Call of the Farm
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 12:00 am
Rochelle Bilow’s The Call of the Farm is subtitled “An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself.” She does get dirty (while apparently preserving her nails), does a lot of cooking (each seasonal section of the book ends with recipes), but there is no evidence that she finds herself or even really looks particularly hard. The book is effectively a romance novel that takes place on a farm and also happens to be a memoir. Once you accept it for what it is, it is acceptable as an occasionally detailed depiction of the work that goes into running a “full diet” community supported agriculture (CSA) farm.
Bilow’s memoir entwines the story of her sojourn at “Stonehill Farm” with her relationship with a farm worker called “Ian” (all the names have been changed and the locations carefully left vague). The romance, of course, ends in tears, something anyone wading into this will immediately sense is inevitable. Her tenure at the farm, however, is the story of a young woman working hard to learn many new skills while also being generous about sharing the skills she has with this small but growing crew of young people.