Birth, Death and a Tractor: Connecting an Old Farm to a New Family

Birth, Death and a Tractor: Connecting an Old Farm to a New Family

by Kelly Payson-Roopchand, 223 pages, 6x9¼, hardcover. Folks who enjoyed John Bunker’s Not Far from the Tree will want to pick up Kelly Payson-Roopchand’s first published work. Although her style is quite different from Bunker’s, they document similar themes: the terroir that envelops a piece of land, a community and the lives of its family farmers, and the sheer sensuous satisfaction of working in its elements. In Payson-Roopchand’s words, “with blood and dirt commingled on our hands, we understood the perspective of the pig and the potato.” Before a background of ever-present economic uncertainty, here is Payson-Roopchand’s multigenerational and multicultural paean to the visceral joys of pastoral life as she strives to keep their farm alive for a 7th (and maybe 8th!) generation. Through it all stands the symbol and corporeal reality of the tractor: its functionality, potential power, ability to replace many horses, the elegant vantage point from atop its seat, but also the burden of debt it imposes on its farmers. A book for those who want to understand what lures new generations back to the farm, and especially for those who think they or their kids might want to farm. -CR Lawn


9510 Birth, Death and a Tractor: Connecting an Old Farm to a New Family
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