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Dirt Under My Nails: An American Farmer and Her Changing Land Paperback – July 21, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1882593774 ISBN-10: 1882593774

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bridgeworks (July 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882593774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882593774
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After graduating from college in 1994, the author decided not to take any of the career paths usually followed by liberal arts students. Instead, she joined her brother in the family business, a 600-acre potato farm in Sagaponack, N.Y. In this engaging book, based on a weekly column she writes for the Southampton Press, Foster muses about the pleasures of farming, even on land at the eastern end of Long Island, where development is so rampant that her town seems like "a territory under siege." Although she is often tempted to block out mentally the sight of the "architectural eruptions" that surround the farm, for the most part she takes the changes in stride, ignoring the spackle buckets and pieces of cardboard that blow over into her fields from adjacent construction sites and observing with amusement the antics of the seasonal residents who jog past her in spandex outfits. These are, after all, the customers who buy her vegetables at the roadside farm stand she runs as a sideline to the main business of the farm. Instead, Foster tries to concentrate on the pleasures that make farming life so rewarding for her, chronicling the four seasons with entertaining accounts of farm activities. Her charming essays sparkle with insight and humor, and speak movingly of the enchantment she finds in the world around her, even when it is in danger of being lost forever.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

After graduating with a liberal arts degree in 1994, Foster decided to join her father and brother in running their family farm, located on the eastern end of Long Island. Her weekly column for the local newspaper became the basis for this book. Like many gardening and farming journals, this one follows the four seasons of one year, commenting on weather conditions, planting activities, and agricultural pests. There are observations about the native flora and fauna and reflections on the tenacity of farmers. Foster repeatedly expresses her contempt for the growing number of wealthy summer visitors and for those without "ancestral connections" who, she claims, are turning the area into "a kind of high-end suburbia." Foster's account of farm life lacks enthusiasm, and her descriptions of nature are humdrum, having neither vitality nor lyricism. Much more insightful looks at the disappearing American farmer are given in Victor Hanson's The Land Was Everything and in the works of Wendell Berry and Gene Logsdon. The books of Hal Borland and Gladys Taber are far more appealing in their depiction of country life. Foster's title is recommended only for regional collections. Ilse Heidmann, Olympia, WA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dirt Under My Nails: An American Farmer And Her Changing Land is the engaging memoir of Marilee Foster, a fifth generation farming woman who devoted herself to a world of fertile soil, looking after turkeys, reveling in the change of seasons and much more. A solid, inspirational book about enjoying a hands-on closeness to nature and the joy of farming as a way of life, Dirt Under My Nails is a very pleasant read and highly recommended for anyone who has ever worked the land or contemplated doing so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MaryAnn Myers on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
From page one, I was taken by this book. It is written in a quiet voice, and tells a tale of modern day farming. It is poetry in the plow fields. The author paints a vivid image with words, of the harshness of farming, and the glory, the harvest, and yet does it with pastels. Even bright green is a whisper of color in the breeze. In my opionion this book is more about nature, than farming. It's about times gone by, and our future. A jewel of a read!
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Format: Hardcover
A book full of the common sense reality of the struggle to preserve your land and (what do farmers do again) grow food to feed people. Having grown a lot of food in my earlier years, the author communicates the closeness a farmer feels to the cycles of nature. Farmers are the original environmentalists. A great non-judgemental review of the effect of the spread of non-farmers into her world. People move from the city to the country and then citify the country.
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