In 1934, in the depths of the Great Depression, Elliott Merrick and his wife bought a ramshackle farm on a Vermont hillside for $1,000. Merrick, a young writer with a healthy dose of idealism and a determination to live in the country, had just sold his first book to Maxwell Perkins at Scribner's. "I had an idea that I would be rich and famous henceforth, " Merrick wrote, but added, "nothing could be farther from the truth ... As I look back, I'm amazed that we could so blithely have crossed our great Rubicon on a spiderweb. But it turned out to be one of those fortunate mistakes -- one of those fraught-with-peril enterprises that you might never have embarked on if you had known the consequences -- like being born, for instance."
Green Mountain Farm describes Merrick's and his family's often haphazard attempts to make a go of it on these stony, wintry acres, in a house that was falling down around them. As Merrick puts it, "We did everything wrong, but it came out right." They were dirt poor, but through it all, believed wholeheartedly in going directly after the things they wanted most: to write and to farm, however they could. A lyrical, funny, richly fulfilling book about old houses, farming, writing, and the joys of country life, this book is as fresh today as when it was originally published more than fifty years ago.
A quiet book along familiar lines, as Elliott Merrick tells of the depression years' experiment on a Green Mountain farm. From several months on a rented farm, through the purchase- for $1,000 of a farm of their own, this recounts chronologically in essay form, the arduous, impoverished years of inexperienced farming, the beauties of the Green Mountains and rural Vermont, the local characters and personalities, the neighborly errands of mercy and friendship, skiing and the descent on the Merrick's of long lost friends over ski weekends. The author combined with his farming periods of teaching, working for the agricultural service, trips to see his NY publisher- and always writing. An experienced craftsman, he writes vividly and well. (Kirkus Reviews)