A Profession of Hope

From her ‘mad little farm’ on the edge of the northern forest, Jenna Butler—poet, essayist, and X-treme gardener—has brought in a harvest of home truths. A Profession of Hope is a deep and inspiring meditation on what it means to care for the places we love.
— Candace Savage, author of A GEOGRAPHY OF BLOOD

A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail chronicles an extraordinary journey to build home. In 2006, Jenna Butler and her partner, Thomas, purchased “160 acres, more or less” of rough northern bush. They knew they weren’t purchasing anything more than hard work and hope, but they still headed up every weekend to clear a spot in those woods where they could plant their first crops. In this collection, Butler talks of the hardships, humor, and grace notes of trying to build a northern farm. From being driven out by mosquitoes to thwarting grasshoppers to sublime moments under a night sky, Butler tells the story of how the farm has grown and changed over the years. She also talks about her reasons for starting a farm, poking fun at her own dyed-in-the-wool idealism, and explains her desire to protect and preserve the land, touching on the impact of climate change and of the wear and tear of trying to make a go of it as a small farmer. This is a beautifully written book, one that will leave readers wanting to start their own farm.