The Good Food Book Club

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The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself by Rochelle Bilow

“Foodies and wannabe farmers will love this memoir and will root for Bilow as she answers her own call of the farm.” ~Library Journal

Welcome to September, that month when harvest is imminent, the light downshifts, and things begin to slow. Get ready to curl up into that rich fall season with a delightful food-farm memoir anchored by the changing wheel of the year. The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself by Rochelle Bilow is another book in our “Finding Food Resilience” series and offers an abundance of inspiration, fun, love, and another beautiful tale of a woman captured by the fever of farm life and good food.

Like some of our previous favorites—think Barnheart and The Dirty Life—this memoir is either going to become a sweet armchair treasure or a provocative map for those questing to get-up-and-get-yourself-to-your-own-little-farm-asap. That will be for you to decide. Bilow gives a charming account of deciding to do a fun little farm story spotlighting a CSA farm in upstate New York, spending a day there as part of her research, discovering her profound joy and link to the farm work and food, and catching eyes with the handsome farmer who also sets her heart on fire. Suddenly, rather than a short little story, she changes her life around and ends up living out her farming dream. 

This is a book that reminds us of the exquisite connections between food, land, love, and community… and with its lovely prose, ensures a delectable read. Before this memoir, Bilow was a classically-trained cook and aspiring food writer. Thus, the story includes some mouth-watering recipes—e.g., Blistered Tomato Gratin and Crisped Potato Casserole with Shaved Chives, yum!—that’ll have you hopping straight to the garden, farmer’s market, and kitchen. At heart, here’s another book celebrating local food and community, food resilience, and the joys of human-scale farming.

Says Ashley English, author of Handmade Living, “If you’re looking for a book intimately detailing the circle of life for all inhabitants on a farm, including animals, vegetables, and humans, Rochelle Bilow’s The Call of the Farm is the very thing. Covering a full year of living, working, cooking, and loving on a central New York farm, her book is candid, visceral, sincere, and delicious. I haven’t been able to look at farmers’ markets in the same way since reading it, and that’s a very good thing.”

Please join us to discuss The Call of the Farm: An Unexpected Year of Getting Dirty, Home Cooking, and Finding Myself by Rochelle Bilow (The Experiment, 2014) on Sunday, September 24 from 7-8:30 pm at the Moscow Food Co-op. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. The Call of the Farm is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Please Note, upcoming books are as follows:

  • October: Hot Hungry Planet: The Fight to Stop a Global Food Crisis in the Face of Climate Change by Lisa Palmer
  • November: Give a Girl a Knife: A Memoir by Amy Thielen
  • December: The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (a novel from the author of The Room)