Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full-time living from a farming enterprise? Too often people dare not even vocalize this desire because it seems absurd. It’s like thinking the unthinkable.
After all, the farm population is dwindling. It takes too much capital to start. The pay is too low. The working conditions are dusty, smelly and noisy: not the place to raise a family. This is all true, and more, for most farmers.
But for farm entrepreneurs, the opportunities for a farm family business have never been greater. The aging farm population is creating cavernous niches begging to be filled by creative visionaries who will go in dynamic new directions. As the industrial agriculture complex crumbles and our culture clambers for clean food, the countryside beckons anew with profitable farming opportunities.
While this book can be helpful to all farmers, it targets the wannabes, the folks who actually entertain notions of living, loving and learning on a piece of land. Anyone willing to dance with such a dream should be able to assess its assets and liabilities; its fantasies and realities. “Is it really possible for me?” is the burning question this book addresses.
Wow. This book.
Kel (my husband) and i bought this book to help us with our farming venture – check out www.thechefandthewaitress.wordpress.com for more on that – Kel started reading it first however i picked it up after he had read about a third of it as there was just so much helpful information in it that it was better for me to read it as well, rather than him just relaying what he’d learned. I’ve just finished, however i accidentally removed his bookmark while i was reading it so he may not finish for a while yet because he has to try and find where he was up to. Whoops.
This book has so much information in it that to explain what it is about, well where do i start? In a nutshell it is an encouragement, a guide, an education about ethical, sustainable, profitable farming. Joel explains how if your dream is to be working on the land, that you can do it and make a living off of it, and even eventually a profit. That the old farming models are no longer viable, not just in the sense that they are destroying the environment, pumping the population with chemicals and treating animals inhumanely but that so many farmers are going bankrupt because they can’t even break even let alone earn a profit. He gives practical advice on everything from improving the soil to filing your documents. The book is so packed full of information that you are left feeling like you’ve just eaten at a massive banquet.
It was written in a conversational style (which i love) so it was easy to read and follow. There were some parts which i just did not understand because i live in Australia and the U.S.A can be very different – like their medical system, how that works is the mystery of the universe to me – however there was only a minimal amount and i was able to get through it without ending up too confused.
As the book covered so many bases, there were some chapters that were a little bit tedious to read however to his credit not all of it is meant to be read word for word unless you’re actually up to putting that section into practice – like the filing part.
He is quite blunt and honest throughout and shines a lot of light onto the farming and food industry in the U.S.A – it is very eyeopening and he is not afraid of offending anyone in case it gets in the way of the truth. Australia is not as bad as the U.S.A however we are definitely headed that way unless something drastic happens.
He really gave a lot of insight on how to start and run a successful farming enterprise and it has given Kel and i so many tips. I would definitely recommend this book even if you don’t want to run a farm, there is just so much useful information on starting your own backyard enterprise no matter what it is. It’s also great to read just for the information on the food industry and what you are putting into your body.
This is a book for everyone and i guarantee that you will get at least one useful tidbit out of it – even if it’s to convince you that your dream of owning a farm is just that – a unrealistic dream.