Thursday, January 31, 2019

Start Your Farm

Start Your Farm is an interesting new volume aimed at people looking to become farmers or who want to re-evaluate their business philosophy and direction for their farming work.  Released 10th Sept 2018 by The Experiment, it's 272 pages and available in paperback, ebook, and audio formats.  Authors Forrest Pritchard and Ellen Polishuk are well known business farming experts.

There are a lot of people who are keen gardeners (and some pure dreamers) who want to increase their connection to the land and either be or become more self-reliant and sustainable.  This book aims to speak to that wish and help the dreamers and wishers seriously evaluate whether they're capable physically and mentally to become farmers and for those who are committed, how to get from dreaming to planning and finally to fulfilling those dreams.

This could have been a very depressing book. Farming is a physically and mentally demanding job. The realities of dealing with weather uncertainty, mechanical equipment failure and repair, costs, bookkeeping, regulations, to name just a few, are daunting at best.  This book manages to be quite realistic whilst also being supportive and encouraging.  There's a lot of experience detailed in the authors' narrative. I was impressed with the level of detail included about realistic expectations, problem solving, finding motivation, navigating uncertainty and unexpected costs and a lot more.

There's an old chestnut of a farming joke. How do you make a small fortune farming? Start with a large fortune!  Seriously though, the authors manage to encompass satisfaction and lifestyle change as a tangible reward.  It doesn't have a monetary value but living the life that suits you certainly has value (huge value). 

This is a very personal book.  It's not full of photographs of lush countryside and fluffy ducklings and lambs.  It might be that some readers' takeaway from the book will be that farming is not in their future, and that's a good and valuable thing to know before staking said future on becoming a farmer.

This fills a vacant niche in the farming library.  Think of it as philosophy of farming and a good in-depth job description.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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