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A Bushel's Worth: An Ecobiography

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In this love story of land and family, Kayann Short explores her farm roots from her grandparents’ North Dakota homesteads to her own Stonebridge Farm, an organic, community-supported farm on the Colorado Front Range where small-scale, local agriculture borrows lessons of the past to cultivate sustainable communities for the future.

"A Bushel’s Worth is my favorite kind of nonfiction. Not only is it about many topics close to my heart—gardening, food, family—it is a beautifully told story, and a love story at that, centered around the love of a couple, their love for the land, and a community’s love for a way of life. This book forever changed my perspective and awareness as I 'walk out' in my own garden."
Katrina Kittle, author, The Blessings of the Animals

“A heartfelt meditation on farm, food, and family. A Bushel’s Worth tells a love story of the land and a life spent caring for it.”
Hannah Nordhaus, author, The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honeybees Help Feed America

“Kayann Short shares a passionate and often lyrical account of how she and her husband John took their first brave steps toward revitalizing a small Colorado farm and with it their lives and the community they drew around them. This is a book about how agriculture continues to create culture when it is practiced with generosity, creativity and attention. It is an inspiring story, a gift for all of us, both on and off the farm, who are trying to learn how to slow down our frenzied lives so that we may give ourselves to what really matters.”
Gregory Spaid, author, Grace: Photographs of Rural America

"With a companionable mix of literary and earthy sensibilities, Kayann Short writes with graceful, ferocious attentiveness [and] finds reassurance for herself and her modern family in “the old wisdom of the fields.”
John Calderazzo, author, Rising Fire: Volcanoes & Our Inner Lives

“[A] beautifully written and sensually rich ‘ecobiography’ of farm life...A Bushel’s Worth is a loving natural history – of a farm, a marriage, and a way of life that has changed interestingly and dramatically over just a few generations.”
Jane Shellenberger, author, Organic Gardener’s Companion: Growing Vegetables in the West

“The book is a substantial meal...as much about growing community as it is about growing food, and it leaves the reader with a generous bushel of instruction and inspiration on both counts.”
Susan Becker, Director, Boulder Public Library Oral History Program

A Bushel’s Worth: An Ecobiography eloquently depicts humans and nature coexisting and mutually benefiting not only in theory, but in actuality...where people treat each other respectfully as they gently work on and with the land.”
Shelly Eberly, National Outings Leader, Sierra Club

160 pages, Paperback

First published July 19, 2013

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About the author

Kayann Short

5 books2 followers
Kayann Short, Ph.D., is a writer, farmer, teacher, and activist at Stonebridge Farm, an organic community-supported farm in the Rocky Mountain foothills. Although Short left North Dakota for Colorado when she was four, she returned each summer to the fresh air and homegrown vegetables of her grandparents' farms. From these farm roots, she gained a love for wholesome, natural food: as a teenager in the 1970s, she baked granola cookies, discovered quiche, and convinced her high school to carry real apples in the cafeteria vending machine.

During her undergraduate career at Colorado State University, Short was a member of The Feminist Group, a student organization that challenged sexism on campus by shutting down a dormitory Playboy Club, establishing a Women's Film festival and newsletter, and organizing the community's first Take Back the Night march. After earning her bachelor's degree in literature and women's studies, Short played violin in a symphony orchestra, became a mom, and managed organic produce at a food co-op. Following in her great-grandmother and grandmother's teaching footsteps, she returned to graduate school for her Master's and Ph.D. as a single parent and wrote her dissertation on the feminist press publishing movement.

As an award-winning teacher at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Short directed memoir and digital storytelling outreach projects with community elders, adult literacy students, and women's organizations. She co-founded the service-learning project Reading Buddies, which paired her writing students with young readers to write books together and make reading fun. For their women's literature service learning practicum, Short's students created a digital story on positive body image that was selected for the National Organization for Women's Love Your Body Day campaign. Following retirement from CU-Boulder, Short has continued her academic interests by establishing a feminist press library archive in memory of her college friend, June Friedman, at Colorado State University.

Short's writing has appeared in Pilgrimage Magazine, Women's Review of Books, The Bloomsbury Review, Edible Front Range, Colorado Gardener, and various academic journals. She teaches ecobiography workshops at Stonebridge Farm and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. She is writing a guide to ecology-based memoir and mentors individual clients on their own ecobiographies.

Short enjoys knitting, cooking, and playing old-time mandolin. Besides growing fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers for Stonebridge members, Short is an activist for the important place of organic food production and agricultural preservation in a healthy, ecologically sustainable community. She writes about farming, literature, and the environment at pearlmoonplenty.wordpress.com.

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