One of the Midwest's best-loved authors tells the story of his land, from the last great glacier that dug out its valleys and formed its hills, to his own family's 40 year relationship with the beloved farm they call Roshara. In this quiet but epic tale, Apps describes the Native Americans who lived on the land for hundreds of years, tapping the maple trees and fishing the streams and lakes, as well as the first white settlers who tilled its sandy acres, plowing the native grasses that grew taller than their teams of oxen. For all their work, the farm proved tough to tame. Hardscrabble farming methods and hard luck often brought failure. From land that provided only a marginal living for its early owners, this place we call Roshara has provided much for my family and me, writes Apps. He and his wife and their children have cared for the farm t so much to make a living as to enhance their lives. Apps chronicles the family's efforts always earnest, if sometimes ill-advised to restore an old granary into living space, develop a productive vegetable garden, manage the woodlots, reestablish a prairie, and enjoy nature's sounds and silences. Breathtakingly beautiful color photographs by Apps's son, Steve (a professional photographer), highlight the ever-changing beauty of the land in every season and hint at the spiritual gifts that are the true bounty this family reaps from Roshara.Central to Apps' work is his belief that the land is something to cherish and revere. Like Aldo Leopold before him, Apps sounds an inspirational call to readers to preserve wild and rural places, leaving them in better condition than we found them for future generations.
Jerry Apps is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of many books on rural history and country life. His nonfiction books include Horse-Drawn Days, Barns of Wisconsin, Every Farm Tells a Story, and Living a Country Year. He received the Council for Wisconsin Writers' 2007 Major Achievement Award and the Wisconsin Library Association's 2007 Notable Wisconsin Author Award. Jerry was born and raised on a small farm in Waushara County, Wisconsin.Steve Apps is an award-winning photojournalist with twenty-three years in the newspaper industry. As a Wisconsin State Journal staff photographer he has covered a wide range of assignments including the Green Bay Packers and University of Wisconsin Madison sports. He enjoys documenting Wisconsin and in particular photographing at the family farm in Waushara County.