In Giving Away the Farm: How Kindness, Critters and Yarn Knit a Community Together, Cindy Telisak talks about how she started a small farm in Texas, not far from the suburbs of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex. Her story is filled with love and told in an honest and down to Earth nature. She talks about what she’s experienced as she’s learned about starting a small farm, and becoming an even craftier individual. She shares personal experiences like the time she broke her ankle, or her first sheep purchase. Other experiences include growing a knitting group and how compassion, empathy and friendliness helped knit a group of people together. (Pun intended!) I loved the last chapter about how an unwelcome stray dog wiggled his way into Cindy’s heart, appointing himself a farm guardian while asking for not much of anything in return.
This book is proof that Cindy has left a mark on her local community, changing many people’s lives for the better and she illustrates that anyone can do so, with just a little help from some friends. Cindy also provides advice, should you choose to want to grow your own community like she has. Included in this advice is how she has developed yearly events.These yearly events include “farm camp” for children and events that support local business owners. I think that with a small amount of research done via the Internet, and this book, an individual could quickly come up with some craft making related activities to start a group or meeting for people.
Best of all, Cindy’s stories renew your faith in humanity. She tells about people who are compassionate, free of judgement, and sharing. She reminds us that we can find such people in our own neighborhood or general community. It’s also worth nothing that her book, since it’s about experiences, has a lot of pictures. The pictures bring a warm loving feeling to the experience that is reading her book.