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Birth, Death, and a Tractor

Connecting An Old Farm To a New Family

Birth, Death, and a Tractor by Kelly Payson-Roopchand
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Once there were no stone walls. For the fiercely idealistic Yankee homesteader, a small family farm was worth fighting for, and the rocky soil yielded far more than walls. Cleared and plowed, it fed a family and provided a living. Oxen gave way to horses, horses to tractors, and still the farm persisted and the family persevered, each generation overcoming the challenges of their day. Two hundred years later, the farm, ever generous in its rewards, has not changed; but society has shifted, forgetting its connection to the land that nourishes us. It is time we remembered. Birth, Death and a Tractor is the story of a small family farm in Somerville, Maine, from its settling in the early 1800s to its perilous transfer to a new farm family in 2008. Chronicling the history of seven generations, it is a reminder of the role small farms have played in our national and family histories, and a challenge to find innovative ways to re-connect our communities to this rich but threatened resource.
Down East Books; June 2015
272 pages; ISBN 9781608934126
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Title: Birth, Death, and a Tractor
Author: Kelly Payson-Roopchand