I've read this dozens or millions of times. I'm thinking of it now because of a discussion thread about picture books that take place on the farm. This one gives a stunning impression of farm life in New England in the early nineteenth century. It is a great book for contrasting the present and the past. Its depiction of a pre industrial era is also perfect for kick starting thinking about production, about markets, and similar topics about human organization.
And Barbara Cooney's illustrations are awesome.