Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st-Century Farmer

Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st-Century Farmer

by Forrest Pritchard and Ellen Polishuk, 272 pages, 6¼x8½, softcover. This is a book about how to farm. It doesn’t tell you how to transplant tomatoes, or milk a cow, but that information is available from many sources. Instead, it exhorts aspiring farmers to think long, hard, and above all realistically about the very real challenges (and rewards!) of starting and maintaining a small to mid-sized farm, drawing on the experience of a 7th-generation farmer from the Shenandoah Valley (Pritchard) and a 1st-generation farmer from the mid-Atlantic (Polishuk). The word ‘holistic’ does not do justice to their experienced and clear-eyed pragmatism. They are unapologetic about the need to balance all three pillars (economic, environmental, and social) of true sustainability. As Polishuk observes, “many farmers seemingly have an allergy to the concept of profit.” Many farmers also sacrifice their social and family lives on the altar of their farming dreams. To help beginners see their dreams of pastured poultry and nutrient-dense broccoli through from their internship to their retirement, Pritchard and Polishuk cover education, land access, marketing, record-keeping, understanding profits, and maintaining healthy relationships in the context of the small-farm business. Should be required reading for every starry-eyed WWOOFer and apprentice out there. -Alice Coyle


9768 Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st-Century Farmer
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