I Didn't Kill Anyone Up Here:
Farmer John's Uneasy Autobiography

In his succinct and playful style, Farmer John describes his childhood on his family's Illinois farm, complete with colorful (and sometimes bizarre) community members. Clean-cut John Peterson encounters an array of city-born hippies and artists in the late '60s, leading him to fold performance, design, writing and film into his life as a farmer. He writes engagingly about days of great optimism, parties, romance—and about how those times shaped his relationship to the land he loved.

The land, however, later drives him into destitution and despair, leaving him alone, his health and spirit broken. For several years John seeks solace in writing, theater, and film, as he lives between his farm, Mexico, and New York City.

Remarkably, in spite of being ostracized by his home community for losing family land and for his enthusiastic association with diverse people, John feels called to take up farming again on the remains of his family farm, this time in a new way—organically. But he has no equipment, no money, and in addition, due to his unusual and creative life style, his community displays extreme hostility to his return to the farm. Tormented by his financially unworkable dream to farm again and terrorized by his community, John experiences extremes of despair and paranoia.

I Didn't Kill Anyone Up Here: Farmer John's Uneasy Autobiography ends with a cataclysmic fire of suspicious origin. How can John ever farm again, in this place of loss and hostility, without capital, without support? He watches his beautiful building burn to the ground as he ponders this question.

Read excerpts from I Didn’t Kill Anyone Up Here, starting with “Farming in Innocence”.

(The rough draft of I Didn't Kill Anyone Up Here provided the basis for much of the film The Real Dirt on Farmer John. Additionally, Farmer John's narration of the film is excerpted in part from this book.)

I have to wait how long?
I Didn't Kill Anyone Up Here: Farmer John's Uneasy Autobiography will be released eventually. To be notified of the release, Sign Up for the Farmer John e-Newsletter.

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To learn more yet about John Peterson's life and his community supported agriculture (CSA) farm, Angelic Organics, see Farmer John on Glitter & Grease: Short Stories On and Off the Land.


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