A farmwife for 45 years, Rachel Peden believed that the family farm's best crop is a "harvest of the spirit." In Speak to the Earth, she looks at life—domestic and wild, human and critter—through the eyes of someone who witnesses nine seasons of the year rather than the typical four. Peden views the farm as "a place of opportunity simultaneous with obligation, an immaculate fitting-together of plant and animal life." Each year yields an abundance of small, priceless observations. Through her writings, Peden encourages readers to appreciate both the simple pleasures in life as well as the more profound qualities embodied in family and neighbors, mallards and ladybugs, possums and pigs, and the irresistible characteristics of old houses, local history, and changing times.
Rachel Peden (1901–1975) was a newspaper columnist who lived in Indiana. Her books Rural Free: A Farmwife's Almanac of Country Living and The Land, the People were reprinted by Indiana University Press in 2009 and 2010.
"Since Peden made her last reports from Monroe County, the rate of damage to earth's natural systems has accelerated. Whether or not cosmic guidance is available to rescue us from our ruinous behavior, her three books offer wise counsel about living in a more respectful, durable, and joyous manner on this glorious planet."
~from the Foreword by Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Conservationist Manifesto, (IUP 2009)
"The insightful foreword by Scott Russell Sanders and inviting drawings by Sidonie Coryn are lovely companions for this collection of brief essays. It is best savored slowly, read aloud in companionship with another or alone, for the sheer pleasure of hearing voice give flight to well-crafted prose."