Miracle on Montgomery Farm: The Almost True Story Of How An Orphaned Calf And A Crippled Lamb Helped Save The Family Farm
By Cynthia K. Landis and Michelle Shelly
This book would be a great before-bedtime read for the conscientious eight-year-old in your life. Like Charlotte’s
Web in that the barnyard animals can speak to one another but not to humans, this book tells the story of Rowdy Ruby (an orphaned calf) and Gabby Abby (a crippled lamb), two loveable misfits who team up with a particularly determined dung beetle to save the family farm. The problem with Montgomery Farm (and many farms across the country) is that fertilizers and pesticides have destroyed the soil and killed off all the “unseen miracles”—like the dung beetles—that work behind the scenes in a healthy ecosystem. The farmers are good people and well-meaning, but they need some help (and a few catastrophic wake-up calls) to realize the error of their chemical-dependent ways. Their misguided reliance on chemicals has led them into an unsustainable cycle where the crops are failing and the creditors calling. Just when it seems that all is lost, the farmers pray for a miracle, and the animals do, too. As the reader will see, God sometimes works in mysterious ways. With bee die-offs occurring in record numbers and butterflies only getting scarcer, this book and others like it are helpful in educating the next generation of gardeners, farmers and food consumers about the importance of soil health and ecological interdependency as well as the key miracle of insects and pollinators that help produce the food we all depend on.