2014 – The Dirty Life

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Single, thirtysomething, working as a writer in New York City, Kristin Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. Kristin knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of Kristin’s discovery of the pleasures of physical work, that good food is at the center of a good life, and ultimately of love.

The book chronicles Kristin and Mark’s adventures creating Essex Farm, a 500 acre draft horse-powered farm that produces a full diet for 200 people.


Kristin was born in 1971, and grew up in central New York. She graduated from Harvard in 1994, then moved to New York City, where she worked at a literary agency, taught creative writing, and freelanced for magazines and travel guides. In 2002, she interviewed a farmer named Mark, and took more than a professional interest in both him and his vocation. They founded Essex Farm together in 2004 – the world’s first full-diet CSA. Mark and Kristin have two daughters.