Adam’s Mark brilliantly combines the author’s interest in literature with her experience working on a dairy farm. Words and work are melded in a series of essays that are brief, captivating and profound, with references that range from Japanese Haiku to Seamus Heaney, and from summertime haying to mid-winter manure piles. Julia Shipley is one of Vermont’s very best emerging writers, and she proves it once again with this charming and beautifully written collection.
—Tom Slayton, editor-emeritus of Vermont Life Magazine
A pleasure to hold, a joy to read and, if you’re lucky enough, a delight to hear. Julia Shipley’s Adam’s Mark is a spare but powerful distillation of small-scale dairying in Vermont. Her words are as exacting and honest as the craft of farming itself.
—Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved
From the book:
From Adam’s Mark:
I am watching Adam from the tiny window of the shed. He’s directly across the road baling hay on the Hershey kiss of a hill he calls the knoll. I can hear the gravelly voice of the engine. He’s got the baler on. He’s driving over the swaths of mowed and raked hay. The baler takes this flat ribbon of grasses and rolls them into a huge spool. He’s pausing right in front of me, working the levers, the baler hatch opens and releases a one-ton bale. It’s emerging like an egg from beneath the unseemly metal skirt of the baler, this culmination of an eighth of a mile of cut grasses, of fifty consecutive days of growth. We watch it roll toward the electric pole and stop in the dip just before it. Now he puts the tractor back in gear and creeps away. The growly tractor noise fades, and now he is gone.
© 2014 by Julia Shipley.