There are a lot of factors that have contributed to the death of the family farm—most of them financial—but I believe a lack of social sustainability played a role too. By “social sustainability” I mean working conditions that can be sustained in the long term for a farmer. It’s common knowledge that farm work is … More Getting Away from the Farm
Our culture has always had a fascination with group performances. There is synergy—even magic—in the collective movement of a dance troupe, or an orchestra playing music together. When it’s done well, it is a visual and auditory feast. But if someone is having a bad day and gets off rhythm or misses a cue, the … More Farm Choreography
My 5-year-old loves Bee Movie. If you missed it, it’s an amusing animated movie whose protagonist is a bee named Barry, narrated by Jerry Seinfeld. It’s designed for kids everywhere to love. But I got so angry watching it that I wanted to throw something at the screen. Why would such an endearing movie nearly … More What Are We Teaching Our Children About Farming?
My ideal vision for the future of farming includes vibrant farms at all scales, in urban and rural areas. But the census data has shown over time that large farms (over $1M in sales) and very small farms (less than $10K in sales) are the only two segments of the farm demographic that are growing. … More Cost of Doing Business
“If you have livestock, you’re going to have dead stock,” a wise farmer friend told me when I was getting started. This depressing statement has repeatedly proven accurate. In our first year on this land, we were trying to beat back the brush that had encroached over 3 decades of neglect, and then use the … More Circle of Life
We bought our abandoned, thin-soiled, poorly-drained acreage not for its value as farmland, but for its proximity to a community of people we love. Now we are faced with the daunting task of getting it to be productive enough to support a farm business. I confess I occasionally feel pangs of envy for farmer friends … More Growing Soil as Our Primary Crop