Friday, March 25, 2011

"The Accidental Farmers" :: Chapter 7 Book Report

This chapter, titled "Farming's Dark Side," is in my opinion probably the best and most important chapter of Tim Young's new book. Not that I haven't found nuggets in the other chapters, but rather that this is the most unique chapter (I feel) in the book. There are other books out there that will tell you about management intensive grazing, the benefits of chickens following cows, and even the values behind certain farm choices. But, I'm not sure that I've read a farming book yet (and I've read quite a few) that takes such an open and honest look at the "dark side" of farming. Mr. Young holds nothing back and writes about the realities he has had to face on the farm. You may disagree with his practices or think you would have done something differently, but I think you should respect his honesty, openness, and they way he sticks with his values.

As I have mentioned I think that this side of the farming life is one that has been missing from the books that I've read ... although I don't think it would fit in every book. Most of the time the "dark side" you read about in books, articles, or from the mouths of other farmers is that it just isn't possible to make a living on the farm. I guess I should say that more specifically it is very difficult to make a living on the farm unless you can hit on the right factors (rented land, owned land, right markets, marketing ability, etc.). But, what Mr. Young has done is opened up his farm I guess you could say to the daily reality of making the transition to the farm ... or just farming in general.

The "dark side" of farming has been one of the most difficult things for me. I have a bad tendency to get easily frustrated over a situation and just feel absolutely defeated. And, I'm sure I don't even want people to tell me how many times I have said that I was going to or had to quit the farm. I'll never forget the walk back to the house after the tractor just died (stuck motor because of lack of lubrication due to a clogged oil sump and a non-working oil gauge/light) and the conversation with my dad. I just wanted to be done! The frustration and realization that I just lost a substantial amount of money in a now dead tractor was just crippling! And that is just one of the stories ...

I think it is a great thing that Mr. Young has decided to pull back the curtain as it were (as he has done on his blog/podcast) and show the whole picture. If nothing else ... it's worth getting the book to read this chapter. Just to know what it's like and that the troubles happen to other people too!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...