Return to Pleasant Valley: My Ninety Acres

An excerpt titled My Ninety Acres from Bromfield's book, Return to Pleasant Valley, on the importance of rural life and sustainable agriculture to our collective future.

| February/March 2004

  • Baby Quail
    They sat in a little circle in a tiny nest, none of them much bigger than the end of one of old Walter's big thumbs — seven tiny quail.
    llustration by Wm. Keith Harrison
  • My Ninety Acres
    Walter Oakes was the best farmer in all the county, very likely the best farmer in all the rich Ohio country.
    Photo courtesy Fotolia/Maksymowicz

  • Baby Quail
  • My Ninety Acres

Pulitzer prize-winning author Louis Bromfield (1896-1956) wrote eloquently about the importance of rural life and sustainable agriculture to our collective future. This charming excerpt from his story, "My Ninety Acres," is reprinted from Return to Pleasant Valley, a collection of Bromfield's writings edited by MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor George DeVault.


In the first weeks after I came home I never thought about my father's friend, old Walter Oakes. Indeed I had very nearly forgotten his existence. And then one day I heard Wayne, one of the boys on the farm, say something about My Ninety Acres, and I remembered it all and asked, "is Walter Oakes still alive?"

"Alive!" said Wayne, "I'll say he's alive. The liveliest old man in the county. You ought to see that place. Brother, that's the kind of farm I'd like to own. He raises as much on it as most fellows raise on five times that much land."

Wayne, of course, was only 20. He couldn't know how once people had laughed when Walter Oakes spoke proudly of My Ninety Acres. Clearly they didn't laugh any more. Clearly Walter Oakes was the best farmer in all the county, very likely the best farmer in all the rich Ohio country.



The next Sunday I walked over the hills to My Ninety Acres. As I came down the long hill above the farm I saw it hadn't changed much. The house still looked well painted and neat with its white walls and green shutters, and the barn was a bright, new, prosperous red.

As I walked down the hill I thought, "This is the most beautiful farm in America — the most beautiful, rich farm in the world — My Ninety Acres."






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters