This Thanksgiving break I have been on a non-fiction kick. My third non-fiction book, The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love by Kristin Kimball, provided an inside look at one woman's adventures in farming . Kimball was on an assignment for a story when she first met Mark, a young farmer, who was attempting to live off the land and open his own farmer's cooperative. Although Kimball didn't have any background in farming herself and was living the city life, she was drawn to Mark and his way of life. The two fell in love and decided to make a life farming the land together. There were - and still are- many challenges along the way. Kimball shares the various hardships they endured while starting out- going to bed wearing hat and mittens while Mark read aloud from East of Eden. Entering their kitchen to see a rat scurry behind the wall. Having dogs attack their cow, Delilah. Somehow the two persevered, despite the many obstacles they had to overcome. Kimball also credits the help of their small community with making their dream a reality. Unlike the anonymity a city provides, Kimball enjoys and appreciates the small town she now lives in - the way they care for each other and help each other.
I appreciate anyone who is able to forego the material trappings of this world. While Kimball was able to do this, Mark is truly amazing in this regard. He buys only second-hand - including underwear, and is even looking into making his own toothbrushes so as to avoid the use of any plastic. In some ways Kimball and her lifestyle reminds me a bit of Michael Perry, whose books I so enjoy reading.
Not only did this book provide plenty to think about in regard to her lifestyle, it is also entertaining. I have lucked out this weekend, finding three great non-fiction selections - what a task it will be to find another book to follow these.