A farmer offers a stark time-lapse portrait of his family’s land over a lifetime

Read the full review from NPR.

James Rebanks is a farmer who shepherds sheep into pastures and words into books. He has a gift for capturing both the allure of his beautiful surroundings and his difficult work, and for articulating the complex, worrisome issues facing farmers today.

Pastoral Songlike his first bestselling memoir, The Shepherd’s Life, enchants with lush descriptions of England’s Lake District and Cumbrian hills, where Rebanks’ family has worked the land for 600 years. But it is more than a paean to fells (hills), becks (streams), and flocks. Inspired by Rachel Carson’s Silent SpringRebanks’ new book urgently conveys how the drive for cheap, mass-produced food has impoverished both small farmers and the soil, threatening humanity’s future.

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