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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603584579
Year Added to Catalog: 2014
Book Format: Hardcover
Book Art: Full Color
Dimensions: 7 x 10
Number of Pages: 384
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Web Product ID: 808

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An Unlikely Vineyard

The Education of a Farmer and Her Quest for Terroir

by Deirdre Heekin

Foreword by Alice Feiring

"Deirdre Heekin has written a colossal book here—something of a monument in its field. The author tells, in her earnest way, the entire story of establishing a biodynamic farm and orchard and garden and vineyard, under improbable circumstances. An Unlikely Vineyard speaks to a determination and passion fueled by Deirdre's wonderful, stubborn love. The sheer level of detail may intimidate some casual readers, yet those who do read it will surely concur that it's going to become one of the Great Books of the movement."

Terry Theise, author, Reading Between the Vines

Is it possible to capture landscape in a bottle? To express the essence of place—the geology, geography, climate, and soil—as well as the skill of the wine-grower? That’s exactly what Deirdre Heekin and her husband set out to do on their tiny, eight-­acre hillside farm in south-­central Vermont. Challenged by cold winters, wet summers, and other factors, they set about to grow not only a vineyard, but an orchard of heirloom apples, pears, and plums, as well as gardens filled with vegetables, herbs, roses, and wildflowers destined for their own table and for the kitchen of their small restaurant. They wanted to create, or rediscover, a sense of place, and to grow food naturally using the philosophy and techniques of organics, permaculture, and biodynamic farming. Having traveled and lived in France and Italy, and finding so much respect for place­based traditions, they were sure it would be possible to recreate that lifestyle, and to explore "the notion that life can be lived in both work and play, in a way that offers an honest sustenance."

An Unlikely Vineyard tells the story of their farm and its evolution, from overgrown fields to a fertile, productive, and beautiful landscape that melds with its natural environment. But the book is much more than that. It also presents, through the example of their farming journey and winegrowing endeavors, an impressive amount of information on how to think about almost every aspect of gardening: from composting to trellising; from cider and perry making to old garden roses; from pruning (or not) to dealing naturally with pests and diseases. Accompanied throughout by lush photos, this gentle narrative will appeal to anyone who loves food, farms, and living well.


About the Author

Deirdre Heekin

Deirdre Heekin is the author of An Unlikely Vineyard. She is the proprietor and wine director of Osteria Pane e Salute, an acclaimed restaurant and wine bar in Woodstock, Vermont. Heekin and her husband and head chef, Caleb Barber, are the authors of In Late Winter We Ate Pears (Chelsea Green, 2009), and she is also the author of Libation: A Bitter Alchemy (Chelsea Green, 2009) and Pane e Salute (Invisible Cities Press, 2002). Heekin and her husband live on a small farm in Barnard, Vermont, where they grow both the vegetables for their restaurant and natural wines and ciders ...

View Deirdre's full profile page >





Price: $35.00
Format: Hardcover
Status: Available for Pre-order
Available: October 17, 2014


Online for US Orders Only
International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email

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