Mary Kay's Reviews > Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land

Growing a Farmer by Kurt Timmermeister
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Mar 25, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

This memoir of a modern small farmer on Vashon Island who consciously turned away from city prosperity toward fulltime small farming is interesting, concrete, and offers useful information for anyone who has a little land available. He describes his journey through a variety of strategies to make a living from his 14 acres, starting with vegetable farming and finishing with cheese plus. His experiences demonstrate that it is more viable in our carnivorous society to rely on exploiting animal products and hard to make a living from vegetables and fruit. I did not see any indication that he tried berries/fruit as a production emphasis aside from his efforts to establish an apple orchard but perhaps he did that. As vegan wanna-be I skipped his chapters on slaughtering and butchering, wondering how in one paragraph he can describe the human-like personalities of his pigs and in the next discuss how to kill and bleed one of them. I understand he has a mortgage and around me I see the pressures on a small farm to sell beef and chicken, but still, others manage a living without animal exploitation. At present his business model is to sell quality cheese and weekly meat-based farm dinners (he is a former restauranteur. I enjoyed his practical and informative explanations of decisions and activities, and appreciate the enormous amount of energy required for his choice of lifestyle.
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