I have just released a new book. Well, an old book, really, first published in 1864 — Ten Acres Enough by Edmund Morris.
This is a classic back-to-the-land book. Morris sold his newspaper in Philadelphia and bought a small farm in New Jersey, where he grew berries and peaches, made a good living, and was grateful to leave the rat race behind. It’s a good read and has plenty of thought-provoking material in it, and should be fun for anyone interested in reading about self-sufficient farm living as it was practiced by refugees from city life 150 years ago.
It differs from a lot of back-to-the-land books because Morris didn’t move halfway across the country or lose contact with his city friends. He was only an hour from Philadelphia by train, allowing him to mix and match his rural life with city friendships and cultural pursuits, and it meant he could ship fully ripe produce directly into the highest-paying city markets, rather than having to compromise on quality due to the requirements of long-haul shipping. Even today, playing the “edge-of-town” card can be a great strategy for quality-minded farmers.
I went to the trouble of copy-editing it from stem to stern, since it was getting hard for the modern reader to follow, what with shifts in vocabulary and writing style over the past 150 years. I also added inflation-adjusted values so the prices make sense and cut some unnecessary repetition. The result is a lot more fun to read than it was.
This is the first new book to be released by Norton Creek Press in several years, but there will be more soon! As I’m sure you realize by now, I think that most of the world’s best books are forgotten and out of print, and one of my goals in life it to get some of them back into circulation.