As a little girl living in the suburbs of St. Louis I wanted to live on a farm. It was my all-consuming passion. My favorite books were about children who lived on farms, who were lucky enough to be able to spend their summers jumping into fragrant haystacks, riding dusty work horses to the fields, scattering the yellow corn for the busy chickens, hunting for warm, just-laid eggs. I longed for the taste of warm milk just out of a cow I’d milked myself, leaning up against her warm body, listening to the hiss of the foaming whiteness squirting into the metal pail. I wanted to find newborn kittens in the hayloft, to feel the sloppy sucking of a calf’s tongue on my fingers, to watch lambs jumping and twisting in the pasture.