Kristin Kimball: Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau

Kristin Kimball

Author & Innovative Farmer

Kristin Kimball and her husband Mark founded Essex Farm in 2003. They have developed a unique farming and business model, providing a full diet, year round, for 200 people. These members come to the farm each Friday to pick up what they need for the week, in any combination or quantity they choose. Produce includes grass-fed beef, pastured pork and chicken, eggs, milk, grains and freshly ground flours, dry beans, maple syrup, soap, and fifty different kinds of vegetables. Most of the farm’s field work is done with draft horses, the fertility comes from compost and electricity is generated by a 25 KW solar array. The Kimballs aim to have a fossil fuel free farm by 2016.

The Dirty Life, is Kimball’s acclaimed memoir about the farm’s startup year. Single, thirty something, working as a writer in New York City, Kimball was living life as an adventure. But she was beginning to feel a sense of longing for a family and for home. When she interviewed a dynamic young farmer, her world changed. She knew nothing about growing vegetables, let alone raising pigs and cattle and driving horses. But on an impulse, smitten, if not yet in love, she shed her city self and moved to five hundred acres near Lake Champlain to start a new farm with him. The Dirty Life is the captivating chronicle of their first year on Essex Farm, from the cold North Country winter through the following harvest season—complete with their wedding in the loft of the barn.

Kimball and her husband had a plan: to grow everything needed to feed a community. It was an ambitious idea, a bit romantic, and it worked. Every Friday evening, all year round, a hundred people travel to Essex Farm to pick up their weekly share of the "whole diet. Her vivid descriptions of landscape, food, cooking—and marriage—are irresistible.

"As much as you transform the land by farming," she writes, "farming transforms you." In her old life, Kimball would stay out until four a.m., wear heels, and carry a handbag. Now she wakes up at four, wears Carhartts, and carries a pocket knife. At Essex Farm, she discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land.

At the podium, Kimball gives a dynamic, uplifting presentation on the origins of Essex Farm, and the changes the farm has undergone since its founding. She is a hands-on farmer as well as a writer, and speaks to audiences directly involved in agriculture, and also to general audiences.

Kimball holds a degree in English Literature from Harvard College. Before farming, she was a writer and editor living in New York City. She met Mark in 2002 when she interviewed him for a story she was working on, about the emerging generation of young, entrepreneurial, direct-market farmers. She fell in love with him and his work, and has been professionally dirty ever since.

Interested in booking Kristin Kimball to speak at your next event?

Contact Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.

(866) 248-3049

  • The Dirty Life: On Farming Food and Love
  • A Farmer’s Response to Environmental Change
  • Cooking and Eating Locally: Tips and Benefits

Your name: Your e-mail: