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A small farm in Maine av Terry Silber

A small farm in Maine (urspr publ 1988; utgåvan 1989)

av Terry Silber

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
834258,736 (4.21)1
Titel:A small farm in Maine
Författare:Terry Silber
Info:New York : Doubleday, 1989, c1989.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


A Small Farm in Maine av Terry Silber (1988)


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Visar 4 av 4
A small farm in Maine by Terry Silver
Terry and Mark are photographers and buy a farm in 70's in Maine for weekends.
They farm the land as time goes on and all the changes that come about. Others teach them how to grow produce, flowers and herbs.
How they start with just one small plot and every year they enlarge it. Like story of greenhouse and the improvements after the first year they had to make.
Loved the part about growing seeds inside too early-this is what I have been known to do and the advice about rotating the crops.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Jan 15, 2016 |
An Unfavorable Review

I picked this book up at random while thrifting because I liked the plain-brown-wrapper styling and the image of a huge cabbage on the cover. I am interested in natural history and gardening issues, and I thought that a memoir of someone who had gone back to the land and made a living at it would at least make some interesting, relevant points for this Gentle Reader. And I did enjoy reading the beginning, when she described how her mother loved to rove the back roads and found the property and how she had bought it on a whim, how she had fallen in love with it. How she loved reading old books for the wealth of agricultural knowledge modern society has forgotten.

I have to say, soon I really sympathized with how unenthusiastic the other participants of the farmer’s market were about all she had to say about marketing. I imagine they all breathed a big gusty sigh of relief when the opinionated big city woman finally decamped to focus on her own business and quit haranguing them about how she wanted them to be.

After reading pages upon pages about marketing, I began to feel uneasy about Terry’s character, somehow. I realized that although she and her husband had a son, I knew only three bare facts about the boy: his name is Jacob, he was old enough that they had to explain to him why they wouldn’t be going back to Boston; they surprised him with a pony. However he felt about his pony after the moment it was delivered was never addressed. Without this information, the account of this family farm seems oddly incomplete. Dishonest.

I know a fair bit about family farming and how it requires every ounce of effort from every pair of available hands. My Grandma Helen grew up in a farming family up in North Dakota, and by the time she was three years old, her mother had had another baby, and Helen knew her mother truly needed her help to go pick peas, bring in a bucket of water, bring in another stick of firewood, get the eggs… when she told me it had been a lot of work to keep from being hungry or cold in a place where the house didn’t have power or running water and it took a man a day’s trip to go cut firewood, I understood vaguely what she meant about the continual, titanic effort to survive. She always said that her father, as mean as he’d been, he had been a good man, because he’d made sure his family was never cold in winter.

I myself wish mightily I had an extra pair of hands around the place to go bring in the laundry or pick the tomatoes, and I just have a small household and garden in the suburbs. Terry expressed her appreciation for the help given by her parents. Therefore, I wonder how Terry can completely skip over her son’s role on her family farm. Did she have high expectations about the amount of labor the boy could produce? Did he resent doing chores? Did he have dogs or cats to go with his pony? This book made me wonder… did the boy run away from home, did he long for a big city life of sex and drugs and despair, did he tell his mother he didn’t want to be in her book?

Terry’s big-city career was in publishing, another employment category I know a thing or two about, because back in the 1980’s I made my living as a typesetter and had a job at a fancy magazine in San Francisco. The more I read, the more I thought, oh, I would have hated to work for this woman. I checked the author’s portrait on the back flap and sure enough, I thought I saw a self-righteous set to the way her lips are pressed tightly together.

Despite all this, I did want to more or less finish the book, so I resorted to the sort of skimming where my eye touches down two or three times per page, and if it was Still Marketing, I moved on without absorbing the prose. Finally, I reached what I thought was the book’s definitive moment, when Terry discusses hiring practices for prospective employees for the farm. First she says that she understands that nobody else could possibly be as invested in the work and the farm’s success as the owners are. True enough there, I thought. Being an employee certainly is a different kettle of fish than being an owner. Then she went on to complain about how nobody ever understands what she means when she says that “…we tell them that we are hard working to a fault, and that unless they are comfortable in a place of high expectations, they will be unhappy at the farm. PEOPLE NEVER UNDERSTAND THE FULL IMPORT OF THAT WARNING.” (caps added by reviewer for emphasis).

How is it, I thought, that this woman who is so proud of all her verbal skills has never managed to find the right words to express her expectations to her prospective employees? It’s as if she’d rather be able to say, “Gotcha! Told ya! Ha!” The smirking, gloating self-righteousness of the tone here was enough to make me deeply grateful that there is an entire continent between Terry and me and that I shall never be her employee.

This book goes back into the maw of the Goodwill, for I shall not suffer it to linger upon my shelves.

on edit: If this seemed harsh, it's because when I worked in publishing, I had a supervisor who reminds me of Terri, what with the inflated sense of her own position larded with self-righteousness. I still hates her, I does. So, I vented.

2013: I still remember, with extreme distaste, how reading Terry's book made me feel about her. I still have a vicious, imaginary smack to apply somewhere about her person. I still think her son ran away from home in early puberty, and that if he chose a life of sex and drugs and rock and roll on the streets of Boston, it may have been more wholesome than his home life. I REALLY didn't like this author or her book. How fortunate that I could just get rid of it and never have to make nice about my feelings.
  KaterinaBead | Nov 5, 2009 |
Substance: The emerging life of a sophisticated, professional couple as they transition from corporate / academic life to agriculture and education. Full of interesting information for other budding gardeners, and astute philosophical insights.
Style: Extremely well-written, casual without being simplistic. Non-sequential chronology in some places is handled smoothly. ( )
  librisissimo | Oct 16, 2009 |
I just finished this book and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Terry Silber lived the life that I aspire to. A life of being close to the earth, developing her own business, and constantly learning. Being a gardener, I appreciated the journey that she had in first starting out and picking seeds, methods of gardening, trials and errors. I respect that she was one of the only organic gardeners in her area at the time but still took the hard way and kept it all organic. She lived a beautiful, sustainable life. I found myself being both inspired and motivated by this book. This is one that I'll read again and again. ( )
  kattamer81 | Mar 24, 2008 |
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Introduction: We can neither see nor hear any of our neighbors.
The old farmhouse had been sitting empty at the end of a discontinued road for more than fifteen years.
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