3.01.2012

so you want to farm...woman?

i have had a shockingly euphoric number of emails of women asking me how best to get into farming. how they can 'dip their toe' as one lovely woman just wrote. or how they can dip their whole body. and i thoroughly love writing to each woman and talking to her about farming and how she can join in. because, well, i love farming.

i absolutely adore the men who read this blog too....but for editorial purposes i nearly always use the feminine pronouns when they are available to me. so, apologies to all you sirs. 

but i was wondering if i couldn't consolidate some of this information so i don't bore you with my repetition. i was thinking of creating a tablet up above...next to who AM I and how did i happen on this life? and so i wanted --from those of you are interested-- any questions about farming.

from keeping a duck in your closet (not a very good idea) to traveling afar and living on farms (a very good idea) to growing salad greens on your window sill. to navigating the grouchy farmers at the market. to re-purposing your family's old orchard.

i certainly don't have all of the answers to these questions but i hope to create a form of reference for you to Know What I Know.

so, comment here. or email there [[kathryn.maclean(at)gmail.com]] and i will try to put something rather coherent together in the next weeks.


also, tomorrow, i will tell you how to make yoghurt! easy-peasy.


 

22 comments:

  1. Oh please, please do post something. I'm such a goof when it comes to growing things and I so want to raise my own food and maybe eventually get to have chicks and even goats. Looking forward to your yogurt recipe!

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  2. I grew up on a 500 acre farm in the ozarks of MO, and I love your blog and reading your posts. I now live the city life (DC), but I continuously crave green fields and fresh air over concrete paths and traffic, and know that I will eventually return to my roots :). Thank you for inviting us along on your adventure and best of luck - I am sure you will kick some booty!

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  3. Ooh, that would be wonderful! I, too, live in DC and would love to learn more about container gardening. I have a huge backyard, but I rent so I can't place anything in the ground.

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  4. I LOVE that picture of you and the pig. Adorable

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  5. Love the piggy picture, and FAQ farming section idea as well! My friend (who works on a farm in NJ) and I were considering joining WWOOF this summer to travel around for a month (starting where I live in Colorado) to work on an local food movement documentary, or something along those lines. Do you have any experience with traveling and working on a farm, especially if it was through WWOOF? I would love to hear more! Thank you :)

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  6. This would be fantastic! I would love to know beginner steps for those "dipping their foot in" and how to move onto larger scale farming. Also, any tips on having farm animals. My dream is to live on a farm with goats, chickens, etc. but I don't know all the logistics or what are good "first" animals. Thank you for putting this together!

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  7. oh i love the idea! I'd love to learn more about how to be successful with some backyard gardening for my small (but growing)family:), what to look for and questions to ask at the markets that sadly intimidate me, and also anything chickens:). I have been so inspired by your sweet blog for a while now. Thanks so much for sharing:)

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  8. Where and when do you recommend buying seeds? Any tips on finding cheap tools? What are the tools you simply would rather not go without? What's the toughest part of your day? The best part? When you first first got into it all, how did you make (financial) ends meet? How about now, as you move on to your own borrowed land? What does a typical day look like for you? How did you find people to buy your produce/farm products?

    Ahh!!! I'm sorry for all of the questions but I just feel so lucky that you are willing to put a post about these farming questions together :) You are awesome.

    THANK YOU. :)

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  9. I stopped by on exactly the right day! I want to know everything you know. :) (I'm going to think about specific questions...how nice of you.)

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  10. i love this idea, kate! i don't personally know anybody that farms, so i just read about it in books and blogs. i'm definitely drawn to the idea of farming and i've always been curious about interning on farms. but being that i have no experience whatsoever i have no idea how to get started.

    again, i am so happy i found your blog!

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  11. I've been reading your blog for ages, but this is my first comment! I'm a college student living in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Meaning, I rent tiny, tiny apartments, but I'd really like to be closer to my food. Any tips for windowsill or porch gardening? Thanks!

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  12. Lauren laurencatey@gmail.comMarch 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Similar to what previous people have posted, I grew up on a farm in Indiana. Farming is in my family's blood. My dad's side of the family has worked that land for 200 years. I now live in Chicago and I miss the life, the smell of the horses and hay. As a child, I used to take naps on pigs and your photo in this post reminded me of that. I just wanted to say I understand why you choose this life. It isn't an easy life, but it is incredibly rewarding one. My dad is always tired, his hands are rough and his skin is dark from the sun, but he never wants to be away from the fields for too long. I am excited for your new venture into Vermont for farming. I send all of my support and good vibes from Chicago via the internet. I look forward to continuing to read your blog to get my farm fix and see how your journey unfolds!

    Lauren

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  13. I can't wait to read whatever you put together! Like many others I'm interested how to get my foot in the door, where I can get connected, what websites are best. What to expect! :)

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  14. Oh my gosh, I'm so stoked for you! I've been enamored with your blog for a couple of months now, and am currently dipping my own toes into the farming world with WWOOF. (it's taken me all the way to Australia, actually. Free-ish world travel AND farm training for the win!)

    My question(s) is(are), are you familiar with WWOOF, and if so, have you considered hosting a wannabe farmer at your own place anytime soon?

    Just in case, here's the WWOOF link;
    http://wwoof.org/

    Keep up the inspiring work! Seriously, just seeing that someone else is doing it is such an encouragement.

    Jess

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  15. I would love to hear your tips on best ways to raise chickens. We dabbled in it for a year or so and seemed to have a bit of trouble getting eggs and keeping some alive. Any tips/advice for a begining chicken raiser(?) would be fantastic.

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  16. The number one thing I need to know -- how do I talk my boyfriend into it? ;) Even telling him he could build his own Field of Dreams in the backyard did little to sway him...

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  17. I think it's fantastic for you to share your knowledge and experience with us who are learning and just beginning in our farming journeys. The best question I can think of is simply where to start. Of all the plants, animals, etc etc etc that are involved, what's the number one thing you would recommend working towards first?

    Angela Kelly

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  18. I hope someday to farm a bit maybe, but for now we're city folk. We have a wonderful CSA run by a lovely young farmer couple who have an organic farm 45 minutes from us. We adore them and LOVE their produce and I've gotten many of my neighbors to join up too. My question is: what can we do to make thIngs easier for them? I know farming is super tough and added to that, they have a little baby who was a premie. We don't have a ton of money to spare and we have two little ones, so offering to help out at the farm would be tough for us to do right now. But there must be something?!? Are there any gifts that a couple of young farmers would like? How would you recommend going about giving them helpful things w/o making it seem like I'm making them a charity case? Because they're not - I just really want to support their endeavor and help them succeed b/c I love what they are doing and I love the food they grow. Thanks, you're the best. And congrats on the farm!

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  19. LOVE that flying chicken photo. So awesome. :)

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  20. I would love to know about what books you all use as reference for small animal keeping (Chickens, rabbits, ducks, etc) and for canning, and small scale food growing.

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  21. First off, thank you for your very down-to-earth blog. I keep hearing all over the place things to the effect of "the old wisdom is lost, but so very needed" etc etc... I don't think it's lost, I just think that it has to be looked for, and once glimpsed pursued and then learned/relearned and passed on. Thank you for passing on. Please continue your "back country" posts, even the oh so satisfying and simple act of yoghurt making is a mystery that need not be.
    We first lived in the city on a city lot (and treated it like a farm) and now in the woods on a rented piece of patchwork. And yet still we seem to believe that we live in the country...we raise chickens & quail (at the grandparent's property) and rabbits for meat (out back of our little vintage RV home). We make applesauce, and freeze greenbeans from the garden. Oh so simple tasks, but "is there any way to get applesauce & green beans but from the grocery"? (ha ha, definitely!)
    I'm rambling. Just wanted to thank you for providing a place where the simple informational wisdom is shared. :o) (If I had more time, I would do it too...maybe it's time to make time.)

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