Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Review - One Woman Farm


One Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats and a Fine Fiddle

By: Jenna Woginrich
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Publication Date: October 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60342-718-0
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: December 19, 2013

Staying true to her farming passion, Jenna Woginrich delivers delightful and heartfelt sentiments as she guides the reader through her year of farming in her latest book, One Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats and a Fine Fiddle.

Ms. Woginrich begins her book by sharing the reflections and sentiments of her friend Paul. A former dairy farmer, Paul laments about the Days of Grace. The two are sitting on the wrong side of freedom in the confines of their corporate offices. It is a cold and dreary November day and as Paul looks to the gray and bleak sky beyond the office windows, he muses: ‘These were the Days of Grace...’ Paul explains these particular days were the days of transition between the brilliance of fall and its tone-setting for the long winter ahead. In farming, the Days of Grace are a critical and busy time. It is a time of preparedness and hard labor as the farmer stacks his wood, repairs farm equipment and loads the last hay and feed grain into the barn. It is a vital and essential necessity in order to navigate the winter ahead.

As Jenna listens, her wanderlust for a life of farming is ignited. Once her fierce desire is awakened she decides to leave her conventional day job behind and join the ranks of the Hudson Valley farm community. It is when she purchases Cold Antler Farm that her dreams become reality. For the next year, she guides the reader through one complete farming cycle—a cycle that begins with October’s harvest and one that ends the following year after her next October harvest.

Ms. Woginrich delivers a beautiful account in easy to read format. I liken her book to reading the pages of her personal journal and the intricate details of her one year journey are captivating. She writes of the ridiculously long days farming life extracts from a human being—days that beckon a person to rise well before the sun; demand an intense regimen through the work and certainly a day that disallows going to bed until long after the sun has gone to bed. Ms. Woginrich has visionary command of her pen and a gifted ability to describe a scene with an emotion the reader can feel. One passage, in particular, that truly resonated with me: ‘Magic is a fond desire coming true. Whether your Merlin is a vintage tractor, a mortgage, a new baby, anything—it is possible when you believe it is possible. Follow what you love with all you have to offer it, and the world makes a road for you...’ These are words of wisdom we dreamers can certainly relate to. I opened this book before getting ready for my work day and easily burned through the first hundred pages. I thought about returning to the balance of Ms. Woginrich’s story my entire day at work. I finished this book that same evening upon my return from work. The best way I can describe One Woman Farm and Ms. Woginrich’s magnificent delivery is that it is a body of work that grabs the reader and holds onto him or her from the first page to the very last. Well done Ms. Woginrich. I look forward to your next book and the continuation of the days and months on Cold Antler Farm.

Quill says: One Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats and a Fine Fiddle is absolute inspiration for those who have a dream, believe in their dream and will stop at nothing to achieve their dream.