MY LAND an agricultural journey

MY LAND is a new book on the experience of managing a piece of under-used, derelict land and making it productive again. The author asks, what do we need to know to make good decisions about our land? How useful is ‘expert’ advice’? How to think outside the box while still respecting the laws of ecology and nature?

MY LAND is the result of a ten-year effort to reclaim disused ‘croft’ land in Scotland; it explores questions that are similar worldwide, although different in practice. Inspired by the thinking of Wendell Berry and Sir Albert Howard, the author and a group of like-minded friends set out to reverse the decline of centuries-old hayfields, with the aim of feeding their livestock in a sustainable way based in traditional methods. Author Mary Norton Scherbatskoy discusses practice, science and society in the context of the ‘blacklands’ of the Hebridean island of Grimsay, North Uist:

“This little book takes the view that all land is precious and, with proper attention to its qualities and its place in the great scheme of things, can be part of the solution, not part of the problem. It assumes that people and their place on their land belong to the rightful order of planet Earth, neither to be cast aside nor encouraged to plunder.

It asks questions about how land can best be used, and how to discover this. It counsels productive agriculture within the natural setting, and building on the qualities of the land rather than obliterating them, or abandoning it.”

MY LAND, an agricultural journey, by M.N.Scherbatskoy; (2021) 61pgs. colour, is available from:

  • Ceann na h-Àirigh, Grimsay, North Uist, Western Isles, Scotland, UK HS6 5JA for £10 + postage
  • P.O. Box 354, Putney, Vermont, USA 05346 for $13 postpaid

The author with some of the small machinery used on her fields in Scotland