Skip to main content

Book Review: Barnheart

Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own
by Jenna Woginrich


184 pages
Storey Publishing, 2011
List price: $14.95

Memoirs are my favorite kind of gardening books to read. They’re chock full of experiences I can relate to, because the authors let us in on the trials and tribulations they endure in their quest to live the life of a gardener. (Or farmer. Or shepherd.) I enjoy reading them even if I don’t share the particular focus of the author. Many aspects of farming and gardening and animal husbandry overlap enough to allow me to learn something from any one of them.

In her third book, Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own, Jenna Woginrich takes us along on her move from one side of the country to another. We’re right there with her as she struggles to carve her place in the countryside of Vermont and fulfill her dream of owning her own flock of sheep, and a farm to raise them on. None of this comes easily for a single young (20-something) woman, and money is always an issue. (Who can’t relate to that?)

While things may not always turn out the way she’d like, Woginrich perseveres and has us cheering her on as she attempts to find the cure for “barnheart.”

I’m not brave at all. I’m just terrified of regret.”
~ Jenna Woginrich

Jenna Woginrich is a 20-something homesteader and the author of BarnHeart, Chick Days, and Made from Scratch. She blogs at Cold Antler Farm, as well as Mother Earth News and The Huffington Post. A Pennsylvania native, she has made her home in the mountains of Tennessee, in northern Idaho, in rural Vermont, and most recently in upstate New York, where she lives with a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep, a border collie in training, chickens and geese, a hive of bees, and several amiable rabbits.

Read more garden book reviews.

Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.