Thursday, October 14, 2010

NHF Podcast ... "Death of a Farm"

Thank you to all of you have taken time to comment and e-mail over the past couple weeks. I am taking time to filter everything through my mind, but want to say that I'm thankful for the encouragement and ideas. Hopefully I'll find the time to respond and share some of the things that are processing through my head soon! In the meantime though here is something interesting ...

Many of you may already know that Nature's Harmony Farm has stopped doing their blog, but have begun doing podcasts. I have been listening to them lately when there is time while I'm driving around and they have been pretty interesting. But, for me their latest podcast was very interesting ... especially in light of my latest post and thoughts about the farm. You can find it on iTunes or download it from this link.

In the latest podcast Tim and Liz interview Rebecca Thistlethwaite of TLC Ranch in California about her farm experiences and the end of the farm (after 6 years of life). In some ways it was almost depressing to listen to the interview and hear about the struggles and realities they faced as they tried to make the farm go and grow. On the other hand it is important to hear all the sides of the story ... especially when you're thinking about pushing forward. It will eat up a bit more than an hour of your time, but I think it is worth a listen.

I would love to hear your thoughts!


Yeoman said...

I have a question sort of related to this.

While I'd advancing (and, yes, it's an advance) into Ludditeism in my advancing middle age, I do like podcasts. I do so much driving around that I've come to really like them.

I'll add this one (although I fear to listen to this episode), but I have this question. What other podcasts do the folks who stop in here on Ethan's porch listen too?

Rich said...

Expanding on Ethan's statement:
"...In some ways it was almost depressing to listen to the interview and hear about the struggles and realities they faced as they tried to make the farm go and grow..."

and Yeoman's comment:
"...(although I fear to listen to this episode)..."

I think it can be a mistake to focus too close on the successes or failures of others when determining your chances of success or failure. The fact that someone else might have failed in their attempt has very little relevance on your chances of success.

Farming is a learning process and sometimes the quickest way to learn is by failing or not succeeding. From my experience, it is much less painful, less expensive, and quicker to learn from others' mistakes and failures.

In one of my previous comments I suggested that one should assume that everything you are doing is wrong, so that you can come up with solutions to problems that you both recognize and don't recognize.

From that viewpoint, I can see a number of mistakes made at the TLC Ranch and a number of things I would have done differently (not too say that I would have been any more successful).

Listen to the podcast while thinking about how many times they state that they were doing things the 'right' way (but it still didn't work) and if there would have been an alternative way of doing things if you assumed that everything was being done the 'wrong' way.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing up this podcast. I occasionally get to listen to them myself and this title caught my attention so I just listened to it a couple of days ago.

I am one of the wanna be farmers trying to buy a farm and I need as much sobering reality as I can get and this was definitely sobering. I would like to have heard more about the specifics and details about TLC to understand what went right and what went wrong.

For the most part the land they were leasing was limited in it's viability. The rules and regulations in CA are stifling to say the least for the small farmer. To add insult to injury the economy declining is really putting a huge hit on peoples budgets. They are cutting costs everywhere and that includes the grocery budget. So this looks like the perfect storm for TLC and others who have so many strikes going against them.

I think one of the points made that concerned me was the comment about the push for new farmers and that the introduction of a few more farmers raising pork in their area would have crushed them. So I cannot help but thing diversification was needed to diversify the revenue stream more. But then again I am an armchair farmer at this point so it is hard for me to open my mouth without feeling like a hypocrite. I hope to change that. Thanks for the blog posts!

Isaac said...

I saw death of a farm and I almost had a heart attack because I thought it was your farm.

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