Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

The Human Farm: A Tale of Changing Lives and Changing Lands

Katie Smith
The Human Farm: A Tale of Changing Lives and Changing Lands
ISBN: 978-1-56549-040-6
ISBN: 978-1-56549-039-0
1994/145 pages/LC: 94-16632
A Kumarian Press Book
"Katie Smith has written an inspiring and instructive story about what makes development work—people, not projects. I recommend The Human Farm to anyone who feels they have lost their way in this new world of disorder." —Marguerite Michaels, TIME Magazine

"Informative and inspiring, The Human Farm overflows with the courage and tenacity of dirt-poor farmers who set out to change their fields—and end up changing their lives."—Meredith K. Wadman, Oakland Tribune

"This is more than a story of agricultural development. It is a story of human transformation. Katie Smith has captured the change in the real-life story of grassroots people whose land and lives have been transformed."—Joan Levett, World Vision International

"[An] inspiring story of how, given the most basic skills and encouragement, people can effect remarkable changes."—Publishers Weekly


Katie Smith tells the unforgettable story of a group of Honduran peasants who—as they learn to renew their fields and enhance their harvests—also learn lessons that renew their hopes and lead to a new sense of community. Smith's engaging and enlightening narrative follows the peasants as, under the leadership of the inspirational José Elías Sánchez, they carve out a new path to economic and spiritual betterment.


Katie Smith is a partner at The Bridgespan Group, a Boston-based consulting firm.


  • Foreword—Roland Bunch.
  • Hunger on the Hillsides.
  • A Farm Called Loma Linda.
  • Of Corn and Cover Crops.
  • Preparing the Land.
  • Planting Seeds.
  • Tender Shoots.
  • Storms and Vermin.
  • Hands for the Harvest.
  • A Human Farm.
  • Appendixes: Quotable Quotes by Don José Elías Sánchez. Building Local Institutions: The Case of Granja Loma Linda, Honduras.