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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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