Saturday, December 3, 2011

Young Farmers are Awesome

It always feels so good to come home.

Especially when I get to spend the day lounging around, wrapping gifts, and decorating for the holidays.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I'm back from the Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns.  Two full days of good food, fellow farmers, and all sorts of interesting workshops.  Record keeping, silvopasturing, electric fences, heritage breeds, developing a profitable farm, innovative tools and caterpillar tunnels.  Even though I was a little disappointed with some of the workshops, I left with enough innovative ideas to make it all worthwhile.

I think what I wrestled with most at the conference was not having a farm to identify with.  Even though I've never had a farm of my own, I've been working at farm after farm for the past 5 years without gaps in the season.  It's hard to be a farmer without a farm - especially when you're surrounded by strangers who are looking to figure out who you are as simply as possible (vegetable grower?  dairy farmer?  cattle rancher?).  I hadn't realized how important my work is to my identity.

Tonight I'm curling up with a new book (Jenna Woginrich's Barnheart - an inspiring young farmer that tells the heartfelt story of starting her farm), a cup of peppermint tea, and warm thoughts that I'm not alone in my quest for a farm of my own.


  1. I just got my copy of Barnheart today! Just started reading it... :)

    Whenever people ask me what sort of "farmer" I am, I simply say I'm a grass farmer. I grow grass. And the best way to do that is to use livestock in intensive grazing rotations. But I mostly just like to see folk's puzzled looks when they here my answer. LOL.

  2. I'm reading Barnheart too :)

    I'd love to hear more about the conference!