Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Farm Dies Once a Year

A Farm Dies Once a Year

A Memoir

Arlo Crawford

Henry Holt and Co.

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A Book of the Month for GQ, The New Yorker, and Flavorwire

"Beautifully told…In this one season of life, Crawford's writing about the work, people, nature and his family legacy reveals much about a simple life, and reminds us all to appreciate life's riches."—Seattle Post Intelligencer

"A must-read…"—Washington Independent Review of Books

An intimate, gorgeously observed memoir about family and farming that forms a powerful lesson in the hard-earned risks that make life worth living

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.

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When I was thirty-one years old, I went home to spend a summer with my mother and father on the farm in Pennsylvania where I grew up. I left Massachusetts in late morning, drove the last part of the turnpike in the early dusk,...

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About the author

Arlo Crawford

Arlo Crawford grew up on New Morning Farm, his family's organic vegetable farm in rural Pennsylvania. He has written for The New York Times Magazine and Gastronomica and has worked in book publishing, at art museums, and as a vegetable seller. He lives in San Francisco with his wife.

Arlo Crawford

Kristen Fortier