Toni's Reviews > The Accidental Farmers

The Accidental Farmers by Tim Young
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Feb 20, 11

Read from February 12 to 20, 2011

This book was a fantastic read. This author really opened up and shared the good, the bad and the ugly about his (and his wife's) transition from corporate suburban couple to sustainable farmers. Loved the authenticity.

When I started the book, I very quickly fell into the "man, I would love to be a farmer" mindset. By the time I finished, I knew I was not cut out for it. But I am incredibly grateful that some people are. Some parts of Young's life are very enviable. Primarily, cheesemaking! But also, settling down on a farm at night to enjoy cheese, wine, meat and vegetables that you produced. However, many parts of farming are equally unsavory, like waking up to find that disease has ravaged a herd of livestock. Making the decision of whether or not to intervene and/or euthanize to combat a particular ailment.

I really enjoyed reading about the ins and outs of farm life. My grandfather was a farmer, and I felt this book gave me insight on what life was like for him when he was farming. Many of us now have little to no appreciation for the hard work and investment of small farmers. And far too few of us even think about the source of the food we eat. This book will definitely get you thinking about from where your food comes, as well as your own personal philosophy of how farming should be conducted in our technologically advanced society. I have been wanting to make the transition to local, sustainable meat for sometime now, and this book only reinforced my decision.

The book also addressed the larger concept of what it is like to give up security, to take a risk, and pursue a dream. Any exploration of this topic gets me every time. Young notes, "While we all may have different abilities we also each have the opportunity to manufacture a vision for ourselves that is within our own ability. It seems to me that making a dream come true takes hard work, luck, timing, planning and the assumption of risk." Preach! What a world we would have if people had the courage to leave comfort and security to pursue their dreams!

We can only hope that at the end of the day, we can all say, like Young, that "...thinking that I have sacrificed something is definitely a thought that does not enter my consciousness. For we have sacrificed nothing but gained everything. It's simply a matter of perspective." He later concluded with the following: "Still our path was not the easiest choice and has required us to develop a different perspective and adapt a different set of expectations from our urban rearing. By a wide margin this is the worst-paying job I have ever had. By an equally wide margin it is also the most rewarding. After decades of my searching hopelessly in vain, my calling finally found me. I am so deeply thankful that it did." May we all be so blessed.

Thank you, Tim and Liz, for sharing your story with us. We are grateful for all that you do at Nature's Harmony.
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