We can neither see nor hear any of our neighbors,"" opens Silber--but this engaging memoir by the...



We can neither see nor hear any of our neighbors,"" opens Silber--but this engaging memoir by the advertising-exec-turned-farmer is less a Walden-style paean to rural living than a hardheaded (and self-promotional) guide to the business of small-scale farming. Maine-born Silber, along with her husband, Mark, bought the old Bonney farm for a song in 1965 and commuted to it on weekends from Boston for the next 13 years. During this time, they refurbished the farmhouse, cleared some acreage under the tutelage of helpful neighbors, started a small garden of squash and cucumbers, beans and corn. A second year's crop yielded surplus produce that, one bright morning, the couple hauled to a farmers' market they'd heard about; in an hour and a half they'd sold all for $18.75 and found they had a working farm on their hands. During the next few years, they continued as eager weekend farmers, their expertise at growing and selling mushrooming until, in 1978, they moved to the farm for good, plunging into the organizing and retail supplying of farmer's markets and the wholesale supplying of local restaurants. In time, the cozy family farm burgeoned into a significant enterprise supporting up to a dozen; recently, the Silbers have abandoned vegetable farming in favor of mail-order products--seedlings, dried flowers, herbal wreaths--and have turned their homestead (rechristened ""Hedgehog Farm"") into a center for gardening workshops and a display case for their products. A trove of lore for the budding farmer--from the best seed-catalogues to advice on organic farming to how to handle hired help--lies within this frank, unsentimental, proudly entrepreneurial chronicle of the farming life. Of appeal to Whole Earthers, New Agers, and those who just like to hear about how things--including dreams--grow.

Pub Date: March 28, 1988


Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988