counter create hit Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on a Scrappy Six-Acre Homestead - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on a Scrappy Six-Acre Homestead

Availability: Ready to download

Farm City meets The Omnivore's Dilemma in Cold Antler Farm, a collection of essays on raising food on a small homestead , while honoring the natural cycle of the "lost" holidays of the agricultural calendar. Author Jenna Woginrich is mistress of her one-woman farm and is well known for her essays on the mud and mess, the beautiful and tragic, the grime and passion that acco Farm City meets The Omnivore's Dilemma in Cold Antler Farm, a collection of essays on raising food on a small homestead , while honoring the natural cycle of the "lost" holidays of the agricultural calendar. Author Jenna Woginrich is mistress of her one-woman farm and is well known for her essays on the mud and mess, the beautiful and tragic, the grime and passion that accompany homesteading. In Cold Antler Farm, her fifth book, she draws our attention to the flow and cycle not of the calendar year, but of the ancient agricultural year: holidays,  celebrations, seasonal touchstones, and astronomical events that mark sacred turning points in the seasons.      Amidst the "lost" holidays of the equinoxes, May Day, Hallowmas, and Yule, we learn the life stories of her beloved animals and crops--chicken, pig, lamb, apples, basil, tomatoes. May apple blossoms are sweet fruit for rambunctious sheep in June. And come September, the harvest draws together neighbors for cider making under the waning summer sun. The living beings she is tending fuel one another--and the community--day to day, season by season.      By examining what eating seasonally really means, the "ancient" reclaimed calendar becomes a source of wisdom. How do we set down roots and break new ground in spring? How to best nourish body and soul in the heat of deep summer? And what can we learn by simply paying more attention to weather patterns than to our social network feeds? Cold Antler Farm encourages us to eat and live well with respect to for the natural rhythm of the seasons. In turn we learn what it means to be truly connected, not super-networked.


Compare

Farm City meets The Omnivore's Dilemma in Cold Antler Farm, a collection of essays on raising food on a small homestead , while honoring the natural cycle of the "lost" holidays of the agricultural calendar. Author Jenna Woginrich is mistress of her one-woman farm and is well known for her essays on the mud and mess, the beautiful and tragic, the grime and passion that acco Farm City meets The Omnivore's Dilemma in Cold Antler Farm, a collection of essays on raising food on a small homestead , while honoring the natural cycle of the "lost" holidays of the agricultural calendar. Author Jenna Woginrich is mistress of her one-woman farm and is well known for her essays on the mud and mess, the beautiful and tragic, the grime and passion that accompany homesteading. In Cold Antler Farm, her fifth book, she draws our attention to the flow and cycle not of the calendar year, but of the ancient agricultural year: holidays,  celebrations, seasonal touchstones, and astronomical events that mark sacred turning points in the seasons.      Amidst the "lost" holidays of the equinoxes, May Day, Hallowmas, and Yule, we learn the life stories of her beloved animals and crops--chicken, pig, lamb, apples, basil, tomatoes. May apple blossoms are sweet fruit for rambunctious sheep in June. And come September, the harvest draws together neighbors for cider making under the waning summer sun. The living beings she is tending fuel one another--and the community--day to day, season by season.      By examining what eating seasonally really means, the "ancient" reclaimed calendar becomes a source of wisdom. How do we set down roots and break new ground in spring? How to best nourish body and soul in the heat of deep summer? And what can we learn by simply paying more attention to weather patterns than to our social network feeds? Cold Antler Farm encourages us to eat and live well with respect to for the natural rhythm of the seasons. In turn we learn what it means to be truly connected, not super-networked.

30 review for Cold Antler Farm: A Memoir of Growing Food and Celebrating Life on a Scrappy Six-Acre Homestead

  1. 4 out of 5

    Daryl

    A First Reads giveaway! which I entered, thinking that my partner would like this book. We live on a small 3-acre site and she raises chickens & goats. She read the book before I did, but I finally got around to it. As I read a book that I know I'll review, I usually get a sense of how many stars that book might receive. The further I got into this one, the more that number dropped. My biggest question has to be: who's the audience for this memoir? Are that many people going to be interested in A First Reads giveaway! which I entered, thinking that my partner would like this book. We live on a small 3-acre site and she raises chickens & goats. She read the book before I did, but I finally got around to it. As I read a book that I know I'll review, I usually get a sense of how many stars that book might receive. The further I got into this one, the more that number dropped. My biggest question has to be: who's the audience for this memoir? Are that many people going to be interested in Jenna's experiences as a small farmer? If you're already doing what she does, there's certainly nothing to be learned here. If you've no interest in becoming a farmer, there's really nothing to make you interested in her story. If you're thinking about becoming a small farmer like her, maybe; but that would seem to be a pretty small demographic. Most of her chapters are blog-length essays that left me bored, and very few seem to connect to others. Frequently, she writes not about what happens on her farm, but waxes philosophic about the concept of farming, gardening, animal husbandry, etc. These sections were dry and left me groaning. On page 172, she writes, "I have a rule that I never write about my personal life." Really, Jenna? You've just published a memoir, and you blog about your life on the farm. Maybe that line was meant to be ironic, but I think it represents the real problem with this book: a writer who's really unclear about what she wants to do.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    I agree with other reviewers, this book seemed weirdly defensive and reductive. Woginrich seems so caught up in her own flights of fancy that the realities of her farm life are few and far between. Not much of a memoir, more like one long-winded self-congratulatory pat on the back. Had bright spots of poetic description and the seasonal themes were utilized well but overall killed any further interest in her writing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    The more I read from this author - everything seems the same ... not to belittle it ... it's just ... the same book over and over again. The more I read from this author - everything seems the same ... not to belittle it ... it's just ... the same book over and over again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Sadly, I found this book to be repetitively preachy. I really wanted to like it. I wish her luck in her farming lifestyle.

  5. 4 out of 5

    juddy18

    I picked up this book while on our short New Year's vacation in Santa Barbara. It's a quick read (well if I had added up the time in which I read it start to finish) and a nice one. The author traces her desire to start a farm and then goes through the wheel of the year to talk about the rhythms of life on her farm. She is a big fan of Scottish culture so you learn a little about their views as well. Sounds like a satisfying life! I picked up this book while on our short New Year's vacation in Santa Barbara. It's a quick read (well if I had added up the time in which I read it start to finish) and a nice one. The author traces her desire to start a farm and then goes through the wheel of the year to talk about the rhythms of life on her farm. She is a big fan of Scottish culture so you learn a little about their views as well. Sounds like a satisfying life!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I always come away from Jenna's books feeling fully inspired and refreshed, with a deep urge to get back in touch with a simpler life that's closer to the Earth. This is the kind of book you spread out across weeks, or months, taking the time to savor the essays and celebrate the way her beautifully chosen words paint the most fantastic picture of what life is like when you slow down and tune in to the pure, natural practices and cycles of life. I always come away from Jenna's books feeling fully inspired and refreshed, with a deep urge to get back in touch with a simpler life that's closer to the Earth. This is the kind of book you spread out across weeks, or months, taking the time to savor the essays and celebrate the way her beautifully chosen words paint the most fantastic picture of what life is like when you slow down and tune in to the pure, natural practices and cycles of life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Meh.. It was just ok. I have read her other books and she seems now to be writing the same things just in a different way or with different animals. This book was set out in chapters but each chapter read like a separate essay that felt like it had been done months ago and then put all together to make a book. So she repeated herself in some things and that was annoying since it happened a few times. It made the book seem cobbled together haphazardly just to meet a deadline. I respect the fact t Meh.. It was just ok. I have read her other books and she seems now to be writing the same things just in a different way or with different animals. This book was set out in chapters but each chapter read like a separate essay that felt like it had been done months ago and then put all together to make a book. So she repeated herself in some things and that was annoying since it happened a few times. It made the book seem cobbled together haphazardly just to meet a deadline. I respect the fact that even though she is a blogger, this was not just taken word for word from it. There were only a couple things that were from there so it was good she made new material for the book - it's just seems now I think she is running out of things to say.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Pankrat

    I've been following Jenna's blog (on and off) for a few years now and have read most of her other books. True to her style, Jenna's latest book is a good read. At times, I was tempted to quit my job and move to a farm while at other times I was reminded that while farm work is rewarding and an amazing way to live, it is also extremely trying and difficult. I love that Jenna can paint such a clear picture of her life. I don't think I'm ready to pack up and head for the farm just yet- however, I'm I've been following Jenna's blog (on and off) for a few years now and have read most of her other books. True to her style, Jenna's latest book is a good read. At times, I was tempted to quit my job and move to a farm while at other times I was reminded that while farm work is rewarding and an amazing way to live, it is also extremely trying and difficult. I love that Jenna can paint such a clear picture of her life. I don't think I'm ready to pack up and head for the farm just yet- however, I'm confident that I will be creating a small garden as soon as possible.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    (I hate rating books that low. I feel mean. But...) I expected more of a nonfiction novel and it felt like disjointed blog posts. Also, I was critiquing the writing so much in my head I couldn't "get lost" in the story. So that wasn't as fun. That said, Ainsley is going to jump for joy when I read her the little chapter on how to take raw wool and turn it into yarn. All in all, this woman is hardcore - homesteading as a single woman is something that would be totally unappealing to me. But it's (I hate rating books that low. I feel mean. But...) I expected more of a nonfiction novel and it felt like disjointed blog posts. Also, I was critiquing the writing so much in my head I couldn't "get lost" in the story. So that wasn't as fun. That said, Ainsley is going to jump for joy when I read her the little chapter on how to take raw wool and turn it into yarn. All in all, this woman is hardcore - homesteading as a single woman is something that would be totally unappealing to me. But it's not close to my favorite homesteading book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Afton

    I really wanted to like this more, but alas, it just seemed a little "holier-than-thou" throughout. I really enjoyed "Barnheart", but just haven't been as impressed with any of Jenna Woginrich's other books. She seems great and I applaud her back to the land gung-ho attitude, but with her writing I think she's just trying too hard. I really wanted to like this more, but alas, it just seemed a little "holier-than-thou" throughout. I really enjoyed "Barnheart", but just haven't been as impressed with any of Jenna Woginrich's other books. She seems great and I applaud her back to the land gung-ho attitude, but with her writing I think she's just trying too hard.

  11. 5 out of 5

    KJ Grow

    Jenna is a modern pioneer in spirit, thought, and deed. A true inspiration and an exquisite writer.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Stevenson

    I wish I could think of something more to say than "meh," but this book just didn't have much in it. I wish I could think of something more to say than "meh," but this book just didn't have much in it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    The most sanctimonious of all the homesteader books I’ve ever read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This is the second book I've read by this author. I like her writing style, very poetic and inspiring. I'm not particularly impressed by her farming style. I get that farming is hard work but she seems to go out of her way to make it a lot harder than it should be. She talks about the sheep escaping, constantly having to chase them, and not having enough money to pay for either supplies or man power to build proper fencing. She talks about not working her own hayfields because she doesn't have e This is the second book I've read by this author. I like her writing style, very poetic and inspiring. I'm not particularly impressed by her farming style. I get that farming is hard work but she seems to go out of her way to make it a lot harder than it should be. She talks about the sheep escaping, constantly having to chase them, and not having enough money to pay for either supplies or man power to build proper fencing. She talks about not working her own hayfields because she doesn't have enough money to buy the proper equipment, never having enough hay stored up, having to trade and barter and straight out buy hay, never having enough money to buy all the hay she needs and also never having a barn big enough to store the hay in. Then she reiterates that she doesn't have enough money to build a bigger barn. She talks a lot about money, always being behind on her bills, always worried about how she's going to pay the mortgage or get enough feed for her animals. After lamenting on her lack of income she waxes philosophically about the beauty of being ones own boss and the luxury of horseback riding, archery practice, long hikes through the woods, fiddle practice, visiting neighbors, entertaining guests, and long naps in the front yard hammock. This would sound lovely if it didn't also sound foolish. If you've got enough time to do several non-farm related things throughout the day then at the very least you've got enough time to pick up a part time job in town that helps pay for everything ~ your bills, proper fencing, a bigger barn, and a full supply of hay. But who am I to judge? I like the "wheel of the year", living life in seasons, agrarian ideology. This is where her writing style shines. It sounds dreamy and inspiring. It sounds meaningful. And then she gets preachy. I get annoyed everytime she lumps the rest of Christianity in with the Catholicism in which she was raised and then makes a big deal about not being religious. Every real Christian knows that Catholicism is more closely related to witchcraft than true Christianity. And as for her not being religious, she is... she just hasn't realized yet that her "religion" is akin to nature worship. She has taken the pagan aspects of her childhood religion and recycled them to fit her agrarian lifestyle and assign meaning and purpose to the mundane everyday activities. I understand this book was written about four years into her homesteading experience and that she has a blog. Everyone is on their own journey, I hope hers has gotten better. Based on her business skills however, I wouldn't recommend sending her money if she asks for it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jana Renae

    I wanted to love this hook and have loved some along a similar vein, but the chapters didn’t seem fresh but redundant; analogies and insights gained from farm life a bit glib. The repeated discussion on financial pressures also got old. I do get it and don’t blame her for sharing those realities with her readers but she seems to dwell there to the pint it took a prominent place in the book. I’m guessing the chapters had been written at various times and when financial problems recurred, it showe I wanted to love this hook and have loved some along a similar vein, but the chapters didn’t seem fresh but redundant; analogies and insights gained from farm life a bit glib. The repeated discussion on financial pressures also got old. I do get it and don’t blame her for sharing those realities with her readers but she seems to dwell there to the pint it took a prominent place in the book. I’m guessing the chapters had been written at various times and when financial problems recurred, it showed back up in her writings. For the reader (me anyway) it felt awkward. And it seemed like some attempt to cope with the financial disadvantages was in pointing out (to herself) the advantages of her country lifestyle. I’m glad she has found small things she appreciates; but it seemed less like gratitude and more like an unresolved inner conflict - an attempt to override the hardships of her life choices and reasons to stay stuck in them. Not a great experience for the reader.

  16. 5 out of 5

    SarahJessica

    I follow Jenna on Twitter and was delighted to read her longer form writing. Lyrical, and yes, romantic, it does not disappoint. I found myself wanting more detail, more days, because I know each day is full of so much more than the vignettes she treats us to in Cold Antler Farm's year. But there are other books, and probably books to come for that. And yes, it's a romantic view of her life as a small farmer/writer/freelancer, but romance is a desperately needed commodity to my mind. I follow Jenna on Twitter and was delighted to read her longer form writing. Lyrical, and yes, romantic, it does not disappoint. I found myself wanting more detail, more days, because I know each day is full of so much more than the vignettes she treats us to in Cold Antler Farm's year. But there are other books, and probably books to come for that. And yes, it's a romantic view of her life as a small farmer/writer/freelancer, but romance is a desperately needed commodity to my mind.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Linda Rowland

    Reads like a collection of essays or blogs or whatever. Found nothing that says it is, so may be wrong. Certainly would explain why she tells us over and over that she is not a Christian, but constantly refers to Catholic upbringing. I did like the glimpses into her life, and lifestyle. And, of course the animals.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shahnaz Radjy

    I really enjoyed reading Jenna's story of change, growth, adventure, uncertainty, and ultimately, success. For anyone interested in living on a homestead/farm or living off the land or aspiring to a sustainable lifestyle - this is a must-read. I really enjoyed reading Jenna's story of change, growth, adventure, uncertainty, and ultimately, success. For anyone interested in living on a homestead/farm or living off the land or aspiring to a sustainable lifestyle - this is a must-read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Desiree Depinet

    It was a quick enjoyable read about farming as a single woman.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    A little too much earth worship for my taste but still a very good book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Atherton

    I read the author's first book and found it okay, but enjoyed this follow-up much more. I read the author's first book and found it okay, but enjoyed this follow-up much more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patti

    A great read written by an inspiring woman - who lives right in my backyard. I need to meet her!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Stefano

    I have been intrigued and delighted by Jenna Woginrich’s writing since I stumbled upon her book “Made from Scratch” at the library while searching for a different title which was unavailable. I had never heard of Jenna prior to that, but as a fellow barnheart sufferer, I read the first few pages and was caught by her stories. My synonymic longing for a simpler, more “real,” more deeply-rooted life made Jenna feel like someone who I have known for years, especially since we both spent some of our I have been intrigued and delighted by Jenna Woginrich’s writing since I stumbled upon her book “Made from Scratch” at the library while searching for a different title which was unavailable. I had never heard of Jenna prior to that, but as a fellow barnheart sufferer, I read the first few pages and was caught by her stories. My synonymic longing for a simpler, more “real,” more deeply-rooted life made Jenna feel like someone who I have known for years, especially since we both spent some of our childhood as residents of Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania and we both felt the physical, emotional, and spiritual anguish of being trapped in office day jobs while our soul remained in the farm yard. While as a mother of two, I have not had the opportunity to take a leap of faith out of my office day job for full time farming, I have been a follower of Jenna’s stories and blogs ever since. Jenna Woginrich’s most recent book prior to “Cold Antler Farm” (One Woman Farm) was a lovely little book with wonderful drawings and interesting topics, but lacked the depth that I had grown accustomed to in Jenna’s writing. Thankfully, however, “Cold Antler Farm” is a return to the eloquent and captivating world of Jenna Woginrich that I have come to love. I truly enjoy the well-rounded account of Jenna’s farm life - the positive, the negative, and the in-between - that fills the pages of this book. This book is actually my new favorite of Jenna’s books and I would gladly recommend it to anyone with even the smallest grain of homesteader in their soul – If you have even the slightest urge to grow a windowsill herb garden or find yourself moved by the taste of a real farm egg, you’ll love this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    What a delight!!! Ms. Jenna totally fascinated me with her story of how she decided to buy a farm, and my hair is still standing on end from the story of the event in her life that brought her to that decision. Fortunately she is very young and healthy and is able to keep up the pace. She has reminded me of the many things I have to be thankful for and I admire the animals and friendships that sharing the fruits of her labor and love have brought her. Ms. Jenna claims that she is not a Christian What a delight!!! Ms. Jenna totally fascinated me with her story of how she decided to buy a farm, and my hair is still standing on end from the story of the event in her life that brought her to that decision. Fortunately she is very young and healthy and is able to keep up the pace. She has reminded me of the many things I have to be thankful for and I admire the animals and friendships that sharing the fruits of her labor and love have brought her. Ms. Jenna claims that she is not a Christian, but she was raised a Catholic and it seems to me that her values have risen from how she was raised and she has been truly blessed. I opened a book as I finished this, prayers for a woman's life. One of the verses read, "You care for the land and water it... You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance..... The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. Psalm 65:9-13" You live and breathe this verse, Jenna, thank you for sharing it so eloquently in your book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Long live the Goddess. I am sure that the cells that flow through my blood carry a long memory of the agrarian year that was the religion of my ancestors-Jenna shares this connection to a past rooted in moon phases, seasons and living life based solely on these cycles. I think that is why I loved this book so much. Her heart is kept in a plot of land teaming with life and daily subsistence. I could so relate to her obsession with weather, kinship to her animals and desire to be self-reliant. If Long live the Goddess. I am sure that the cells that flow through my blood carry a long memory of the agrarian year that was the religion of my ancestors-Jenna shares this connection to a past rooted in moon phases, seasons and living life based solely on these cycles. I think that is why I loved this book so much. Her heart is kept in a plot of land teaming with life and daily subsistence. I could so relate to her obsession with weather, kinship to her animals and desire to be self-reliant. If you love the farming life or possibly only dream about it this is a great read written by a struggling young lady with strength, will-power and an open heart.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex Owens

    I can't really put my finger on why I liked this book... perhaps it's the dreamer in my reaching towards a lifestyle with more tangible, earthy experiences. Or maybe Woginrich is just that good. Her book carries the reader through daily life on the farm where life, death, poop and animal antics reign supreme, and her prose is perfectly suited to telling the tale. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to another other souls looking to live vicariously down on the farm, even if only du I can't really put my finger on why I liked this book... perhaps it's the dreamer in my reaching towards a lifestyle with more tangible, earthy experiences. Or maybe Woginrich is just that good. Her book carries the reader through daily life on the farm where life, death, poop and animal antics reign supreme, and her prose is perfectly suited to telling the tale. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to another other souls looking to live vicariously down on the farm, even if only during the time it takes to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennybeast

    I am so delighted with this book! Finally Jenna has come out with something like a sequel to Made From Scratch. Her other books are great resources and lovely contemplations, but this collection of witty and perceptive essays is what I have been waiting for. As a longtime blog reader and fan of Cold Antler, I was familiar with the bones of her story, but I appreciate deeply the more fleshed-out work. The punk chicks/art school made me laugh out loud, and shearing/church essay might be my favorit I am so delighted with this book! Finally Jenna has come out with something like a sequel to Made From Scratch. Her other books are great resources and lovely contemplations, but this collection of witty and perceptive essays is what I have been waiting for. As a longtime blog reader and fan of Cold Antler, I was familiar with the bones of her story, but I appreciate deeply the more fleshed-out work. The punk chicks/art school made me laugh out loud, and shearing/church essay might be my favorite, but the whole collection is moving and solid work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    T Crockett

    If you already know Jenna through her blog and books, you'll be excited to know this book digs a little deeper and gets into more of the soul of Cold Antler. There's a lot of heart and vulnerability on these pages. Each chapter can be read independently or seen as part of a larger story, a year on the farm. If you don't already know Jenna, I highly recommend Made from Scratch and this book as the way to get to know and love her. If you already know Jenna through her blog and books, you'll be excited to know this book digs a little deeper and gets into more of the soul of Cold Antler. There's a lot of heart and vulnerability on these pages. Each chapter can be read independently or seen as part of a larger story, a year on the farm. If you don't already know Jenna, I highly recommend Made from Scratch and this book as the way to get to know and love her.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I enjoyed reading an account of her daily life on an emerging farm. Woginrich expressed herself perfectly in each chapter and made me want to pay her small farm a visit. My only problem was that each chapter seemed to be an individual essay and they weren't linked together as well as they might have been. After reading that she is a blogger and an essayist, I'd have to chalk that up simply to her style. I enjoyed reading an account of her daily life on an emerging farm. Woginrich expressed herself perfectly in each chapter and made me want to pay her small farm a visit. My only problem was that each chapter seemed to be an individual essay and they weren't linked together as well as they might have been. After reading that she is a blogger and an essayist, I'd have to chalk that up simply to her style.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    I feel like I've been duped. This is simply a re-telling of her other books. The only new twist is that she reminds us, with remarkably consistent regularity, how much better (and at the same time harder) her life is than those of us who don’t farm. The condescension became unbearable and I abandoned the book 132 pages in. Perhaps someone who hasn't read anything else by Woginrich might enjoy it, but for me it was both boring and annoying all at the same time. Buyer beware! I feel like I've been duped. This is simply a re-telling of her other books. The only new twist is that she reminds us, with remarkably consistent regularity, how much better (and at the same time harder) her life is than those of us who don’t farm. The condescension became unbearable and I abandoned the book 132 pages in. Perhaps someone who hasn't read anything else by Woginrich might enjoy it, but for me it was both boring and annoying all at the same time. Buyer beware!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.