a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Funny Farm

has asked, "Do you think sustainable farming is a reality in the 21st century?"  Amy, who I think has changed her blog name to Our Piece of Country Paradise is living the country dream.  She is new to blogdom so go on by and visit.

Amy, thanks for the hard question!  Will Rogers, in all his wisdom, said, "Behind every successful farmer, there is a wife who works in town."

Diversify, diversity is the key to success.  Many farms make a living by adding tours, crafts, farm products and other things.  Animals are sometimes a money maker but anything that eats does cost. 

I do think there is a place  in the 21st century and a need.  Small family farms are rare.  You need to work on being able to take care of your needs without outside sources and then expand to include the money maker plans.  What that is, will be up to you.

Farmers in the past have sold their products, eggs, milk, butter, animals and have made enough to buy the things they needed.  Bartering was common, in labor and in products.

Good luck and thanks for the really, really difficult question.


Journaling Woman said...

So funny Will's statement Behind every good farmer is a wife that works in town. It's too bad. My sister must keep her farm going and work in town all by herself. She is Wonder Woman.

Our Piece of Country Paradise said...

Thanks so much for answering my question! It is encouraging to hear that you think it is a possibilty now. I have a friend who is just entering into try to live a sustainable farming life. I hope for the best for them but fear that they won't make it. It is so good to know that there are people out there though trying to make a living off of the land. It is a dream of mine to have a family run business from our farm. I have thought produce stand, pumpkin patch, petting zoo. Though I never foresee my husband quiting his job. Which is fine with me because he really enjoys what he does and he is NOT a farmer! Though I would like to have a small income off of the farm so I can contribute but still stay at home with my kids.
Oh I did change the name of my blog BTW :)

Razzberry Corner said...

This is a hard question. My husband recently retired from 24 years in the military, and now stays home & runs the little homestead farm that we are trying to build. And I work in town. He always stays busy, there is so much work to be done, the problem is trying to bring in an income with his work. Last year he sold lots of firewood, but that was alot of work, Right now he's plowing snow with the tractor - good money, but the work will go away with the snow. I don't think we could make it without a steady income from him, so we'll see... And I love Will Roger's quote!

ellen abbott said...

I think we're going to have to go back to the small farms. Agribusiness, I think, will become unsustainable.

Rudee said...

Corporate farming makes life incredibly hard for the rest of you doing it the hard way. Corporate farming is also very damaging to the environment.

I admire the work you and your family do and wish I could live such a lifestyle. I'd have cashmere goats though. And no profits.

Pat said...

It IS sad that a lot of farms are closing down, or that they make more money from the government paying them NOT to raise crops.

The Farmers Oldest Daughter said...

Being raised on a farm of 2000 acres, it is hard to make a living at it these days. No prices for your crops and the government wants to interfere with everything. With the cost of diesel and equipment, you make nothing. I am no longer on that farm but it is so sad to see all of the family farms go by the wayside.

Nezzy said...

Sadly to say more and more independent farmers are starved out of business. It takes at least one income outside to farm to sustain the family farms of America. Too many farmers have to decide to spend their money on groceries or feed the cattle. As I have said before, we do it for the love of the land. You well understand it is in our blood being raised of farms.

You have a super day my friend!!!

Our Piece of Country Paradise said...

Ellen Abbot I hope you are right. It would be a step in the right direction for this country. To start letting the little guy (family farmers) have a chance in this world.

All of what you guys have said is sad, true and a sobering truth at that. That the dream of making a living off your land may be a thing of the past. But I am going to keep trying to find a way to make it work.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I enjoyed hearing your opinion. My nephew and his wife bought a farm in New Hampshire, opened a petting zoo, opened a little gift shop, even sold ice cream from their little store in the summer...but finally folded. It was sad. They had such dreams. I think if you are retired, doing well, have no children to feed and cloth and at least one of you work...you can make it. Otherwise..gee...it would be risky. Animals cost to feed and care for, (vet bills, etc.)
Theirs was an apple farm...and it still didn't make it.
It makes me sad. Really sad.
You are living a lot of peoples dream! :)
Even mine at one time.


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