The new farmer revolution!
Since we started farming together here on this land in 2010, the two of us have been learning HOW TO farm at the same time. Without any formal farming apprenticeships or interning experiences, we both were total greenhorns when we started. We didn’t have much money to live on, and every penny we made and make keeps going back into our farm. But you know what? We’ve learned ALOT these past 4 years, and we’re still learning, and we’re making a living. Each year, life keeps handing us humbling setbacks and curveballs, but we keep our eyes on the prize of fulfilling our mission and keep at it. Perhaps we aren’t doing everything perfectly just yet. Many things we planned to have completed by now aren’t totally done. We’ve experienced some disasters and many frustrations. But this is how you learn. You have to hang in there during the tough times to see the reward.
This season it feels like we have our act together and are headed in a solid direction. It is satisfying to feel that the many steps we took toward a goal are finally adding up to something – It’s been a tough road to get here alright! The key for new farmers is to start something, work as hard as you can, and find the things you are really, really good at, then keep doing them and grow. When we started, we tried as many farm projects as we could. By necessity, many of them have been abandoned when it was clear that they weren’t helping us financially to move forward, or they just didn’t fit into our work flow, skill set, or we weren’t 100% passionate about the product we were producing. Too much diversity means you can go absolutely crazy trying to keep up with it all. Breeding poultry, rabbits, pigs and goats are some examples in our farm journey. Gardening for a CSA has been a challenge, especially starting on a totally new patch of land, and of course climate change has meant very odd weather patterns.
What we are really passionate about is giving our ducks, chickens, turkeys, and pigs the best lives possible on pasture. We love the food that they become. Since we can never stop exploring other things we may love, we are trying out pastured veal calves this year as our new project and so far they have been just lovely to raise. Basically, the theme for us is animals. Our farm start-up was based on providing an ethical alternative to factory farm food and connecting customers to their food.
Check out the latest issue (August) of ACRES USA magazine to get the first installment of Khaiti’s article series geared towards new farmers. The focus is to help aspiring ecological farmers get going into farming smartly, by following their passion. We’re pretty excited to watch this publication reach out to the new farmer revolution underway!