It was late April, the snow had only just melted, and I was putting the finishing touches on a wood framed greenhouse when a friend stopped by. We fell to talking about gardening and farming and I spoke of my interest in someday trying my hand at doing some actual field work with a team (I already had a number of years experience driving horses on dude outfits, but nothing in the way of farming). My friend Don said, “well you know there’s a guy, a writer from Tennessee who farms with horses and writes books about it. You should check him out.” Turns out you were from Kentucky, not Tennessee, as I was soon to learn after rounding up a copy of The Gift of Good Land, which I greedily read in just a couple of days. My life was changed forever.
It was early on a cold March morning when Sarah and I found ourselves driving north beside the Kentucky River. We were hoping to enter the county through its back gate, which we figured was up from the river, now running emerald green and swollen on our right. No road sign announced Henry County so when we sensed we were there we took the next left, which brought us up the Kentucky’s escarpment, through a thick woods, and onto a tangle of narrow, curvy winding up and down roads. They were almost as bad as back home. The state road map didn’t show county roads and our GPS couldn’t find service, so soon we were helplessly, but happily, lost.