This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm

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$26.95  $25.06
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.3 X 1.0 X 8.3 inches | 0.88 pounds

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About the Author

Ted Genoways served as the editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review from 2003 to 2012, during which time the magazine won six National Magazine Awards. He is a contributing editor at Mother Jones and an editor-at-large at OnEarth, and is a winner of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. He is a fourth-generation Nebraskan and lives in Lincoln.


It's not fair to claim that you are concerned about the country's food system unless you truly understand the millions of unsung conventional family farmers who produce our corn, soybeans, and beef. Genoways portrays just such a family in a book that is factual, rich in history, and filled with characters you will come to know as friends. He writes with an investigative journalist's mind and a poet's soul.--Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland and Pig Tales
Everyone who eats in America should read this lyrical and often heartbreaking book about life on a modern American farm. It will change the way you look at what is on your plate.--Ruth Reichl, New York Times best-selling author of My Kitchen Year
Farming, family, and food all come together in this beautifully written story of what it takes to work this blessed earth.--Tom Colicchio, chef and co-founder of Food Policy Action
In an impressive and compelling work of literary journalism, Ted Genoways dives deep into the heart of an American farm family, illuminating critical issues troubling our complex food production system. But he also describes in intimate detail the very human struggles of the work--between husband and wife, parent and child, father-in-law and son-in-law--in one family committed to growing our food and passing the work on to the next generation.--Michael Ruhlman, author of Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America
Insightful and empathetic....In his compelling narrative, journalist Genoways gives the reader a kitchen-table view of the vagaries, complexities and frustrations of modern farming.--Elfrieda Abbe
A remarkable portrait of families in far flung fields, completely plugged in to the world.--Tom Ashbrook
With genuine honesty and historical awareness...Genoways delivers a close-up look at what farmers face today and their efforts to accomplish their goals.
A clear eyed and unsentimental look at how farming has become relentlessly optimized by automation, markets and politics; factors that don't always take into account the guy who's actually driving the tractor.
This Blessed Earth is both a concise exploration of the history of the American small farm and a vivid, nuanced portrait of one family's fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.
This Blessed Earth is a sort of universal story of family farmers and all they're up against in their efforts to take care of the land and make a living from it. It's also a crash course in the history that brought us to this place of corporate power, shrinking resources, and a changing climate. But it plants seeds of hope as the next generation prepares to inherit the family land and all the joys and challenges that come with it. This book is an invitation to all who care about family farmers--which after all is all of us, since we all eat!--Willie Nelson, founder and president of Farm Aid
The Blessed Earth is a history book, an economics text, even a soap opera of sorts. If we eat, we should know".--Kim Ode