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Carving Out a Living on the Land


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About the Author

Emmet Van Driesche, along with his wife, Cecilia, operates the Pieropan Christmas Tree Farm in western Massachusetts. When he's not working on the tree farm or editing scientific manuscripts, he spends his time carving wooden spoons and teaching others to do the same. You can find out more about him at


"The lessons here, cleanly told, serve the aspiring farmer, small business owner, and demonstrate not just how to run a farm, but how to build a sustainable and deeply satisfying life with the skills you have, and the ones you can learn."-Boston Globe

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review-

"Van Driesche's charmingly pragmatic account of running a Christmas tree farm in Western Massachusetts with his wife, Cecilia, resembles a mini-MBA for farmers in its breadth and depth of insight. . . Filled with a practical and open-minded approach to problem-solving that agrarians and urbanites alike will find refreshing, [this] book provides an invigorating paean to seizing opportunities, finding one's strengths, and working hard."

"In this no-nonsense resource for novice Christmas Tree farmers (and all farmers), Van Driesche shares his sustainable success story in pragmatic and engaging detail."-Forrest Pritchard, farmer; New York Times best-selling author of Gaining Ground

"A couple of years ago I bought a Christmas tree from Emmet Van Driesche's little family in the woods. I immediately wanted to move in with them. They radiated the kind of peaceful contentment that comes with doing work that makes sense to you and that you are good at. But since moving in with them would be creepy, I am glad to have this book, a thorough and generous guide to shaping your world not only to your own happiness, but the world's as well."-John Hodgman, host of Judge John Hodgman; author of Vacationland

"Carving Out a Living on the Land describes the joy of living a simpler life in tune with nature, without skipping on the nitty gritty of hard work and paying the bills. Along the way, Emmet shows that spoon carving is not just a wonderful pastime but can be part of a thriving modern business, filling one's time between the hustle and bustle of childcare and tree cutting with calm, spoon-y industriousness."-Barn the Spoon, founder, Spoon Club and The Green Wood Guild; author of Spoon

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