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A Tme to Plant Paperback – January 11, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press (January 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193349526X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933495262
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Debut author Kramer is a farmer who came to his farm deliberately, after a divinity school degree and a life active in an Episcopalian church in Atlanta. His evolving vision led him back to his roots in southern Indiana, where in 1999 he purchased acreage in serious need of care. With that he began an agrarian life, learning through mistake, humility, and loneliness not only how to be a farmer, but how to be home, working in the earth. His homesteading is hardly glamorous, nor does he issue a back-to-the-land clarion call. His enterprise is modest and deeply personal; he cultivates his farm, marries, has children, and has an off-farm job at a nearby Benedictine monastery. He is at pains to say, and show, that his life takes a lot of work. Some additional details on his very concrete daily life as a farmer would make his story more vivid; the last three chapters contain much reflection that might well have been exchanged for more description of dailyness. Kramer has written a commendable, nonromantic book on spirituality and the land. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

In 1999, Kramer bought a plot of land in rural Indiana, which he eventually turned into an energy-efficient, wind-powered, working organic farm. With his home as a foundation, Kramer makes the subtle but powerful connection between his faith and the natural world. He freely admits that the journey to his new home was not a smooth one but was, instead, full of both anxious and hopeful moments. Kramer believes in what he calls authentic belonging, where the twin concepts of simplicity and sustainability are inseparable. Here he explores what it means to cultivate a healthy home economy, which can be something as fundamental as preparing food to finding a meaningful connection to the larger world. Home economics, he maintains, is nothing less than a spiritual undertaking. Inspired by the work of Luke Timothy Johnson, Wendell Berry, and especially Scott Russell Sanders, Kramer explains his gradual transformation from a self-proclaimed motor head (he loved mechanical things) with little interest in ecology to the person that he is today. A humble and charming meditation on spirituality and nature. --June Sawyers

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Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
It is a very well-written and thought-provoking book.
Patrice Fagnant-macarthur
That's just one of the gems that leaves us thinking about this book long after we've finished it, for the first, second or third time.
Stephen Martin
Kramer's story lead us to long and heart felt conversations about a dream once lost that now we must find again.
Mary S. Reutebuch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patrice Fagnant-macarthur VINE VOICE on December 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I admit it. When I received a review copy of "A Time to Plant: Life Lessons in Work, Prayer, and Dirt," I cringed. A book about back-to-basics living? No, thank you.

In my defense, I do try to be a reasonably responsible steward of the earth. I recycle almost everything, try to limit consumption, give things away rather than put them in the trash, etc, but no one would ever accuse me of being earthy-crunchy. I live in a city. If my family was dependent on my gardening abilities for survival, we would have died a long time ago. Being forced to go camping is my idea of a nightmare. Yet, even with all that working against it, "A Time to Plant" was still well-worth reading.

In 1999, Kyle Kramer, who is the director of lay degree programs at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, "bought a rough patch of neglected ground in a rural corner of southwestern Indiana. . . and committed [himself] to its healing and care." In the past decade, amid myriad ups and downs, he has honored that commitment. In "A Time to Plant," he shares the tale of his call to live off the land as well as his more personal story of his spiritual wanderings which finally led him to the Catholic Church and finding the extremely understanding woman who is now his wife and the mother of their three children.

Kramer is an honest man. He tells of his failures as well as of his successes. He shares his darkest hour which came while he was attempting to build a house for his wife and new twin daughters, who were at that time living in a pole-barn apartment. "It was five degrees in the unheated shell of the house as I worked by battery-powered headlamp down in the dark basement, my feet blocks of ice; my ungloved, unfeeling fingers fumbling to measure, cut, and solder copper pipe . . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Martin on February 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
For less than the price of a family dinner at McDonald's, Kyle Kramer brings us a book that promises to nourish readers for a long time. It's the kind of book that deserves at least two reads. The first time through we're pulled along by the sheer improbability of his transformation from a young, single, idealistic suburbanite to a battle-tested organic farmer, family man and Catholic. Kramer's remarkable honesty about his struggles with faith, romance and career - and the details of a countercultural life of homegrown food and hand-built house sans air conditioning - made it hard to put the book down and give it the thought it deserves. So it was necessary to go back for a second, slower, more contemplative read - and there's more than enough insights and reflections to make it worthwhile. Kramer got me thinking seriously for the first time about the larger implications of the food I rather thoughtlessly buy and consume and what it takes to grow and eat it with care.

Fortunately, for those suburban dwellers like me who struggle to raise a single tomato, the book also explores pressing questions of vocation, meaning and stability that we all face. In the chapter "Simplicity, Sacrifice and the Struggle to Stay Put," which is worth several reads in itself, Kramer grapples with the "strange angels of restlessness and resentment" that visit us all. He also offers this powerful self-assessment that might apply to any of us at any stage in our journeys: "I used to think, foolishly, that I would somehow arrive at the perfectly calibrated life here on this farm: that after years of hard work I would get everything in place, just so, and the rest would just be ongoing maintenance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Luken on March 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
"A Time to Plant" gives great life lessons not only in practical ecology, but also in how to create a loving home; attempt to balance family, work, play, and rest; find peace, purpose, and meaning in life; and live a life of love serving God, God's people, and God's creation.

Kramer, speaking and teaching from his own life lessons/successes/failures, imparts great wisdom about what it means to create a loving home with a loving family while serving God and God's creation.

He is able to take his own life journey and stories and create a very attainable and livable life philosophy. Kramer is not overly idealistic, theological, or philosophical. Some of Kramer's greatest insights into living a meaningful life were learned from his twin girls. Kramer's greatest pearls of wisdom: take time to pray and play, always hope, make the small differences you can, cherish the "God" moments in your life, live today to the fullest because the work will still be there tomorrow, and always cherish family.

"A Time to Plant" is a wonderful book on personal and family spirituality, discernment, and practical ecology. It is a great read.
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By leclam on November 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fundamental and applied ecology with spirituality necessary to save Mother Earth. Well written and instructive love for topsoil, in a time of Frack Sand and Big Oil control of our life and finite natural resources.
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