Here is an interesting little list from chapter four ::
- Don't go into poultry as the major line -- hens or turkeys.
- Don't specialize at first on one or two crops.
- Don't try to do too much and neglect everything.
- Don't think you can run a real farm and hold down a part-time job.
Like I said ... a very interesting list of don'ts. Obviously we could argue whether or not these are valid "don'ts" for the beginning farmer, but for the moment I just want to see how I've done with the list and think about how that impacts the farm.
Luckily I didn't get in to poultry as my major line ... although I know quite a few that have and that Joel Salatin's book Pastured Poultry Profits makes a case for poultry being the centerpiece of a farm. Unfortunately in this chapter Mr. Pearson does not share why he includes each item on the list. Maybe the reasons will show up later in the book. So far so good though ... I did not start out with poultry as my major line!
The second point is a little iffy ... On one hand I didn't do that because I'm not working with a market garden (which is the main focus of the book), but I did kind of focus just on my cattle and hogs. In my mind livestock is partially exempt from this "don't" though because it is a whole different animal for the beginner (pun kind of intended). There is a possibility though that in the 21st century Mr. Pearson would include "Don't begin a livestock based farm ... period!"
Don't try to do to much ... guilty. Don't neglect everything while trying to do to much ... guilty. I think this is actually a great point and wonderful advice for the beginner. It is important to rein yourself in from time to time in order to let your physical surroundings catch up with your mind. I'm working on that one ... and failing from time to time.
Finally the last "don't". Yes, that is very true. Don't think that you can work part-time/full-time in town and make the farm go ... or at least go very quickly. I'm not saying that trying to do both is a bad idea, I'm just saying that it will take time and you need to be prepared for it to take time. In some senses I think working in town and on the farm has benefits for the beginner ... just take your time commitments into mind when you are planning your goals and thinking about farming ventures.
Overall I don't think I pass the Haydn S. Pearson "Successful Farming Test". But, it's my first time through the book, so give me some time to work on things ...