Foreword Reviews

Our Wild Farming Life

Adventures of a Scottish Highland Croft

More than a memoir about sustainable farming in Scotland, Lynn Cassells and Sandra Baer’s Our Wild Farming Life delves into the history and present-day concerns of the region’s ecology.

In 2016, after years spent dreaming of owning a small farm, Cassells and Baer purchased Lynbreck Croft, a 150-acre property near the Cairngorms. Crofting culture, “which has always been about getting little bits of money from lots of different income streams,” aligned well with their environmentalist and self-sufficiency ethics. Finding the concept of land management arrogant, they focused instead on managing their practices to benefit the land, settling on the term “regenerative agriculture” to describe their venture.

Written from Cassells’s point of view, the book’s efficient yet lyrical prose captures the magnificence of the Scottish Highlands, the depth of the couple’s emotional connections, and the trepidation they felt as outsiders starting up a business in a community that was steeped in its own traditions.

Technical details about how animals, plants, and humans interact are embedded in the captivating, often humorous narrative, which covers events on the croft at a snappy pace. The triumphs, failures, and mysteries of farming life combine to create suspense about whether Cassells and Baer would succeed, culminating in a series of unexpected awards and opportunities.

Cassells also describes the challenges they faced because they were new to farming, but notes that they engaged in continual reexaminations of how their agricultural practices impacted the land, and of how their work impacted their personal relationship. Their willingness to ask for advice, and their ethos of putting the planet’s health first, is inspiring.

An informative memoir that also serves as a model for agriculture that respects the land, Our Wild Farming Life teems with emotional, ecological, and business wisdom.

Reviewed by Michele Sharpe

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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