The Dirty Life

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kristin Kimball talks about her transformation from a freelance writer in New York City to a farmer in Upstate New York. After she interviewed a young farmer, she ended up leaving the city and moving near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love is the chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, and their ambitious plan to grow everything needed to feed a community.


Kristin Kimball

Comments [11]

Lauren from Honolulu

Love this subject! I bought the book after I heard this interview and devoured it in one day. A great complement to Kingsolver's amazing Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Dec. 08 2010 04:15 PM
Laura from Jackson Hts

I loved this interview. I am trying, with my family, to grow what we can in our backyard and we keep both indoor worm and outdoor bin composts. I look forward to reading your book. My request to Ms. Kimball-- please consider rewriting the book in a version that kids could read (like for my 4th grader!).

Nov. 23 2010 08:17 PM
Joyce Jacobs from Teaneck NJ

My son and his wife run an organic farm in southwestern Minnesota and so I very much enjoyed listening to Ms Kimball's story, I am very suprised that she and her husband use horses instead of farm machinery. This seems like adding more labor to what is already a very labor intensive job but it does seem to work for them.

Nov. 23 2010 06:54 PM
Irene from New Jersey

Just because people have been "doing" something doesn't make it right. There have always been cannibals (yes even today) and Christians were thrown to lions acceptably at one time...doesn't make it right. The numbers of vegetarians and vegans have been increasing especially among young people. They must be misinformed "non thinkers." Flesh eaters tend to be overweight and relatively unhealthy but I bet most don't "think" about it.

Nov. 23 2010 05:47 PM
eliZABETH GALLAGHER from brooklyn new york

I enjoy your talk today I wish I was younger enough to come work on your farm. I work in my little garden in Brooklyn, have a compost bin and nothing goes to waste but it sure take up a lot of my time especially in the Spring and summer but it keeps the bones moving.

Nov. 23 2010 03:52 PM
Sara from New York

@ Irene and Lori

There is nothing wrong with being a vegetarian simply because you do not know where your meat is coming from. It certainly doesn't mean one is "insincere impulsive and arrogant." Raising, witnessing and participating in the process of killing an animal for food can change one's perspective because it fosters security to know how the animal was treated, the type of enviroment in which it was raised and the techniques used in its slaughter. This gives one peace of mind in knowing that the entire process is humane, safe for the consumer and free from influence from large scale governmental and commerical interests. Humans have been raising and killing animals for food for centuries. And raising animals for food does not damage the environment if it is done properly. The damage comes from the excessive waste, the overcrowding, the abuse and the disease that plague factory farms which unfortunately are very much prevalent in our countries. To refuse to eat the meat that comes from these industrial slaughthouses is commendable, but to make a generalized statement that ALL meat consumption is wrong, especially because there are starving people in the world, and to extend such an assumption to characterize one's personality based on his/her choice to eat privately raised meat is ignorant and closed minded. Perhaps you "thinking people" should evaluate your sentiments using facts and research instead of your own personal convictions.

Bravo to Ms. Kimball!

Nov. 23 2010 02:39 PM
Irene from New Jersey

I was startled by Ms. Kimball's admission that she was an obviously pseudo vegetarian for 13 years but dropped that in a flash a she aided her new boyfriend in the slaughter of a pig. If I were her hubby I would worry, since she has shown her capacity for insincerity and impulsiveness. Any thinking person knows that raising animals for slaughter damages the environment. Also, Ms. Kimball the tone of your voice conveys your arrogance.

Nov. 23 2010 02:08 PM

My farmers in Lancaster PA use horses like yours - just beautiful to behold but you really have to be strong!!!!

And Leonard can you please stop with that "more expensive" thing - real food does cost more but put it in a bigger picture - ask instead what does fake food cost - what does bargain food cost (it costs farms and choice) People are learning the hard way about agribusiness! Btw we still need to all our senators about the food safety bill - need to keep those amendments to protect small farmers

Nov. 23 2010 12:59 PM
Lori Scinto from Tenafly, NJ

Too bad Ms. Kimball went from being a vegetarian to a carnist. The statistics and facts are that it's better for the environment and for human health when humans refrain from eating animals. When there are people starving the world over, it's simply unconscionable to eat meat - whether she can see the process of the animal being killed or not.

Nov. 23 2010 12:58 PM
Cory from Crown Point, NY

Hi from Crown Point. You seem to have kept a lower profile than Sandy Lewis.

Nov. 23 2010 12:54 PM

Thank you for this, Leonard - adn I can't wait to ready your book, Kristin!

Nov. 23 2010 12:51 PM

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