This is the true story of how we get our milk. And because this is the story of a family dairy farm in Vermont it is also the true story of how we get delicious, Grade A maple syrup. Author Alan Pistorius embedded with the Treadway family for a year, recording four seasons of milking, fixing, plowing and syrup making. Pistorius' careful observations make for a powerful meditation on farming, business and family.
"Alan Pistoriu's precise, perceptive observations, gleaned from a year on the Treadway farm, take us inside an endlessly busy, often hazardous, and always unpredictable occupation that is filled with the vitality and warmth of a real family, working together in ways that are all but impossible except on a farm."
--Richard M. Ketchum
Founding Editor, Country Journal
"With fitting admiration Pistorius acquaints us with folk of grit, a family that in the tradition of its forebears tenaciously holds fast to its farm."
"To research this book, Pistorius lived for one year in the family's Vermont household. He shared their work and play, their joys, their worries, and their disappointments. We see them planting in the spring, baling in the summer, harvesting corn in the fall, and hanging sap buckets in the winter. Throughout the book, the reader is given a feeling for the rhythms of life on a farm and is quickly drawn into that life."
"In a literary tradition that stretches from Virgil to de Crevecoer to Wendell Berry, Pistorius sets forth in precise and thoroughgoing terms just what goes on day to day within the boundaries of those farmlands that endow the Green Mountain landscape with such pastoral charm .... This kind of thoroughness pays off in understanding of the complexities of modern dairy farming. One learns of the life cycle of the cow, what gets mixed in with seed corn in the way of insecticide and fungicide .... What comes across most strongly is the indomitable spirit of the Treadways, who remain staunch and cheerful in the face of constant demands and frustrations."
--Vermont Sunday Magazine
"With fitting admiration, Pistorius acquaints us with folk of grit, a family that in the tradition of its forebears tenaciously holds fast to its farm."
"Far from being a mind-deadening routine, farming Treadway-style is a roller-coaster ride from one crisis to the next. It is, however, conducted amid fine scenery and birdsong, and with solid family cooperation. Mr. Pistorius admires the Treadways and so should the reader."