By Jenna Woginrich
Storey Publishing, $14.95, 184 pages
Definition of a barnheart: “the state of knowing unequivocally that you want to be a farmer but, due to personal circumstances, cannot be one just yet.” The symptoms include depressed feelings that hit you at odd moments, at the water cooler or grocery store, with overwhelming desires to fly tag cattle, turn the compost pile, collect warm chicken eggs, shovel manure, lose yourself for hours in seed catalogs and chicken coop designs. Treatment options include baking a pie from scratch, perusing seed and livestock supply catalogs, researching heritage breed livestock. Then step outside, close your eyes and breathe. You are not alone.
In Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own Jenna Woginrich explores her own severe case of barnheart and quests to find and create the farm of her dreams. Woginrich’s warm humor and genuine love of agriculture is entertaining and informative, easy to understand and relate to, for the farmer and barnhearted alike. Although the hard-core farmer might have a difficult time relating to keeping just three sheep and a pack goat for hiking, this is nonetheless well worth the read.