Rooted – Stories of Life, Land and a Farming Revolution

Sarah Langford

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  • Viking / Penguin
  • 2022
  • ISBN 9780241503744
  • 368 pages
  • Hardcover with dust jacket
  • 22.5 × 14.5 × 4 cm

Sarah Langford had left her country roots behind to live and work in the city as a barrister. But when she found herself moving to the countryside, back to an agricultural life she had left behind, she saw farmers dealing with very different problems to those faced by her grandfather, who had fed a starving nation after war. Beleaguered with the challenges of climate change, Brexit and falling incomes, they faced accusations of ecological mismanagement from a hostile media and public. But, as Sarah looked to them to teach her about the land, she also found a new generation of farmers on a path of regenerative change.

In Rooted, Sarah weaves her own story around these farmers – from dairy to arable, traditional to experimental – who taught her what being a farmer means. Intimate and moving, these stories shine a light on the human side of modern farming, and show us how land connects us all, not only in terms of global sustainability but in our relationships with our physical and mental health, our communities, our planet and ourselves.

An authentic, beautifully written portrait of 21st Century farming, this deeply personal account puts a powerful case: that the task of restoring our earth and ensuring a sustainable future both for our food and ourselves, lies in the hands of those who live closest to the land.

Praise:

“Sarah Langford’s book on farming is really a book about healing. All of life and death is here: family, politics, nature, climate, history, humanity. Rooted is a beautifully written, powerful reminder of where we’ve gone wrong, what is at stake, and how we can change. I loved it.” – Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness

“Rooted offers us an honest look at the farming life today. It is not an easy way to make a living, but through Langford’s personal story – and those of who she meets – we appreciate how it offers a connection with the land, and a firmer sense of our place in the world. Raw, earthy and inspiring.” – Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment

“Moving, startling, uplifting, galvanising and unsettling, this plainly beautiful book is one of those rare few that changes how you see the world around you: the shape of fields seen from a train, the vegetables in a supermarket chiller cabinet, the earth beneath your feet and falling through your fingers.” – Ella Risbridger, author of Midnight Chicken and The Year of Miracles

“Rooted is a brave thing: a book that prods into the ever-widening gulf between the binaries we increasingly use to examine the world. As conversations about what we eat and where it comes from reach fever-pitch, Sarah Langford’s clear-eyed, inquisitive and passionate plea for farmers and farming offers a vital understanding when it has never been so needed. I hope everyone reads it.” – Alice Vincent, author of Rootbound

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