A Farm Dies Once a Year

by Arlo Crawford

The summer he was thirty-one, Arlo Crawford returned home for the summer harvest at New Morning Farm–seventy-five acres tucked in a hollow in south-central Pennsylvania where his parents had been growing organic vegetables for almost forty years.Like many summers before, Arlo returned to the family farm’s familiar rhythms–rise, eat, bend, pick, sort, sweat,sleep.

  • Hardcover
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Average Rating: 3.47 out of 5
  • Published April 1st 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
  • ISBN: 080509816X (ISBN13: 9780805098167)
  • Edition Language: English
  • URL: Go To Website

The summer he was thirty-one, Arlo Crawford returned home for the summer harvest at New Morning Farm–seventy-five acres tucked in a hollow in south-central Pennsylvania where his parents had been growing organic vegetables for almost forty years.Like many summers before, Arlo returned to the family farm’s familiar rhythms–rise, eat, bend, pick, sort, sweat, sleep. But this time he was also there to change his direction, like his father years ago. In the 1970s, well before the explosion of the farm-to-table and slow food movement, Arlo’s father, Jim, left behind law school and Vietnam, and decided to give farming a try. Arlo’s return also prompts a reexamination of a past tragedy: the murder of a neighboring farmer twenty years before. A chronicle of one full season on a farm, with all its small triumphs and inevitable setbacks, A Farm Dies Once a Year is a meditation on work–the true nature of it, and on taking pride in it–and a son’s reckoning with a father’s legacy. Above all, it is a striking portrait of how one man builds, sows, and harvests his way into a new understanding of the risks necessary to a life well-lived.