James Rebanks comes from a family of farmers in The Lake District in England. He observes the evolution of farming. His grandfather’s farm planted and raised a variety of crops, much of them for the farmer’s family. Farming today has become an industry which specializes in one product or animal using heavy machinery to produce huge quantities. Rebanks inherits the family farm and works diligently to get it back to the way the land and the animals will benefit long term.
I realize my description of Pastoral Song makes it sound dull and didactic, but Rebanks’ prose makes this work of nonfiction highly readable and enjoyable. Pastoral Song is part environmental warning and part homage to the small and diverse working farms of the world.