Wednesday, February 18, 2015

TBF 103 :: Let's Be Positive About Farming, No Chicks Yet, and a Hard Lesson Learned

**As I transition to I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**

"The Beginning Farmer Video" Kickstarter Campaign

It seems like lately there have been a rash of articles about farming and about how you just can't be a successful beginning farmer. Okay ... "a rash of articles" may be a little bit of an overstatement on my part, but there have been a couple over the last year or so. The first one that really grabbed my attention was, "Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers" by Bren Smith and published in the New York Times. I really appreciated Joel Salatin's response in a "Letter to the Editor" (although I will admit not everyone agreed with Mr. Salatin). Most recently the article that is making the rounds is titled, "What nobody told me about small farming: I can't make a living" by Jaclyn Moyer. I have lots of thoughts on both of these articles, but in someways I don't feel qualified to respond because I'm not making my full-time living on the farm.

The biggest thing I took away after reading both of those articles though is that I just want to be positive about the possibilities of farming. The work and business of farming will always be difficult and the margins will always have the possibility of being tight because there are so many variables that you can't control. Nevertheless I want to be positive and encouraging when it comes to the beginning farming journey ... all while telling the whole story (including the hard lessons learned).

Three Encouraging Books for Your Farming Journey:

Other Links Mentioned In This Episode:

Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn. 

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

1 comment:

Tim Boucher said...

Wow, I can't believe I missed this NYT piece - what a downer! It makes me happy to be able to read sites like yours that provide a positive example instead.

I've really been trying to wrap my head around these problems lately - especially the barrier of entry for new farmers, and I wonder if a big part of it isn't a matter of scale and vision... That is, perhaps scaling back our vision of what it means to be a "small" farmer, and what it means to live well from farming.

As I prepare to launch my own small farm project here in Quebec, I wanted to share with other people my research, calculations and *hopes* about one possible set of options for getting started small - and staying small. I'm calling it "The $1,000 Farm: Agriculture for Cheapskates."

I set up a coupon code, BEGIN20, that will allow twenty free downloads until March 2nd.

I really want to see more small farmers begin and succeed - though I know already how hard it can be. Maybe if we're all going through these challenges together and sharing our results, we'll learn something - or at least feel not quite so alone in the struggle.

Keep up the good work,
Tim B.

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