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This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  93 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Joan Gussow, and Verlyn Klinkenborg's The Rural Life, This Common Ground is an inspirational evocation of a life lived close to the earth, written by the head farmer at one of the country's first community-supported farms. By reflecting on four seasons of activity at his beloved Quail Hill Farm in eastern Long Island, Scott Chaskey offer ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 2005)
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara KingsolverAll Creatures Great and Small by James HerriotThe Dirty Life by Kristin KimballFarm City by Novella CarpenterHit by a Farm by Catherine Friend
Down on the Farm
122nd out of 146 books — 182 voters
Walden on Wheels by Ken IlgunasThe Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch AlbomWalden by Henry David ThoreauWoodswoman I by Anne LaBastillePilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Paring down - Back to basics
32nd out of 60 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 05, 2008 mona is currently reading it
So there I was, shopping for cough drops and all-fruit popsicles, when I saw the stand of books near the check-out at QFC. What better way to beat the sick-at-home, stuck-on-the-couch blues than by curling up with a new book? And, possessing a new dream of living on a farm someday, I saw fit to make that new book This Common Ground. I'll let you know how it goes...
Sep 07, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it
The opposite of "Harvest", a really beautiful look at organic farming. The author talks wistfully about his time farming in Cornwall, England, and shares his poetry (and the poetry of others). Embraced the beauty of nature and how everything in our world works together to support each other. Loved learned and reading about his farming experiences. Wonderful descriptions that created a lovely image of his farms in my mind.
Jan 31, 2008 Alexa rated it liked it
Shelves: green-ish
This book caught my eye because it was about organic farming, something that I know nothing about but have a desperate desire to do, in a small way, in a container on my back porch. This book was more about being outside in nature, feeding people off the land, planting garlic but since the author is more often a poet, it had quite the poetic feel.
Dec 15, 2008 Odoublegood rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book, but don't know that everyone would; discusses community-supported agriculture & standards for organic farming; author thinks Green Arrow peas are the sweetest (mentions Lincoln, but not, I think, Wando and Telephone)
Sim Hanscamp
May 30, 2015 Sim Hanscamp rated it really liked it
Epic book. I bought two copies.

I love the story and life of this farmer. I liked his poetry and prose too.
Really great to see someone living a good story. The book itself is no masterpiece, but the man's life is simply good.
Jan 15, 2009 Samantha rated it really liked it
This book is written by Scott Chaskey, who started one of the first CSA's in the US in upstate New York. He is also a poet. Each chapter is on it's own, just sweet stories of their first few years, interspersed with his lovely poetry.
Dec 10, 2008 Hillary rated it it was amazing
I like Chaskey's style. It never surprises me when farmers are also articulate. I wish I fell into the same group.
I even learned a few things about planting garlic. I liked that chapter in particular.
Feb 25, 2010 Missy rated it it was amazing
Great book. Poeticly gives insight into life on one of the first CSA's.
I want Scott Chaskey to be my mentor:)
May 13, 2013 Jennifer rated it did not like it
If you are a person with a poetic mind and like Henry David Thoreau's Walden or Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, you will probably like this book.

I am not that person.
Jul 15, 2010 Ecka rated it it was amazing
A short, sweet and well-crafted work. I feel that it's a great read, especially for anyone interested in local/community agriculture.
Wendy Knight
Mar 04, 2008 Wendy Knight rated it really liked it
Informative, as well as insightful and beautiful. A must read for the gardener/poet types and anyone interested in organic farming and CSAs.
Apr 29, 2009 Rae rated it liked it
Shelves: food-issues
I thought this was a lovely book. It combines the love of gardening (on a CSA scale) with poetry and birdwatching. A pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
Feb 16, 2011 Andi rated it it was ok
Shelves: health
I made it 3/4 through the book and couldn't read anymore. It is well-written, but I was not in the essay mood anymore. Beautiful descriptions of everything I did read, though.
Apr 12, 2007 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Reading this book is like sitting on a grassy hill on a sunny summer day and biting into a freshly picked, organic cucumber.
Dec 30, 2015 Misti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It took me awhile to read but it really wasn't that hard to get through, I mostly wanted to enjoy it slowly. The author writes so well and describes the seasons beautifully.
Aug 03, 2010 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very lovely little book. Seems like Mr. Chaskey is a kind and poetic man, and the type of friend the land needs more of.
Deirdre Keating
A surprise Christmas gift from Erin---the perfect book to slowly enjoy during this cold winter! Can't wait to start ordering seeds this year.
Danielle Valles
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Dec 31, 2014
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Feb 10, 2013
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Jul 02, 2016
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