Skip to comments.The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life--and Saved an American Farm
Posted on 11/01/2020 6:45:11 PM PST by Hojczyk
This a great book....should be taught in middle or high school...
Verified Purchase This book reads like a work of fiction because Sarahs story is incredible but true. The book is well written and will immerse you in her childhood experiences. This book is for those who have the entrepreneurial spirit, for those who want to change their life direction, who love farming, who believe in the American Dream, or who want to remember growing up during the 1970s-1980s. The span of her life is hugefrom simple beginnings to incredible success, which was all earned by grit and determination. You wont be able to put the book down!
(Excerpt) Read more at amazon.com ...
Made me think of Farmer Dean :(
I will check it out as it sounds inspiring.
And Dean, I’ll be thinking about you when I vote.
He knew how important this election was.
And waaay back when maybe 50 people here had COVID, he said it was a conspiracy to ruin the US and told me to stock up on food and supplies.
Sorry for thinking you were a conspiracy theorist Dean!!!
Thanks for the recommendation! Been looking for something inspiring to read - this sounds perfect. My library has it too!
H2A Visa valentine.
FYI: Garden Thread Ping.
Thx for the heads-up.......nice read.
I just ordered it. :)
I have gotten majorly into “regenerative” farming ... some other books & a movie you may be interested in:
Movie “Kiss the Ground” on Netflix - it is really fantastic. I will forewarn you that there are some ‘celebrity types’ in the movie & Woody Harrelson (of all people) is sort of a narrator at the beginning & end. Put your political bias aside, hold your nose when the celebs show up & WATCH IT. Seriously! This is an honest-to-goodness solution for Climate Change talked about/explained in this movie & it has nothing to do with getting rid of fossil fuels. Regenerative farming actually works!
A good book is “Dirt to Soil: One Familys Journey into Regenerative Agriculture “ by Gabe Brown. He is in the ‘Kiss the Ground’ movie.
Gabe Brown didnt set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brownin an effort to simply survivebegan experimenting with new practices hed learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture.
Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of lifestarting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time.
In Dirt to Soil Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challengerestoring the soil. The Browns Ranch model, developed over twenty years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Browns Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers.
The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the landmore plants, animals, and beneficial insects. The greatest roadblock to solving a problem, Brown says, is the human mind.
If you want to hear him, you can on this podcast:
Another good book is “Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm” by Forrest Pritchard
One fateful day in 1996, upon discovering that five freight cars worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard undertakes to save his familys farm. What ensuesthrough hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local charactersis a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchards biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his career choice and eschews organic foods for sugary mainstream fare; but just when the farm starts to turn heads at local markets, his fathers health takes a turn for the worse.With poetry and humor, this timely memoir tugs on the heartstrings and feeds the soul long after the last page is turned.
Forrest Pritchard is a full-time farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding degrees in English and Geology from William & Mary. He grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, and spent summers with his grandparents in the Appalachian highlands and the Ohio River Valley. Smith Meadows, his farm, was one of the first “grass finished” operations in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC for twenty years.
Great recommendations! I have one to add, too:
‘The Orchard: A Memoir’ by Adele Crochet
“’The Orchard’ is an exquisitely beautiful and poignant memoir of a young woman’s single-handed struggle to save her New England farm in the depths of the Great Depression. Recently discovered by the author’s daughter, it tells the story of Adele “Kitty” Robertson, young and energetic, but unprepared by her Radcliffe education for the rigors of apple farming in those bitter times. Alone at the end of a country road, with only a Great Dane for company, plagued by debts, broken machinery, and killing frosts, Kitty revives the old orchard after years of neglect. Every day is a struggle, but every day she is also rewarded by the beauty of the world and the unexpected kindness of neighbors and hired workers.”
Loved it - have read it several times.
Not to be confused with the book, ‘Orchard’ by Larry Watson, which is also enjoyable, but is a ‘Andrew Wyeth-like’ love story of an artist and his muse and has nothing to do with growing apples. Well, a little, but not much, LOL! Set in Wisconsin, so it ‘a-peeled’ to me. ;)
“Sonja Skordahl, a Norwegian immigrant, came to America looking for a new life. Instead, she settled in Door County, Wisconsin, and married Henry Houseonly to find herself defined by her roles as wife and mother. Destiny lands Sonja in the studio of Ned Weaver, an internationally acclaimed painter. There she becomes more than his model and more than a mere object of desire; she becomes the most inspiring muse Ned has ever known, much to the chagrin of the artists wife. When both Ned and Henry insist on possessing Sonja, their jealousies threaten to erupt into violenceas she struggles to appease both men without sacrificing her hard-won sense of self.”
If you want an early start in soil prep you could hitch up the Clydesdales and disc and turn that 40 acres that are normally too wet for heavy equiptment unti late May! (Assuming you still have any draft animals and equiptment.)
Rather than spraying herbicides use a come along then walk your fields to pull any remaining weeds. (Send your children out with the dogs to do this while you prep for the season by greasing the 97 grease points on your Combine harvester.)
(Says the man who now resigned to living in suburban tract housing.)
I will consider this for winter reading.
I’d like to add “Teaming With Microbes” to the list of book recommendations.
In addition, there are several articles at http://skillcult.com/ that cover things like homemade biochar. The site even has articles from the 1800s from researchers who discovered the advantages of biochar before there was a word for it. They’re really quite fascinating!
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