ISBN 9780870712142 (ebook)
A Little Bit of Land
From harvesting herbs to midwifing new lambs, Jessica Gigot invites readers into rural life and explores the uncommon road that led her there. Fascinated by farming and the burgeoning local food movement, she spent her twenties wandering the Pacific Northwest as a farm intern and eventually a graduate student in horticulture, always with an eye towards learning as much as she could about how and why people farm. Despite numerous setbacks and the many difficulties of growing food, from soggy soil to rambunctious rams, she created a life for herself defined by resilience and a genuine love of nature.
In A Little Bit of Land, Gigot explores the intricacies of small-scale agriculture in the Pacific Northwest, the changing role of women in this male-dominated industry, and questions of sustainability, economics, and health in our food system. Gigot alternates between describing the joys and challenges of small farm life and reflecting on her formative experiences outdoors and in classrooms throughout the region—from Ashland in southern Oregon to the Skagit Valley in Washington State. Throughout, she discovers what it means to find roots, start a family, and cultivate contentment in this unique corner of the world.
A Little Bit of Land is a moving memoir about falling in love with a place and all its inhabitants. It will be relished by readers interested in regenerative agriculture and anyone who is curious about what it means to care about the land.
About the author
Jessica Gigot is a poet, farmer, and writing coach. She lives on a little sheep farm in the Skagit Valley in Washington State. Her second book of poems, Feeding Hour, won a Nautilus Award and was a finalist for the 2021 Washington State Book Award. Her writing and reviews appear in publications such as the New York Times, Seattle Times, Orion, Terrain.org, and Poetry Northwest. She is currently a poetry editor for The Hopper and a 2022 Jack Straw Writer.
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"To ruminate, Jessica Gigot reminds readers in A Little Bit of Land, means both to think deeply and to chew cud. This delightful approach to life—thoughtful and grounded, idealistic and pragmatic—steers Gigot’s wonderful new memoir. She is the warmest of narrators, self-aware, earnest, and imperfect. A Wendell Berry devotee who sells cucurbits to cruise ships, a landowner who nurtures respect for indigenous people, a mother, lover, farmer, teacher. A poet, most of all. 'Pasture has its own grace,' she says. So, too, does this beautiful book. " —Ana Maria Spagna, author of Potluck and Now Go Home
"Jessica Gigot's memoir is a tender meditation on the meaning of home, the practice of farming, and what it means to be connected to the land. The writing is lyrical, immediate, and sharply observed. I loved being immersed in her world." —Claire Dederer, author of Love & Trouble and Poser
"Jessica Gigot’s journey to the land is heartfelt and compelling, as are the lessons she gleans from the animals, plants, and people surrounding her in the Skagit Valley. I left this book feeling hope for women in sustainable agriculture and the communities lucky enough to have them." —Stephanie Anderson, author of One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture