- Fritzi Newton
I don’t know about you, but I’m always drawn to accounts of people who forgo traditional lives to pursue the unknown. Some make the move to remote locations; others choose to follow unusual career paths. In The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love, author Kristin Kimball leaves behind what many might label an enviable existence as a freelance writer in New York City to stake a claim on a 500-acre, ramshackle farm.
Kristin’s been assigned to write an article about Mark, who’s making a name for himself in the ever-changing world of farming. Rather than being able to interview her subject—who remains on a constant treadmill of chores—she finds herself hoeing broccoli and slaughtering pigs…all in her urban finest. The next day brings her no closer to Mark as she’s assigned to work the tomato fields. With time running out and only a few scribbles recorded, Kristin implores Mark to answer her questions. Their brief encounter will lead to a major life change for them both.
Although not looking for a wife, Mark hears a pesky voice inside his head saying, “You’re going to marry this woman.” For her part, Kristin is intrigued by and attracted to this most idealistic and wholesome, yet very manly specimen. Many crates of delectable produce later (plus precious quality time), Kristin agrees to leave the city and help Mark realize his vision of working a farm and establishing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. As opposed to most CSAs, this one would supply members with a full complement of food from meat to dairy to produce.
Although she has recurring doubts, has never encountered so much dirt (hence the title), and builds muscles she never even knew existed, Kristin finds herself forging a powerful bond with the land, a connection giving her life infinite purpose.