Family Planting

Family Planting

A farm-fed philosophy of human relations

How one family, pursuing a dream of rural living, grew an earth-friendly vision of love along with their tomatoes.


In this passionate philosophical memoir, Kimerer LaMothe unfolds an earth-friendly vision of what love can be. Moving to a farm after years spent teaching and writing at Harvard University, LaMothe faces new challenges in her relationships with her parents, her partner, and their children. In her struggle to respond she comes to a radical conclusion: we humans are nothing more or less than an impulse to connect, born to love, but not born knowing how. In vivid accounts of family life, LaMothe reveals how moving our bodily selves in the natural world can foster the sensory awareness we need to cultivate life-affirming connections with those who enable us to be.


This is a story that has been told before, of course, because moving to the country is a great fantasy and dream for many. But rarely has it been told with this kind of honesty and psychological insight. There's a great deal to learn here, no matter where you live. ~ Bill McKibben, Author, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

With endless reports of environmental and financial disaster, Family Planting offers a rare ray of hope. Kimerer LaMothe artfully weaves together philosophical vision and social criticism to create a work that opens new ways of seeing and being. This book is a pleasure to read and will leave you with questions we have been avoiding far too long. ~ Mark C. Taylor, Columbia University, Author of Field Notes and After God

Sensuous and intriguing, LaMothe’s narrative of her family’s experiences alone is worth the read… it is so deliciously written, you could make a meal out of it. ~ Shannon Hayes, Author of Radical Homemakers, and Long Way on a Little

An incredibly loving and knowing heart beats on each page of this book.  This is precisely what “waters” the roots of Kimerer LaMothe’s readers.  Yes, Family Planting unearths deep roots of the human condition – we are an impulse to connect; love is the condition that enables us to become who we are; struggles and challenges are gateways to rebirth; we must practice, not merely know of, our connectivity to the natural world; the sprouting of the seed within all of us is quickened by bodily movement: movement creates and recreates who we are!  All of these and more.  Yet, ultimately, it is LaMothe’s heart that makes all the difference.  She shares nothing that her heart does not know.  It is this that enables her readers to find themselves – to root themselves – in her timeless wisdom and to then emerge into a rejuvenating and vibrant life-enabling world.  LaMothe’s heartful language is like dew that refreshes the morning in us all.

~ Gay Lynch, Ph.D.

LaMothe has done it again and delivered yet another profound and exuberantly told book that interweaves her experiences of living on a farm with insights into relationships with parents, partners, and progeny. She offers a rich, deep, and accessible philosophy that is a joy to read and an inspiration to live by. ~ Colby Devitt, Author

Family Planting is a book about LOVE, and the dynamic, yearning, moving, painful, sublime truth of being human. LaMothe uses her own life in connection with the roots and branches of her own family tree as a laboratory for conscious living. Beautifully written and True. ~ Susan L. Franklin, Psy.D.

In this passionate reflection on family love, Kimerer LaMothe explores unfolding relationships with her parents, spouse, and children--all made possible by her new life on an old farm in upstate New York. ~ Kathleen Roberts Skerrett, Ph.D., Grinnell College

Kimerer L. LaMothe
Kimerer L. LaMothe LaMothe, a philosopher, dancer, and scholar of religion, lives with her life-partner and their five children on a farm in rural New York. Af...
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