The Wisdom of Sheep: Observations from a Family Farm

Penguin Pr. Aug. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9780593656174. $27. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
Organic farmer Young (The Secret Life of Cows) describes here some of her earliest memories, of snow on the Clapton-on-the-Hill farm her grandfather rented in Gloucestershire County, England. Because the farm was cut off from the outside world, Young and her brother were not around other children, so their father allowed them to keep two lambs inside their home. They were meant to view the sheep as livestock, not pets, but that turned out to be impossible. Young’s life on a remote farm, with lots of work to do, caring for animals in extreme and sometimes dangerous weather and situations, caused her to be mindful and observant; she also learned great compassion from her sheep, as she writes here. For example, on her own Kite’s-Nest Farm on a very rainy night, she went up the hill with a bundle of hay on her back to feed her herd. She found the sheep happily huddled in one corner of their shed, nurturing a fox cub who had sought shelter there.
VERDICT This book is a must-read for those who admire and appreciate organic livestock farms and the goods they produce. It also movingly demonstrates how to persevere through difficult times.
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