Stories of Life, Land and a Farming Revolution
A beautiful and intimate account of modern farming and our changing relationship with the land
Sarah Langford had left her country roots behind to live and work in the city as a barrister. But when she found herself moving to the countryside, back to an agricultural life she had left behind, she saw farmers dealing with very different problems to those faced by her grandfather, who had fed a starving nation after war. Beleaguered with the challenges of climate change, Brexit and falling incomes, they faced accusations of ecological mismanagement from a hostile media and public. But, as Sarah looked to them to teach her about the land, she also found a new generation of farmers on a path of regenerative change.
In Rooted, Sarah weaves her own story around these farmers - from dairy to arable, traditional to experimental - who taught her what being a farmer means. Intimate and moving, these stories shine a light on the human side of modern farming, and show us how land connects us all, not only in terms of global sustainability but in our relationships with our physical and mental health, our communities, our planet and ourselves.
An authentic, beautifully written portrait of 21st Century farming, this deeply personal account puts a powerful case: that the task of restoring our earth and ensuring a sustainable future both for our food and ourselves, lies in the hands of those who live closest to the land.
Praise for Rooted
Heartbreaking and hopeful, this story of a farming revival has never been more important. It opened my eyes and touched my soulEsther Freud
A magical book of wonderful stories about how farmers think and the challenges they face. It demonstrates that farmers across the country are passionate about producing food and caring for the land. A triumphJake Fiennes, author of Land Healer
Sarah Langford's book on farming is really a book about healing. All of life and death is here: family, politics, nature, climate, history, humanity. Rooted is a beautifully written, powerful reminder of where we've gone wrong, what is at stake, and how we can change. I loved it.Christie Watson, bestselling author of The Language of Kindness
Rooted is a brave thing: a book that prods into the ever-widening gulf between the binaries we increasingly use to examine the world. As conversations about what we eat and where it comes from reach fever-pitch, Sarah Langford's clear-eyed, inquisitive and passionate plea for farmers and farming offers a vital understanding when it has never been so needed. I hope everyone reads it.Alice Vincent, author of Rootbound
Moving, startling, uplifting, galvanising and unsettling, this plainly beautiful book is one of those rare few that changes how you see the world around you: the shape of fields seen from a train, the vegetables in a supermarket chiller cabinet, the earth beneath your feet and falling through your fingers.Ella Risbridger, author of Midnight Chicken and The Year of Miracles
An eloquent and personal insight into the terrible human as well as environmental cost of cheap food and an inspiring account of the people working to heal our relationship with our habitat and ourselves. Urgent, necessary and moving.Ben Rawlence, author of The Treeline
A fine book: heartfelt, honest and hopeful. Sarah has the knowledge and skill to help people better understand where their food comes from and why we should all care.Helen Rebanks
Moving, intimate, tender and searing, this is a gem of a book with deep roots and fresh green shoots.Tamsin Calidas, author of I Am An Island
A timely and optimistic book, ostensibly about why we need farming to produce food, but more deeply about how farming is done, or could be done. Refreshingly authentic, Rooted gives us a hopeful sense of a regenerative futureJuliet Blaxland, author of The Easternmost House and The Easternmost Sky
Rooted offers us an honest look at the farming life today. It is not an easy way to make a living, but through Langford's personal story - and those of who she meets - we appreciate how it offers a connection with the land, and a firmer sense of our place in the world. Raw, earthy and inspiring.Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment
A beautifully written, incredibly timely book addressing not just where our food comes from and why this matters so much, but also fundamental questions relating to our relationship with the land, and the definition of home.Clover Stroud, author of My Wild and Sleepless Nights
Evocative and resonant. These are stories that need to be told.Andy Cato, Groove Armada and Wildfarmed
Absorbing, compassionate [and] galvanising.Guardian
Enthralling ... An unignorable call to understand the challenges facing not only farming but the Earth itself.Spectator