When we moved out to the boonies, it was a big deal to us. But frankly, we didn’t think most people would be all that interested. As it turned out, we found that many shared the same dream we had… and so we wrote a book about our experiences. Stronger Than Dirt was published by Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, in 2003. It’s now available as an e-book, and you can buy it here.
Curious? Here’s the story:
After years of running the rat race in Manhattan, Kim Schaye and Chris Losee decided to follow their dream: to leave their cosmopolitan lifestyle behind and buy a farm in upstate New York. Stronger Than Dirt is the story of their transformation from full-fledged urbanites to full-time flower growers. Trading in their briefcases for work gloves, Kim and Chris battled the elements and their own inexperience to start the venture they named Silverpetals Farm.
Now, more than 20 years, two children, and one successful business later, they wouldn’t trade their new life for anything.
Before they started Silverpetals Farm, the most farming Kim and Chris had ever done was a rooftop garden on their Brooklyn townhouse. They got a delicious gazpacho out of it, but as Kim says:
“It’s a giant leap from scoring a bowl of soup to earning a living. But obviously not an impossible one. Not long ago, I was a reporter for the New York Daily News. I wore suits and makeup and spent most of my time chasing the Governor around the State Capitol. You should see what I wear to work now: mud-spattered thrift-shop rags and destroyed high-topped sneakers that comically flap open like a cartoon hobo’s. If I tried to run after the governor looking like this, I’d probably be apprehended by the state police.”
Says Chris, “It wasn’t that I’d ever fantasized about being a farmer. That thought was about as remote a possibility as, say, becoming proficient in Chinese and leading tour groups to see the Great Wall. But somewhere along the line I went from thinking ‘this is an interesting idea’ to ‘this is a plan.’ And then we did it. Now I can’t imagine going back to my old life.”
Stronger Than Dirt is Kim and Chris’s tale, told from the alternating viewpoints of a husband and wife who left behind the big-city grind to build a thriving business and an entirely new way of life.
For gardeners of every description, and for anyone who ever wondered what it would be like to pursue a dream, Stronger Than Dirt is an inspirational tale of the rewards that come with truly hard work, and the beauty and bounty that embracing the unknown can bring.