Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life


Beginning naked in the darkness Brian Brett takes us on a journey through a summer’s day that also tells the story of his affectionately named Trauma Farm—exploring the garden, orchards, fields, the mysteries of live-stock and poultry, and the social intricacies of rural communities.

Both a memoir and a natural history of the small mixed farm, this eighteen-year-long day travels forward and backward in time, taking us all the way from Babylon to globalization and demonstrating the importance of both tall tales and rigorous science as Brett contemplates the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil or offers a scathing critique of agribusiness and the modern slaughterhouse. Whether discussing the uses and misuses of gates, examining the energy of seeds, or bantering with his family and neighbors, Brett remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death and the ecological paradoxes that confront the rural world every day.

Threaded with a deep knowledge of biology and botany, Trauma Farm is an erudite, poetic, passionate, and frequently hilarious portrait of rural life and a rich and thought-provoking meditation on the modern world.

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