Smith, Nicola

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SMITH, Nicola

PERSONAL: Married Geoff Hansen (a photographer); children: one daughter. Education: Columbia University, M.F.A.

ADDRESSES: Home—White River Junction, VT. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Lyons Press, P.O. Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Freelance writer.

WRITINGS:

Harvest: A Year in the Life of an Organic Farm, photographs by Geoff Hansen, Lyon's Press (Guilford, CT), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: In her first book, Harvest: A Year in the Life of an Organic Farm, freelance writer Nicola Smith and her husband, freelance photographer Geoff Hansen, chronicle the lives of their neighbors, Jennifer Megeysi and Kyle Jones. Megeysi and Jones, both of whom have graduate degrees in wildlife conservation, own and operate a twenty-acre organic farm in Vermont called Fat Rooster Farm. Running Fat Rooster Farm is hard work, and in her "well-written profile" Smith" presents a realistic look at the pleasures and enormous difficulties of farming for a living," Ilse Heidmann wrote in Library Journal. Among the difficulties are the long hours spent not only caring for the livestock and crops but also on the business aspects of running a farm, such as manning booths at farmers' markets and hauling produce to commercial customers such as restaurants. Then, after these tasks have been completed, the couple must report to the part-time jobs that they have been forced to take, since they cannot support themselves on the farm income alone. This stress takes a toll on Jones and Megeysi's relationship, and Smith provides a "close-up view of the private, painful, and real negotiations necessary to keep the farm running," noted Booklist reviewer Gillian Engberg. A Publishers Weekly reviewer also praised Smith's attention to the human side of small farms, commenting that "Megeysi may be one of the most vividly drawn farm women since Letters of a Woman Homesteader."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 1, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Harvest: A Year in the Life of an Organic Farm, p. 290.

Library Journal, November 1, 2004, Ilse Heidmann, review of Harvest, p. 112.

Publishers Weekly, September 20, 2004, review of Harvest, p. 54.

ONLINE

Geoff Hansen Home Page, http://www.geoffhansen.com/ (February 15, 2005).

Globe Pequot Press, http://www.globepequot.com/ (February 15, 2005), "Harvest."

Harvest, http://www.harvest-book.com/ (February 15, 2005).