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May 23, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Trauma Farm by Brian Brett

Trauma Farm by Brian BrettTrauma Farm:
A Rebel History of Rural Life
by Brian Brett
Narrated by Michael Puttonen

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Publish Date: March 8, 2013
Format: Audio, 11 hours | 46 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 4 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Brian Brett’s farm on Salt Spring Island is affectionately known as Trauma Farm. There, he raises chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, and goats, tends an extensive orchard and vegetable garden, concocts fabulous meals from the bounties of the farm, and has various misadventures.

Underlain with deep knowledge of biology and botany, this erudite, witty, and passionate book is an unforgettable portrait of the issues all farms face in this age of industrialization and homogenization.

My Thoughts:

In this informative and often humorous memoir Brett demonstrates that his love for the farm is what keeps him going day after day. Along with his wife, Sharon, who also works as a nurse, they operate the small 10-acre farm on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver, BC.

There’s so much packed into this book about life on the farm I’m not sure where to begin. There’s the relationship with animals, the plants, the land and the history. And then there are the problems facing the modern-day small farm and all the exasperating government regulations. Brett does spend a fair amount of time railing against many of the complex rules the small farmer has to contend with, but in his defense, he does have a point. The safety issues that plague corporate farming are caused by the very industry itself. To apply the same standard to family farms is overkill and unnecessarily costly.

For years I’ve had a vegetable garden in my backyard and know the pleasure of growing and eating my own food. I bring bunches of herbs and bags of green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the prolific zucchini to friends and family who often refer to me as “the farmer”. I’ve always thought it would be fun to live on a small farm, but after reading Brett’s memoir I realize I have a romanticized idea of what that would involve. In reality it is an endless amount of work with little financial reward but a huge amount of personal satisfaction.

I listened to the audio while working in the garden. At almost 12 hours, it went by quickly. I didn’t realize it was that long until I was writing the review. This was the kind of book that was easy to get lost in and the time flew by. The narration was performed by Michael Puttonen who used a folksy, friendly, but at times a little too sing-songy voice when speaking about life on the farm, but then seamlessly switching to a more serious tone when talking about the impacts of corporate farming and government regulations.

Overall, an interesting look at life on a small farm presented in an entertaining and highly readable manner.

Source: Review copy
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. BarkLessWagMore (@FMMFC) / May 23 2013 9:24 am

    This sounds so interesting! I long for a small farm but in reality I know I’m too lazy to do all of the work involved 😉 Great review, I’ve just added this one to my audible WL.


  2. BermudaOnion / May 23 2013 10:19 am

    Memoirs are one of my favorite genres to listen to. I find first person works really well on audio for me. This sounds like a book I’d love.


  3. Suko / May 23 2013 11:59 am

    This sounds like a terrific audio book, Leslie. How wonderful that you grow a lot of your own vegetables! A larger farm would entail a ton of work so it would definitely need to be a labor of love.



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