Reading: The Blueberry Years

We visit my family in Lancaster, PA at least once a month. While there, I almost always fantasize about leaving the chaos of New York and client work behind and buying a quaint stone cottage with a little farmland. I blame it on the green rolling hills, breezy corn fields and windmills that line Route 222 from Reading to Lancaster. The idyllic scene gets me every time.

These idealistic fantasies used to induce a playful eye roll from my husband, but lately, he’s entertained them for a bit longer than usual. It’s a curious silence. Certainly he can’t be thinking about it too. Can he?

I should be careful. The last time we aligned on a crazy idea, we ended up moving to Paris.

I finished reading Wolf Hall last night, and was cruising my list of “to-reads” on Goodreads. I was about three sentences into a review of Jim Minick’s, The Blueberry Years, before downloading it to my iPad. Jim and his wife Sarah bought a 90-acre farm in Virginia with no farming experience. His memoir chronicles their dream of running a pick-your-own blueberry farm and pursuit of a simpler life.

I finished a third of the book last night, and I can’t decide if it will add fuel to my fantasy fire or slap me in the face with the realities of farm life.

17 Comments

  1. Manda @ Eat Cake
    July 29, 2012

    I love to hear that someone else has those same dreams! I’m from the Midwest but have been living on the East Coast for nearly 4 years and constantly fantasize about a simpler life. Much simpler!

    Enjoy your book, keep us updated! :)

    Reply
  2. Georgianna
    July 29, 2012

    Hi Nichole! Ah, yes, so tempting, isn’t it? My recent shoots with an organic flower grower on an idyllic farm north of here have gently piqued similar passing fancies and memories of childhood years in rural Oregon. But seeing how hard she and her family work to make it a success has disabused me of the idea that the lifestyle is simpler. Much more rewarding, most likely, but still with tremendous complexities. I know that even our half acre can be challenging to maintain!

    Thanks for the book recommendation – will definitely put it on the (currently neglected) reading list.

    Wishing you a wonderful week!

    Reply
  3. auntybelle
    July 29, 2012

    What did you think of Wolf Hall?

    I’ve read Carol Drinkwater’s Olive books–Olive Farm, Olive Season, Olive Route— and am now “ripe” for a blueberry immersion.

    Reply
  4. Victoria
    July 29, 2012

    Woah! Couldn’t imagine making a living farming. I love simple life outside of the big city, but don’t think I am quite ready to take it any less urban.

    What else is on your reading list?

    Reply
  5. Musings in Red
    July 29, 2012

    Well.. you’ll have to keep us posted then! ;) So as to keep track of any bizarre notions that might make you take up blueberry farming suddenly. ;)

    Also, memoirs really are idyllic, fanciful, and realistic sources to introduce us to new worlds. I know I enjoy them for all those reasons and more.

    Thank you for another lovely post! :)

    Reply
  6. Jennifer
    July 30, 2012

    I hear ya with the farm fantasy!

    Reply
  7. kayla @ exquisite banana
    July 30, 2012

    I’m throwing down a $10 that in a year from now, you’re going to announce a move :)

    (I, too, harbor a similar dream. we’re thinking about kids (ah!) and where exactly it is we dream of raising them…).

    Reply
  8. michel stong
    July 30, 2012

    I have been reading like a demon lately, just shared this on my Facebook page, and looking forward to reading this book, right up my alley. I love your posts, and look forward to them every morning. Thanks,
    michel

    Reply
  9. Farm Girl
    July 31, 2012

    How surprised I was to see this book cover! I live on a farm just a few miles from Jim and I know the answer to your question!! It will slap you in the face with the realities of farm life. We are retired educators thankful to be living on a farm but knowing full well that one can’t make a living that way. So sad and frustrating. Enjoy the read…..a very good book and Jim and Sarah are great persons.

    Reply
  10. jen
    July 31, 2012

    Anything Naomi Wolf recommends I read. =) Thanks for posting about this! I live in decidedly agrarian Oklahoma and I still want to move to a farm and stone cottage.

    Reply
  11. Carla Coulson
    August 1, 2012

    I am a little scared to add this to my reading list as am having serious gardening and tranquility yearnings like you………lovely post though and we can keep dreaming about getting our hands dirty :)
    Carla x

    Reply
  12. Robin
    August 4, 2012

    I read The Blueberry Years last summer with a similarly conflicted result …

    Reply
  13. Penny
    August 5, 2012

    So glad I not the only dreamer in this crazy world. I so miss my beautiful PA and the lush fields. Oh some day….

    Reply
  14. Sailing Vessel Blondie-Dog
    August 11, 2012

    I too once yearned for a simpler lifestyle so hence my decision to live aboard a sail boat. Now I yearn to live in a large cosmopolitan city and don’t care if I ever see another pristine beach. It’s all a matter of perspective. :)

    Incidentally my dad’s side of the family are all from nearby Phoenixville. It’s beautiful country up that way.

    Alex

    Reply
  15. Erica
    August 11, 2012

    I’m 100% for doing the Green Acres thing and would highly recommend it! I left SF a few years ago and haven’t looked back (much). I always remind myself, that’s what jets are for!

    Reply
  16. Dorie Colangelo
    August 16, 2012

    Wonderful, “The Blueberry Years” is going on the top of my very long “Books to Read” list. I’m always searching for more farming/food/cooking memoirs. Thanks!

    Reply
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