Birth, Death, and a Tractor

Birth, Death, and a Tractor : Connecting An Old Farm To a New Family

4.09 (22 ratings by Goodreads)

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IndieFab Book of the Year Award Winner!

Maine Literary Award Winner!

What happens when the last son leaves the farm, and the farmer grows old? Do the stories of six generations whisper into silence, as dust darkens the windows of the empty barn?

Or can a young boy, running in yellow boots through abandoned fields, bring new life back to the farm? There is much to explore, and time to wonder. There is also, for a short while, a gentle old man, atop a faded John Deere tractor, and the possibility of connection...

An unforgettable true story of history and hope on a small family farm in Somerville, Maine, from its settling in the early 1800s to its perilous transfer to a new farm family in 2008.
Chronicling the history of seven generations, it is a reminder of the role small farms have played in our national and family histories, and a challenge to find innovative ways to re-connect our communities to this rich but threatened resource.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 159 x 234 x 20mm | 467g
  • Down East Books,U.S.
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified; Halftones, Black & White including Black & White Photographs
  • 160893411X
  • 9781608934119

Review quote

Kelly Payson-Roopchand, with her elegant account of life on one small farm in Somerville, Maine, Birth, Death, and a Tractor: Connecting an Old Farm to a New Family deftly intersperses her family's first years establishing a goat dairy with stories of the six previous generations who worked the land. . . .This blend of memoir and agricultural history is shot through with poetry and philosophy. . . .Birth, Death, and a Tractor abounds with the joys of simple living and connection to land and community. * Foreword Reviews *
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About Kelly Payson-Roopchand

Kelly Payson-Roopchand farms and writes at the end of the road in Somerville, Maine. As a Fulbright Fellow, she researched small farms in Trinidad, returning home with her own Trini farmer, her amazing husband Anil. With their two children Keiran and Sarita, Kelly and Anil are reviving a six-generation family farm, giving Kelly ample material to write about.

To learn more about life on Pumpkin Vine Family Farm, visit them at or connect with them on Facebook.
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Rating details

22 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 36% (8)
4 41% (9)
3 18% (4)
2 5% (1)
1 0% (0)
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