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I haven't read this book entirely, so perhaps my review isn't completely fair, but I don't know if I can get through it. Life is not easy, we all know that. As a teacher, my job was often every difficult. Oh the stories that I could write about the ridiculous things that were asked of me by the administration, the obnoxious students and the even more obnoxious parents of the obnoxious students. I'm sure every one of us could sit by a campfire and spend a fair amount of time complaining about the difficulties of our jobs.
This book well, at least the first 5 or 6 essays, are nothing more than people complaining about how tough it is to be a farmer. There is all of this work to do, there are all of these deadlines, there are so many things to juggle, being a farmer is far more difficult than they ever imagined. "Here is a typical day in my life, look how hard it is." Again and again and again. I may revisit the book, or maybe when I begin farming this book will in some way be therapeutic as I'll be comforted by others that have also walked this difficult path. Who knows. But, for someone that has worked in construction, lived in Central America for half a decade, and now works in a blue collar job, the last thing that I want to do at the end of a long day is sit through page after page of complaining.
I gave this to the daughter of a friend of mine who is interested in becoming a farmer. It's a relaxing read---great at the bedside table. I loved reading of so many perspectives, and getting to meet so many different types of personalities involved in farming. Oh, if I were only thirty years younger! What an inspiration these people are!!!
Interesting stories from 50 different farmers and producers across America, which could have used a little more editing. Regardless, many stories are at once funny, compelling and insightful into the reasons why Americans everywhere are turning back to agricultural practises as a method of finding meaning and financial stability in the 21st Century.
Series of essays by different folks and their trials getting small farms going. By and large one wonders why anyone would go into farming. And yet, it calls to them and drags their sore bums out of bed every day to go and do it again. I thought their essays were very genuine in feel, not sugar coating anything. But they share their inexplicable joy in the face of their trials and their determination to continue on. These are the attitudes that built America.
I really appreciate how candid each of the essayists were when sharing their experiences about starting up their farms and/or farm-related endeavors. Nothing has been romanticized here. If you're looking to begin understanding what it might take for you to live your dream of starting and running a successful farm, buy this book.