Arts and Entertainment

How to grow an author: A farmer shares his long journey

Kurt Timmermeister - Courtesy Photo
Kurt Timmermeister
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Kurt Timmermeister, the owner of Vashon’s much-celebrated Kurtwood Farm, will read from his new book, “Growing A Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, at Café Luna.

The book, just published by W.W. Norton & Co., is the story of Timmermeister’s 20-year journey from urban restaurateur to full-time farmer and cheesemaker, telling a compelling story of the life he carefully carved out for himself on four tangled acres on Vashon.

Matt Lawrence, who until recently was the manager of La Boucherie on Vashon, said he was excited about the book.

“I’m thrilled he was able to tap his own creativity to create some legacy around what I think is a Vashon and national resource,” Lawrence said, adding that Timmermeister’s story was that of a self-made man.

“It’s not like his grandpop taught him how to raise pigs and strawberries and sunflowers,” Lawrence said. “He figured it out for himself.”

The book has also generated buzz and advance reviews from some of the most well-known movers and shakers on the national food scene.

“Kurt Timmermeister created his life as a farmer from scratch — a grand improvisation,” said Paul Bertolli, founder of Fra’ Mani Handcrafted Food in Berkely, Calif. “Part natural history, part cookbook, this book journals his struggles with the uncertain forces of nature, his happy discoveries in food production and animal husbandry, and his quest to improve the land to which he has committed himself.”

“The Sunday dinners at Kurt Timmer-meister’s farm on Vashon Island are legendary in Seattle’s vibrant food scene,” added Novella Carpenter, author of “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.” “Now, with ‘Growing a Farmer,’ we get the inside story of how Kurtwood Farms came to be: through pluck and pain, trial and triumph.”

Books by the Way, which is sponsoring the event and is adjacent to Cafe Luna, will sell books. Timmermeister will be on hand afterward to sign copies and answer questions.

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