Monday, March 22, 2010

Comeback Farms :: Chapters 1-3 Book Report

Well, after the suggestions of many I'm finally reading "Comeback Farms" by Greg Judy. I know that people have been telling me for months now that I need to read it ... and after getting just a few pages in I know why they have been telling me to read it! This book seems to be full of just the type of information that I needed a couple of summers ago, but since I didn't have it back then I'm trying to read through it as quickly as possible now ... and then I'll read through it again! As I have with some of the other books I've read I will do book reports as I make my way through. Mr. Judy writes short chapters though (not a bad thing), so each report will cover a few chapters.

"Let's assume you are starting from scratch with no land. That's actually not a bad place to start." Those are the opening two sentences in chapter one and as I read them I though ... hmm ... wish I could have read this book before I had any land or livestock! But, that's not where I am now so I guess I will just have to learn how to grow from where I am. In this chapter Mr. Judy talks about the changes he had to make in his approach to the farm and his pastures in general, and of course the important attitude shift that went with that change. As I read through the first chapter I was struck at how important it really is to find farmers that are doing things they way you would like to do them and then learn from them! I will admit that seeking out those people has not been one of my strong suits and that I need to seek out their help!

In the second and third chapters the book gives a brief overview on some of the ways that you can turn around poor pastures by using grazing management and the cows to do the work. I think one of the things that I catch myself thinking about is how I can get to my ideal the quickest. As I read through these two chapters I was reminded that I can use the livestock to reach the ideal and that it will probably work out better that way. It is very encouraging to hear Mr. Judy's first hand experiences (both the good and the bad) and I will admit that I'm experiencing a bit of excitement about the farm right now that might have been hidden a bit during the winter.

If you haven't read this book I encourage you to check it out and follow along with the book reports because I think it will be a great read. If you have read the book ... I would love to hear about some of the things that stuck with you as your read!


Rich said...

" important it really is to find farmers that are doing things the way you would like to do them..."

Does he give any suggestions on how to actually find other farmers with a similar mindset?

I have always thought that I would like to join some sort of grazing association (if I could find one locally). I would like to see some sort of cooperative of graziers that would combine bulk purchasing of grazing supplies, marketing of livestock, leasing of bulls, exposure to ideas and knowledge, etc.

It is possible that some sort of grazing association might already exist out there, I just need to find one.

Paul said...

Awesome, I'm glad "Book Reports" are back! I always learn so much from them, and am able to narrow my reading and learning focus accordingly. Also glad to hear about your excitement as Spring (and all the opportunities to do things different/better) approaches.

Amy said...

We had the privilege of having Greg Judy to dinner several years back after a Holistic Management Course in New Mexico. We have loved both of his books and found Comeback Farms to be inspiring and so true. He also holds "on the farm" seminar/lectures with the (I believe South African) man who taught him about mob grazing. You can find out about that at his website...

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