grown by people near you who love the land. This is a book for everyone who cares about the food we eat, the land we live on, and the environment that sustains us.
Praise for "Seasons"
This is by far the most informative and earnest of the back-to-the-land memoirs; . . . It’s a sober, cleareyed assessment of what needs to get done, when, how and why. . . . By the time spring arrived, I was eyeing my suitcase and seriously contemplating a stint as an intern.
Dominique Browning, Sunday New York Times Book Review, June 6, 2010
If you’re hungry for a morsel of delicious farm writing, sit back and savor this. Terra Brockman is … by turns farm writer, poet, philosopher and darned good cook.
Barbara Mahany, Chicago Tribune
Here’s what you get when the farmer’s sister turns out to be a masterful writer: a compelling argument for rebuilding our nation’s food security that is threaded with a lyrical, funny, suspenseful narrative of life on her brother’s Illinois farm. The cycles of the agrarian calendar are so vividly described within these pages that I was sure I would wake up the next morning with sore muscles.
Sandra Steingraber, scientist and author of Living Downstream
A delightful synergy of poetic inspiration and realistic descriptions of life on a farm. Here is the joy and satisfaction of growing garlic, raising turkeys, tending fruit trees, and growing vegetables.
Frederick Kirschenmann, president, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture