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The Seasons on Henry's Farm
The Seasons on Henry's Farm
A Year of Food and Life on an Organic Farm

Chicago magazine's Green Award; 2010

James Beard Award in Writing and Literature; 2010, nomination



"By far the most informative and earnest of the back-to-the-land memoirs; anyone thinking about farming as a way of life should read it."

--New York Times Sunday Book Review


Henry's Farm, run by Henry Brockman, is in central Illinois--some of the richest farming land in the world. There, he and his family--five generations of farmers, including sister Terra, the author--have bucked the traditional agribusiness conventional wisdom by farming in a way that's sensible, sustainable, and focused on producing healthy, nutritious food in ways that don't despoil the land. Terra Brockman tells the story of her family and their life on the farm in the form of a year-long memoir--with recipes--that takes readers through each season of life on the farm. Studded with vignettes, digressions, photographs, family stories, and illustrations of the farm's vivid plant life, the book is a one-of-a-kind treasure that will appeal to readers of Michael Pollan, E.B. White, Gretel Ehrlich, and Sandra Steingraber.


Through closely observed natural phenomena and engagingly told stories, The Seasons of Henry's Farm takes readers deep inside the world of a small-scale farmer, and in so doing, opens a window into what sustainable farming really entails and why it is vital and relevant to everyone--everyone who eats, that is. Though rooted in the rolling oak-hickory hills and fertile fields and flood plains of the Mackinaw River Valley, the book ranges widely, incorporating literary, scientific, and culinary reflections occasioned by the week-by-week events of farm life.


The Seasons on Henry's Farm shows readers the cyclical rhythms of nature and of sustainable agriculture, which mimics nature, and the life of an extended family that not only believes in the importance of stewarding the land but lives it every day. Brockman invites us to recognize our place in the cosmos, and to understand that growing good food does not mean destroying soil and water, and that we can eat well and live well, and still leave this earth a better place than we found it. She has created a mindful and mouthwatering invitation to eat great food grown by people near you who love the land. This is a book for everyone who cares about the food we eat, the land we live on, and the environment that sustains us.


Title The Seasons on Henry's Farm
Subtitle A Year of Food and Life on an Organic Farm
Edition First Edition
Imprint Surrey
Audience 01 General / trade
Format ePub
Nb of pages
ISBN-10 1572846569
ISBN-13 9781572846562
Publication Date 01 October 2009
List Price $4.99
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 310 p.
ISBN-10 157284115X
ISBN-13 9781572841154
Publication Date 10 December 2010
Main content page count 310
Weight 22 oz.
List Price $10.20


Additional Materials

Press kit ( pdf 187 KB )


Press Reviews

New York Times Book Review
Jun 6, 2010
This is by far the most informative and earnest of the back-to-the-land memoirs; anyone thinking about farming as a way of life should read it. "The Seasons on Henry's Farm" isn’t full of peril. It doesn’t warn away or beckon hither. It’s a sober, cleareyed assessment of what needs to get done, when, how and why. By describing a year’s worth of chores on her brother’s farm in central Illinois, Brockman give us an excellent idea of how demanding and profoundly rewarding farming can be....Her prose is brisk, yet richly detailed. The chapter on the ice storm that felled a beloved oak, which gave Henry a way to propagate mushrooms, is a marvel of concise wisdom, and so is one called “Drakes Mount,” for anyone who ever wondered exactly how birds do it. By the time spring arrived, I was eyeing

- Dominique Browning
Mar 1, 2010
"When I say Brockman's vision is charming, I don't mean that it is idyllic or glossy. She neither bemoans nor camouflages the long hours and hard work of a farming life. What makes this book such a well-rounded read is how finely Brockman integrates all of these details together..."

Chicago Botanic Garden
Feb 1, 2010
"Terra Brockman gives the reader a view of the world of the farm, and a glimpse of a greater world of literature and art. With the log of daily activities throughout the year, and interesting recipes, this book offers the reader a bountiful and varied feast. Read it and be joyful that you can take advantage of the produce from Henry's farm without the unending labor."
- Joan Richards

The Chicago Sun-Times
Nov 11, 2009
"Locavores will appreciate Brockman's book as a testament to sustainable agriculture; those just looking for an engaging read won’t be left hungry, either."
- Janet Fuller

Radish Magazine
Oct 30, 2009
"Interlacing vibrant description, thoughtful reflection and mouth-watering recipes, Brockman's book explores and recounts the physical and personal realities of a daily relationship with the land."
- Elizabeth Janicek

Peoria Journal Star
Oct 19, 2009
"This literary, yearlong memoir documenting the weeks on a central Illinois sustainable farm is filled with poetry and beauty as well as advocacy and science...This is not a confrontational book that takes on corporate chemical farming. It's a gentle book that points to an alternative path."
- Clare Howard

Ideal Bite
Aug 1, 2009
"If you see Chicago foodie Terra Brockman mapping out locally grown food, give her a high five. She's founder of the Land Connection, a nonprof that helps farmers go sustainable, and works with orgs ilke Now We're Cookin', which helps newbie cooks find kitchen space. Terra just wrote a book, The Season's on Henry's Farm, with 30 easy recipes like rich Italian Fat Beans with a kick of maple. Here's a little bit about her journey through unchartered culinary territory."

The Omnivore's Solution
Aug 20, 2010
"Fortunately, my dear friend Terra Brockman, writer and founder of The Land Connection, just sent me a copy of her incredible new book about her brother Henry Brockman and the family farm: The Seasons on Henry's Farm...Anyone who buys food raised by hand, forages at farm markets, or keeps an urban garden, will find this book an incredibly wonderful read! Anyone who thinks there is no difference between sustainable and conventional food, large and small scale growers, owes it to him or herself to read this book."

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Reader Comments

Reader comment | Aug 6, 2010, Barb
Loved this book!! Beautifully written with lovely images. I could really feel the love in this family!