Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"The Accidental Farmers" :: Chapter 3 Book Report

Chapter three in Tim Young's new book is titled "The Accidental Farmers", but I think it could easily have been titled "Why We Farm". As you make your way through this chapter (and the previous ones) you begin to see the picture behind Nature's Harmony Farm and how the ended up in the place they did ... which is with a farm out in the country raising animals exactly how they believe they should be raised. But, this chapter specifically, more so than the previous three, gets into a lot of the reasoning behind their farming values and goals. I think you can almost see the wheels turning in Mr. and Mrs. Young's heads as you read through this chapter! In fact when you make it to page 59 you will find a list that details some of their "reasons" for the farm (I'll let you pick up a copy to check out that list if you'd like).

The one recurring thought that I had though as I read this chapter is how does a farmer balance the financial needs of the farm/family with the vital farm values and goals that they have. On one hand this chapter is about the realization that the farm is not a way to profit (in the way that someone coming from a corporate background would see it), but also that the farm needs to make a profit and not wear everyone out along the way. It seems like a tight wire act to balance those to needs ... the need to have a farm that is built around your values and the need to make a living. I am not suggesting that the two don't go together, but I am suggesting that there is a fine line and you have to keep that all in mind as you work through your farm life.

I will also say that as I read through this book it seems like I have a hundred questions after finishing each chapter. I think that is a good thing because it makes me think about my values, my farm, and the way I go about everything, but at the same time it makes me wish I could have a couple days with Mr. Young to swap stories and gather information from a more business oriented mind than I have! I do appreciate that about a book though ... I think it is a good thing when a book makes you have more questions than when you started with because that means it is causing you to think and look at things from different angles. I know things like that help me on my farm!

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