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Publisher's Summary

From the celebrated author of the beloved best seller The Dirty Life, this “superb memoir chronicles the evolution of a farm, marriage, family, and her own personal identity with humor, insight, and candor” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) detailing life on Essex Farm - a 500-acre farm that produces food for a community of 250 people.

The Dirty Life chronicled Kimball’s move from New York City to 500 acres near Lake Champlain where she started a new farm with her partner, Mark. In Good Husbandry, she reveals what happened over the next five years at Essex Farm.

Farming has many ups and downs, and the middle years were hard for the Kimballs. Mark got injured, the weather turned against them, and the farm faced financial pressures. Meanwhile, they had two small children to care for. How does one traverse the terrain of a maturing marriage and the transition from being a couple to being a family? How will the farm survive? What does a family need in order to be happy?

Kristin chose Mark and farm life after having a good look around the world, with a fair understanding of what her choices meant. She knew she had traded the possibility of a steady paycheck, of wide-open weekends and spontaneous vacations, for a life and work that was challenging but beautiful and fulfilling. So with grit and grace and a good sense of humor, she chose to dig in deeper.

Featuring some of the same local characters and cherished animals first introduced in The Dirty Life (Jet the farm dog, Delia the dairy cow, and those hardworking draft horses), plus a colorful cast of aspiring first-generation farmers who work at Essex Farm to acquire the skills they need to start sustainable farms of their own, Good Husbandry “considers what it means to build a good, happy life, and how we are tested in that endeavor” (Mary Beth Keane, New York Times best-selling author of Ask Again, Yes). 

©2019 Kristin Kimball (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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What listeners say about Good Husbandry

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

She can write but can't read

Loved her first book and this book is really enjoyable as well. For myself, I don't care for the way Kristin reads-it's irritating and takes away from the story. I wish I had ordered the book and read it instead of buying the Audible book. Read the book-don't listen to it. There's a reason that actors usually do the reading, like farming, skills are needed. Kristin can write, but should have had someone else read the book for Audible. I'm listening to her reading the book as I write this review-it's horrible, her reading is flat and....well I give up...I'm buying the book...maybe this was a plot...you end up buying the book twice.

6 people found this helpful

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Enlightening and Grounding

I’d say that Kristin’s books, The Dirty Life and Good Husbandry offer courage and perspective to help take on life’s challenges and adventures. I had the privilege of visiting Essex Farm several years ago and while I was there I picked up their newsletter, where I learned of The Dirty Life. I realized I had stumbled upon something special, nature, people, connection. Kristin’s words and narrative will stay close to my heart and continue to ground me in my own experiences with farming, food, self-growth, relationships, family, and change. I would recommend these books to anyone, and especially to people who are inclined to reflect, challenge themselves, and who strive to connect with the world around them, in whatever way they seek to do so. I found Good Husbandry to genuinely capture creativity, hard work, science, passion, relationships, hope, fear, resourcefulness, patience, perseverance, mindfulness, and individuality.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

A tale of hardship that needs a different narrator

Author's choice to narrate is unfortunate; her voice is breathy and her intonation often includes upspeak, making statements sound like questions. The author's husband seems like an incredibly difficult person; at times manic and other times confined to bed, he opposes even minor changes to a house full of inconvenient and even unsafe features, such as holes in the floor and an outdoor staircase to get to the bedrooms. I'm happy their marriage improved through counseling, but the book is just depressing on the subject, and the author's life is in danger because of old/faulty equipment more than once. I question the wisdom of her husband's decisions to produce such a vast range of foods using primarily horsepower and without drainage for many years. His ambition and intransigence seem dangerous. The farm is a gargantuan task that nearly crushes them. I've read many books on farming, and this left an overwhelmingly dour impression.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn't stop listening!

I loved every bit of it. listened to the whole thing in a day! Made me want to start my own farm, despite the hardships that were reflected upon. It touched the deeper part or my soul.

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loved it

listened while moving and spreading truckloads of wood mulch with a pitchfork and lawn tractor. kept me moving, distracted, entertained... even made me laugh and cry.

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alluring and sweet

I don't know how to start a review for a story I feel so much a part of. The author draws you in and shares what feels like everything with you, worded and read in a way that made me long for more.

The content itself kept me coming back for more as my own family plans and prepares for a large farm as well.

Her story is captivating and raw. Listening has truly been a treat.

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Fantastic

This audio book is fantastic it transports you to the realistic and magical world of farming.

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Fascinating honest book Well read.

Narration and book excellent. I enjoyed the author's voice. It was perfect compliment to her story.

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Good Husbandry is one of my Favorite Books

I love this book so much. Kristen has an amazing insite into the importance and impact of their farm, family, and the reality of hard work.. I so appreciate her candor with regards to her marriage, her ability to love fiercely even when it is difficult. I suggested this book for our book club and it was the highlight of last year. Thank you Kristen, please keep writing! I don't live on a farm in reality but my heart always has in my dreams.

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Gripping stories beautifully crafted.

Anyone who has ever farmed or homesteaded will be able to physically FEEL these stories. The writing is so vivid and Kristin’s narration is plainly honest and engaging, you almost don’t notice how you are being carried along on such finely crafted prose. I devoured both her books and recommend them...not enough stars to rate this book highly enough!!