CROFTER is out—its long subtitle trails behind: A Wyoming Homestead Manual and Radical Memoir, Rooted in Place. On Amazon it’s available on Kindle, as paperback and hardback. Ask your favorite bookstores to carry it, please, and, if you’re inclined, leave reviews, or let me hear from you via comments below. I have dropped social media except for WordPress. Marketing is a mystery, but word of mouth yet reigns.
In the book I define “crofter” right away, as it isn’t commonly used (in the States, anyway), though a neighboring town is named Moorcroft. Did the Wyoming landscape of endless sage remind someone of the moors of Scotland? However, I do not provide the reader with the several definitions of “radical.” My usage has the word “relating to, or proceeding from a root,” though my phrase should raise curiosity. Regarding the cover, behold the art, “Light on the Horizon,” by Joan Fullerton. Find more of her artwork on http://www.joanfullerton.com.
From the Foreword by Sarah Pridgeon:
“We are all of us born, I think, with a longing to be one with the land. Even as we make our livings in the concrete forests of a city, for many of us there comes a time when the call to return to a quieter, more natural way of life becomes so loud it must be heeded.
“When Renée approached me to edit this book, her intent was simply to create something helpful to be passed on to the next owner of her land: a thriving orchard with a view that stretches to every horizon, here in the northeast of Wyoming. Part memoir and part manual, it was to be ‘useful’.
“But as I began to read through the chapters, I realized it was so much more. Woven through the recipes and detailed instructions for watering apple trees and tending the vegetable garden is Renée herself. Her personal history is so entwined with the land and what caring for it has taught her that the two cannot be separated.
“As Renée needs to feel the soil with her fingers, to nurture both soul and mind, so the land needs her tender care to flourish, in partnership with her equally wonderful husband, Jeff. Crofter is a tale of timeless symbiosis: the relationship between humans and the earth that gives us life.
“I moved to this corner of the world from England’s largest metropolis, after years of wistfully reading magazine articles about planting my own potatoes. Alas, it was not to be, for no London home has room for an honest garden.
“As I read Crofter, all that yearning rushed back to me. I’ve often been asked what possessed me to move from a capital city with all its modern conveniences to a tiny, rural community where the nearest cinema is a 40-minute drive down the interstate. I may, in future, simply hand my interrogator a copy of Crofter.
“In an era of global warming, heightened political tensions and war, Renée reminds us that life at its core is simple. What you take, you must replace. What nourishes you must be offered nourishment in return. What you give of yourself will always be returned.
“Perhaps not all of us will have the chance to harvest apples and garlic grown with our own hands, but we can all stand to learn a little something about the umbilical cord that links us to the world we call home. And so, I convinced Renée that her manual has value to more than just her heirs.
“There are lessons within this book for us all about finding fulfillment, and true peace.”
Thank you, Sarah, from the middle of my heart.
Here is a link to CROFTER in three formats: https://books2read.com/u/3yWKKB , or contact me.