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The Dirty Life Audiobook

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love

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Publisher's Summary

Single, 30-something, and working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to 500 acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season---complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn.

Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the "whole diet"---beef, pork, chicken, milk, eggs, maple syrup, grains, flours, dried beans, herbs, fruits, and forty different vegetables---produced by the farm. The work is done by draft horses instead of tractors, and the fertility comes from compost. Kimball's vivid descriptions of landscape, food, cooking---and marriage---are irresistible.

"As much as you transform the land by farming," she writes, "farming transforms you." In her old life, Kimball would stay out until four AM, wear heels, and carry a handbag. Now she wakes up at four, wears Carhartts, and carries a pocket knife. At Essex Farm, she discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land.

©2010 Kristin Kimball (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Kimball has a gift for throwing into high relief contemporary Americans' disconnect between farm-life realities and city ambitions." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (505 )
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4.3 (442 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marinera76 08-30-15
    Marinera76 08-30-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "captivating but... for city people!"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tavia Gilbert?

    anyone. i decided to write a review just to write about this narration style. imho, TERRIBLE, unbearable. at the beginning I thought it was because she was reading too fast and mechanically, without enough breathing space to understand that "oh, this is probably a new paragraph, totally different topic, huh"... after a few chapters I noticed this is probably a reading style that is becoming popular.... but it makes me nervous! it's "jumpy", it sounds like she 's in a hurry. it sounds like someone told her "please make every word very clear"... and she's making an effort. the result? single words fast, but no sentences... therefore intonation is just wrong! it's even worse than the reader of "daring greatly". ok, who do i like as readers? compare to: davina porter, juliet stevenson and / or barbara caruso. phrasing a sentence, interpretation is so much more than "reading words out loud".


    Any additional comments?

    the story is ok, a bit simplistic. relaxing summer reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Bare IDAHO FALLS, ID, US 04-28-15
    Amber Bare IDAHO FALLS, ID, US 04-28-15 Member Since 2013

    A. Bare

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    "Loved!"

    Not what I expected, it was even better. Makes me want to move to the country and start a farm well more like a very small gardens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. K. Gardinier Columbus, OH USA 03-12-15
    T. K. Gardinier Columbus, OH USA 03-12-15 Member Since 2015

    Trina Gardinier

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    15
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    "Makes me want to be a farmer..."

    Not really, but I'd gladly visit a farm now. And I'm going to invest in a CSA in my area because of this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bethany Roseville, MN, United States 10-20-13
    Bethany Roseville, MN, United States 10-20-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Simply a great book!"
    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. I loved her journey! I love the idea of needing to incorporate more physical work in your day! and how rewarding it is. I look at all of my daily chores differently and try to find the joy in them!
    What they are doing is amazing, admirable, and inspirational.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Mansfield 04-02-13 Member Since 2013

    sdmb27

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "partly enjoyable to read."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Would not. although it does have some good parts, it takes the "bad side" of farm life too far.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Kristin Kimball again?

    probably not


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    too much of telling how hard life is on the farm.


    Do you think The Dirty Life needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    NOPE


    Any additional comments?

    nope.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    knittymama 02-01-13
    knittymama 02-01-13
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    2
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    Story
    "I Got Sucked In And Want More!"

    I was initially turned off by the narrator's voice and was worried it would prevent me from enjoying the book. It didn't take long before I was do into the story that I was driving around the block instead of parking my car (where I do my listening) in order to hear the end of a chapter. I enjoyed how the author weaves together farm information, events, and romance. The balance meant it was never too boring or too sappy.

    This is definitely a story, not a how-to. That said, my husband and I both found it inspiring...that we can take our dreams and hard work and do something with them, even if its a little crazy.

    I can't wait until her next book comes out!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Newport, MI, United States 09-12-12
    Ken Newport, MI, United States 09-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good...Because I was looking for more about Farmin"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Little to much of a love story. Wanted to here more about those PIGS!


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kristin Kimball? Why or why not?

    Sure....If more was about the Farm


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Tavia Gilbert?

    Sure


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Sure


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Erie, Pa, United States 06-26-12
    Andrew Erie, Pa, United States 06-26-12
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    "Loved it!"

    Captivating story of new love and farming! I enjoyed listening to this book on a drive through the midwest!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Herr Santa Fe, New Mexico 05-30-12
    Bruce Herr Santa Fe, New Mexico 05-30-12 Member Since 2008
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    "I walked in her Carthartt boots..."

    ... as I listened to this book. This gifted writer made me feel, smell, taste, touch her new experiences as she transforms her life from urban sophisticate to farmer. Humorous and elegaic, a pure delight. The reader, Tavia Gilbert, gives perfect voice to this story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brooksiesgal 04-20-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accurate but missing the ups to balance the downs"

    She did a very good job of accurately portraying starting a new farming venture - at least from my own experience. What I did not like was that in spite of her regular professed love for the work and experience, much of the book felt negative - not the events themselves but her experiences of them. Having had many of the same experiences I would have liked to hear more of the uplifting, enlivening, purposeful, and inspiring experiences that cause her to love what she does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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