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Chaskey, Scott 1950–

Chaskey, Scott 1950–

(Scott Allan Chaskey)

PERSONAL: Born April 17, 1950, in Toledo, OH; son of Harry William and Mary Isabelle (Pratt) Chaskey; married Megan Edith Boyd, June 3, 1982; children: Levin, Rowenna, Liam. Education: State University of New York-Binghamton, B.A., 1973; Antioch University, M.A., 1978.

ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 27, Sag Harbor, NY 11963-0001. Office—Peconic Land Trust, P.O. Box 1776, Southampton, NY 11969-1776.

CAREER: Cliff farmer in Mousehole, Cornwall, England, 1978–89; Quail Hill Community Farm, Peconic Land Trust, Amagansett, NY, farmer and stewardship coordinator, 1991–. Teacher and poet-in-schools and museums; lecturer. Board member, Center for Whole Communities in Vermont.

MEMBER: Land Trust Alliance, Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, Northeast Organic Farmers Association (president).

AWARDS, HONORS: Fellowship, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, 1989; Gold Medal for Excellence in Horticulture, Long House Reserve.

WRITINGS:

This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm (memoir), Viking (New York, NY), 2005.

Also author of A Book of Odes, 1980, and Stars Are Suns, 1994.

SIDELIGHTS: Scott Chaskey is a farmer, writer, and educator. His work as the president of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association and as a pioneer of the community farming movement are part of his drive to find alternatives to conventional agricultural techniques in order to preserve Earth's ecological balance. His teaching is aimed at avoiding harm to the planet through the use of organic fertilizers, natural pesticides, and other techniques that are not used by large-scale agribusiness. In the community-farming model espoused by Chaskey, food is grown for members who pool their costs and share the harvest. Chaskey tells his own story in This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm, It is not a practical guide to farming, but a mixture of the author's observations and reflections on such things as garlic, compost, and wildlife. As a reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented, "The delight of his writing is his balancing of the poetry of farm life … with touches of humor." The reviewer advised that the book would be highly enjoyable for all who are interested in organic farming. Booklist contributor George Cohen commended the author's tone, saying that "Chaskey's reverence for the land and its creatures is rare in today's society. We should all follow in his footsteps." A Kirkus Reviews writer called This Common Ground "nothing less than a vision, not original so much as eloquently expressed, of farming returned to its roots, and of the mighty pleasures it can give."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Chaskey, Scott, This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm, Viking (New York, NY), 2005.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, March 1, 2005, George Cohen, review of This Common Ground, p. 1142.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2005, review of This Common Ground, p. 206.

Library Journal, April 15, 2005, Ilse Heidmann, review of This Common Ground, p. 110.

Publishers Weekly, March 28, 2005, review of This Common Ground, p. 69.

ONLINE

Center for Whole Communities Web site, http://www.wholecommunities.org/ (July 7, 2005), biographical information about Scott Chaskey.

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