Is it possible to capture landscape in a bottle? To express the essence of place—the geology, geography, climate, and soil—as well as the skill of the winegrower? That’s exactly what Deirdre Heekin and her husband set out to do on their tiny, eight-acre hillside farm in south-central Vermont. Challenged by cold winters, wet summers, and other factors, they set about to grow not only a vineyard, but an orchard of heirloom apples, pears, and plums, as well as gardens filled with vegetables, herbs, roses, and wildflowers destined for their own table and for the kitchen of their small restaurant. They wanted to create, or rediscover, a sense of place, and to grow food naturally using the philosophy and techniques of organics, permaculture, and biodynamic farming. Having traveled and lived in France and Italy, and finding so much respect for place-based traditions, they were sure it would be possible to recreate that lifestyle, and to explore “the notion that life can be lived in both work and play, in a way that offers an honest sustenance.”
An Unlikely Vineyard tells the story of their farm and its evolution, from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. But the book is much more than that. It also presents, through the example of their farming journey and winegrowing endeavors, an impressive amount of information on how to think about almost every aspect of gardening: from composting to trellising; from cider and perry making to old garden roses; from pruning (or not) to dealing naturally with pests and diseases. Accompanied throughout by lush photos, this gentle narrative will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.
|Publisher:||Chelsea Green Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||7.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber are the proprietors and, respectively, wine director and head chef of Osteria Pane e Salute, a boutique restaurant and wine bar in Woodstock, Vermont, recently acclaimed in Bon Appétit, The Boston Globe, Travel and Leisure, and Attaché. Heekin and Barber grow most of their own produce in addition to working with local farm partners. In preparation for his role as head chef of Osteria Pane e Salute, Barber apprenticed with an artisanal baker and in a small trattoria in Tuscany.
Heekin and Barber live in Barnard, Vermont, where Heekin produces artisanal after-dinner brandies and micro-vintage garage wine for the osteria. Visit Deirdre and Caleb's blog, Fuoricitta (Out of The City), at http://fuoricitta.blogspot.com/
Table of Contents
A Note on the Farming