Monday, February 25, 2008

Why I farm: a new farmer explains

One of the more interesting aspects of the local eating movement is the number of new-to-farming farmers sprouting up all over -- folks who did not grow up farming and won't be inheriting a lifestyle or the necessary acreage. For most of them the barriers to entry -- purchasing land and equipment, developing new skills, adapting to an unfamiliar lifestyle -- are daunting. On Epilog, one new farmer explains why he decided to farm.

I believe there is no equal for a life spent growing up on a farm (at least for me and my family). The interaction with the seasons, the soil, the animals, the crops, and of course each other provide timeless lessons that will follow my children and myself no matter where we end up later in life. The work ethic and caring that it takes to be a farmer is something that can bring a family together in a special way.

On top of that, we, as a family, are able to help provide healthy food for ourselves, our friends, and our customers (who will eventually become friends). Of course there are struggles just as with any occupation, but we enjoy the possibilities of connecting people to their food and the land where it is raised. That in a very small nutshell is why we farm.


Veggie Option said...

I grew up on a small farm and feel really fortunate to have done so, although at the time I hated the chores -especially hoeing the strawberry patch. I learned such a wealth of information and values, and now that I live in an urban environment I must admit to feeling quite disconnected at times.

Although I still maintain a plot on my parents farm, I found that it just wasn't enough - I wanted to be digging in the soil in my own backyard, small as it may be.

Last year I started experimenting with different types of container gardening, which was surprisingly successful, so this year I'm expanding it to include heirloom vegetables that I'm attempting to start from seed in cold-frames. It's a far cry from the greenhouses I helped to tend with my Dad as a youngster, and the knowledge is a little rusty after lying dormant for all these years, but I feel fortunate to be able to draw on that past experience.

valereee said...

I've done a little container gardening in earthboxes (mostly heirloom tomatoes) and I was really impressed with how easy they were to use. I can't imagine going from a small farm to an urban setting -- I think I'd even miss my suburban 3/4 acre if I didn't have it!