One Woman Farm

by Jenna Woginrich

from the cover
Liberated from a Monday-to-Friday office routine that left her yearning for full days of caring for crops and animals, Jenna Woginrich settles into the rhythms and rituals of running a small farm. Her eloquent record of this time expresses deep gratitude for everything her new way of life offers, from the joy of delivering twin lambs to the intense emotions of pig harvest day.

Beginning and ending in October -- the conclusion of a successful growing season and the beginning of a long, reflective winter -- Jenna's seasonal writings reveal the daily surprises and moments of pure grace that fill a farm year.

my rating

my review
I wasn't sure at first how I would feel about this scrapbook-like journal of a memoir, but I really enjoyed it. One Woman Farm is a bit reminiscent of Jenna Woginrich's blog, but more mindfully put together and, in some ways, more personal. Because of the short, dated entries, I could read for five minutes or half an hour and feel just as satisfied when I close the book. I loved the eclecticness of it and the unashamed honesty Jenna writes with.

She hooked me in the introductory pages with an all-too familiar feeling:
"I was grateful for my full-time job, but it was still a place I could not leave until darkness fell -- a whole day lost to a computer and walls."
And somehow she comes to a point in her life where she is able to say,
"I even love the goose [poop] on my front step because a life without goose [poop] would mean a life without geese, which is beyond comprehension at this point. I mean, how do people without geese even know when their mail arrives?"
Jenna romanticizes farming, yes, but she does so honestly and doesn't gloss over the messy parts. From lambing and horseback rides to wasp stings and butchering, she stuffs an entire year almost poetically into this little 200ish-page gem. And just because I can't help myself, one more quote:
"And it has all given me the gift of purpose in the most practical sense: Do this work and it will sustain you. Do this work and you are alive."

One-Woman Farm: The Seasons of Life Shared with Sheepdogs, Goats, Woodstoves, and a Feisty Fiddle


  1. A "scrapbook-like journal of a memoir" sounds quite fascinating! Is there a story, like a plot, or any bit of a tale that would keep you interested or is it just more of a description of life and its learnings? It seems like a humble book and as you said relatable. Lovely review Serena. I'm glad you enjoyed so much to give it 5 stars ^_^

    1. It documents a full year of Jenna's life on her farm, so in that sense, I suppose there are a few subplots (i.e. buying a horse, learning to milk a goat, etc.) but not really a main plot. It's very much like a journal, as each entry is dated and may or may not relate to a previous entry. I don't typically like books without a plot (I get bored easily), but Jenna has such a captivating writing style that I didn't miss it in this book.

      I'm so glad you like the review!