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Northern Farm

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Among the blue-white shadows and graceful curves of freshly fallen snow, the first rains of spring, and the quiet of an early summer morning, Beston brings the reader into an inescapable alliance with the natural world. He translates the philosophy of the Maine farmer into terms as applicable in Manhattan as on the Kennebec. Northern Farm is among the great classics of Ame ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 15th 1994 by Holt McDougal (first published January 1st 1972)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  129 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Billie Hinton
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous imagery, soothes my soul to follow the seasons on his farm. A book you keep by the bed to pick up every day for a booster shot.
Julie Stielstra
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Nothing could be as good as "The Outermost House." But Beston turns his eyes, ears, mind, and heart to his beloved Chimney Farm in the Maine woods. He takes us through a year, from glassy blue snow shadows, to the pond ice groaning as it begins to loosen, through that first spring-ish day when a window can be opened, letting in "a few flies who look in need of kind words and vitamins." A hot summer, the young farming men stripped to the waist and crusted with hayseeds and sweat. Then the autumn, ...more
Wendy Jensen
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed Beston's descriptions of the Maine countryside. I now will look for the different colors of shadows in moonlight on snow! What I didn't enjoy as much was his waxing of how country people seem to understand things more and enjoy life more, and that it is a shame that machinery is taking over things formerly done by humans. ("Can't store farmers in a barn.") Personally I like automation, because it frees up the human for creativity and other more (in my book) worthy pursuits. He d ...more
Tony
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Northern Farm" by Henry Beston is an excellent nonfiction book: A story of life on Chimney Farm in Maine in the 1940s. The author's descriptions of the landscape, seasons, and natural world are calming and enjoyable to read. You can also get a sense of the life of the community in the "Farm Diary" entries that are woven throughout the book. "Northern Farm" is a good book to enjoy on a quiet evening at home, and it leaves you with a wonderful appreciation for Beston's "...own land of the deeper ...more
Jim Krosschell
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maine-books
Henry Beston (1888-1968, born like Elisabeth Ogilvie in Quincy, MA, and his wife, the writer Elizabeth Coatsworth, in 1931 purchased Chimney Farm in Nobleboro on the shores of Damariscotta Lake. Beston’s exquisite book Northern Farm, similar to Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac and in many ways its equal, is set there. Their daughter, the poet Kate Barnes, Maine’s first Poet Laureate, lives in Appleton. In 1970 Coatsworth published a selection of Beston’s writings called Especially Maine. Its ...more
Carmen
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Although the story was written over half a century ago it resonates with things that could be said today. Henry Beston writes about his life, one year in the life of his farm. We get to know the rhythmn of life, how his neighbors live, and the political strife of the time. He writes beautifully, sometimes I feel as if I am reading poetry when it is only prose. Great insights.
Donna B
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-these-again
Loved this book. Though written in 1945, the author's comments about the contrasts between urban & rural life still resonate. If you love nature and the countryside, you'll identify with many of his thoughts. Well worth reading. Too bad it's out of print!
Connie Marrett
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful descriptions of nature throughout a New England year. Insightful reflections on human nature. I will read this book again and again.
Donna Gabbard
I love reading about living in Maine. I'm ready to brave the biting flies and the biting, cold months. Okay, I'll settle for a 1 or 2 week visit if I can't move there.
Julia
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-finished
Though I enjoy nature writing, this book dragged on and I never finished it.
Sarah
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: places
very lovely, very slow, and very preachy.
Nate
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, nature
Thoreau-lite but enjoyable. Made me want to live on a farm in Maine. Recommended if you like Mary Oliver, Annie Dillard, and the like.
Jec
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Sweet and gentle but no comparison to The OUTERMOST HOUSE ...still my favorite
Joyce
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This book was my mother's and is now mine. It is excellent.
All about nature, not much about God. Paints wonderful imagery. Might be worth a re-read.
Marielle
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Henry Beston is a poet. He uses the most delicious vocabulary when he describes the day to day life on the farm in Maine. For a romantic like myself, I love this book.
Carol
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009, 2013, 2018
One of my favorite books. I seem to reread this often, especially at the turn of the year.
Allen Goetz
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: partially-read
Excellent book to remind us of connection to and dependence on nature and one another.
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Henry Beston was an American writer and naturalist, best known as the author of The Outermost House, written in 1925.
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“Our civilization has fallen out of touch with night. With lights, we drive the holiness and beauty of night back to the forests and the sea; the little villages, the crossroads even, will have none of it. Are modern folk, perhaps, afraid of night? Do they fear that vast serenity, the mystery of infinite space, the austerity of stars?” 39 likes
“An old farm is always more than the people under its roof. It is the past as well as the present, and vanished generations have built themselves into it as well as left their footsteps in the worn woodwork of the stair.” 4 likes
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