Monday, 7 July 2014
The Farm and The Valley.
Richard Benson was brought up on a small farm in the Yorkshire Wolds but turned his back on the rural life to become a journalist and eventually editor of The Face. When his parents were forced to sell up Richard returned to help with the farm sale and went on to write a best selling book about the trauma of the decline of both a small family business and a way of life. The Farm should be compulsory reading for all those townies who think that the countryside is populated mainly by premier league footballers, rock stars, hedgefund managers and second homers, or for that matter that most British farmers are foxhunting barley barons. In the The Farm, Benson gives an amusing but moving account of one family, one farming community and how the global food and financial markets impact on them. The author's father came from farming stock but his mother's family were miners and now in The Valley the failed farm boy turned London trendy is taking a long hard look at that side of his family history. If he writes about the final days of mining as convincingly as he did about the decline of the English smallholding it should be well worth a read.