Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land by Kurt Timmermeister

As recently as last month, I would sometimes think that I would like to live on a farm. I thought it would be neat to own some goats, have several dogs running around, and own a dairy cow.

After reading this book, I've decided that I can enjoy thinking about farming without actually living and working on one.

I learned from this book that farming is A LOT of work.

Timmermeister buys some farmland on an island near Seattle while still working a full-time restaurant job. He eventually transitions to working the farm full-time. He writes about his struggle to make the farm self-sustaining and even slightly profitable. He does that now by making cheeses and hosting weekly dinners at the farm that feature food all grown and raised on the farm.

Each chapter covers a bit of farm life like Vegetables, Bees, Cows, Pigs, The Slaughter, and Butchering. This book is really informative, but written memoir-like so it's quite readable.

One story about a young ewe almost had me in tears, as it perfectly illustrated Timmermeister's point that nature can be very cruel.

Timmermeister's deep respect for the land and animals clearly comes across, especially in his chapter about The Slaughter which I thought I might skip, but I actually read the entire chapter and appreciated how humanely and reverently his animals are treated.

I liked this book. It had me thinking about starting up my Community Supported Agriculture subscription again this spring.

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