Book Review: A Bushel’s Worth by Kayann Short

Written by Bethany Emond Storm bushel's worth, book review

If you have ever loved a piece of land, you will understand why author Kayann Short has made it her life’s mission to share her love of farm with her community at Stonebridge Farm, a 10-acre organic farm nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.   Short lovingly defines the concept of community supported agriculture (CSA) in her ecobiography A Bushel’s Worth. She weaves her grandparents’ farming experiences with her own experience as a CSA farmer to paint a picture of what it means to put a face on food, past and present. She tells the story of building a farm that belongs to all the members who come together, to share the labor and the bounty. She recognizes that many farms, just like her grandparents’, no longer exist and it’s up to her to find a way to keep her farm from becoming Stonebridge Farm subdivision after she is gone.

Short details the characters and tells the stories of her community’s “share the harvest” farm. In a world where most people experience potlucks as a table full of “deli take-outs in tiny containers,” the author reveres the many CSA potlucks at Stonebridge farm as beautiful arrays of “homemade bread (lying) crustily on the handmade maple chopping block…and heirloom tomatoes blushing in a vintage salad bowl.”  Through the pages of her book, you can feel how Stonebridge nurtures its members with the opportunity to walk amongst the flowers, taste the fruits of their labor, and play music to the stars.

Short fell in love with the land as a child at her grandparents’ farms in North Dakota where she spent her summers scouting for rocks and searching for birds’ nests. In her book, you will walk the gardens beside her and feel the love that led her to write her ecobiography.