review by Jack Kittredge
This is the book written 6 years ago by Angela Miller about her decision to move from a successful career as a literary agent in New York City to become a goat cheese maker in Vermont (while still dabbling as literary agent via telecommuting). It is, I know, relevant to many in NOFA who have chosen to change from what our culture would consider a career with high status or income or both to an agricultural or food-based livelihood which may have nei-ther. All for love of the work.
The authors (Miller is happy to acknowledge the role of Ralph Gardner in helping with this book) do a good job of giving the reader a lively, real-time sense of Angela, her life and loved ones, and how she juggles her careers — one in the fast lane in Manhattan and one in the slow Vermont fields once owned by Consider Bardwell and family where she has built an artisanal farm-based food business.
This is as direct and honest a story as you are likely to get from anyone who runs a company. Angela is people-centered and doesn’t seem to need to inflate herself. She talks about her employees as if they were family. She remembers details of triumphs and tragedies equally, and treats them all as significant but not determinative events in her life.
[Read more…] about Hay Fever: How Chasing a Dream on a Vermont Farm Changed My Life