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The Greenhorns: Building a Farm, Growing a Dream

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Last April, I blogged about our plans to move to France and establish our own cheese and wine-making venture. It was all in the spirit of April Fools’ of course, but the dream is still very much alive. It sings especially loudly when I read stories about people working hard to realize their dreams, like the young farmers who’ve penned the essays collected in the recently published Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches From The New Farmers’ Movement.

If you’re an avid supporter of local independent farms, you may have heard of The Greenhorns. Started in 2007 by filmmaker Severine von Tscharner Fleming, it’s a non-profit organization geared towards supporting and promoting young farmers. From its grassroots Berkeley origins, it has grown into a national organization with a network of local chapters, and an assortment of media outlets, including Greenhorns radio, a blog, a weekly podcast and a documentary.

Co-edited by Severine and fellow Greenhorns Zoë Ida Bradbury and Paula Manalo (all farmers in their own right), the book runs the gamut of human emotions: love (Andrew French’s sweet tale on how his farm and his current relationship began with the impulsive purchase of two piglets); dedication (Sarah Smith’s relentless routine of running CSA deliveries and farmers’ markets with two kids in tow); frustration (Evan Driscoll on the novice farmer’s steep learning curve); hope (Jenna Woginrich urges us to believe in our dreams and to write them down) and loss (Kirsten Johanson’s heart-wrenching tale of losing their laying hens to Hurricane Ike).

The stories paint a portrait of the young American farmer in the 21st century as courageous, hard-working, and determined to feed their communities in ways that enrich the environment and their soul. With the average age of the American farmer currently at 60 or older, the fact that young, (mostly) college-educated folks are choosing the challenging life of an independent and sustainable farmer bodes well for our communities and food culture.

Despite her hectic schedule, we managed to catch up with Severine to chat a bit about the book, the Greenhorns and her next project.

Could you share a little about what prompted you to found The Greenhorns in 2007? Were there any farm experiences that motivated you to head in this direction? What about the filming of young farmers: How did that process impact you?

I founded Greenhorns as a non-profit organization in order to work on the production of the documentary film. Over the course of organizing the production and interviewing farmers, we quickly identified one obstacle we could tackle: social isolation. We figured that if we could leverage new media and grassroots efforts to create a supportive national network for young farmers, we would help improve their chances of making it beyond the first season into the second, and then to fully transition their lives and commit to becoming a food producer. It was an intervention opportunity not to be missed.

As we grew as an organization, we were able to manage the distribution and community outreach around the documentary film. We co-organized over 500 screenings of the film, most of them accompanied by young farmer panelists speaking directly to the concerned audience about the challenges they face. Enabling these strategic conversations among key stakeholders was our desired outcome, and we know that these conversations have triggered or bolstered collaborative action to create the conditions where local farming and farmers can thrive.

What motivated the creation of this book?

The goal of both the documentary and the book was to bundle and broadcast the voices of the young farmers themselves, asking them to reflect on why they farm, how they approach the work, the business, the community, the decisions. The purpose of these essays is to share the experience, to feel solidarity, and to help new entrants (even greener greenhorns) orient themselves and have a sense of what to expect from a career in farming.

Looking ahead, what do you hope this book will achieve? 

I’d say the goal overall is to make sure all aspiring farmers know the range of experiences they could come to expect, and to know that others have confronted and overcome the same obstacles, found ingenious solutions, and thrived. Ultimately, success in farming is much easier if you proactively prepare for what can go wrong, through working with mentors, reading about other’s experiences, attending conferences, and tuning in to the social network of other farmers. That way you can build the inventory of moral tales that may well save you from a silly mistake, or inspire you to try something pretty ballsy.

Our next media format is a webseries called Ourland, which we are currently fundraising for. It’s a series of short films about agriculture, focusing on structural crises such as monoculture, soil contamination, the loss of genetic diversity, unaffordability of land for young farmers, and the like. There are 12 episodes and each episode introduces viewers to young farmers and others who are reorienting agriculture and confronting broken systems with brave and successful businesses.

Be sure to check out Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches From The New Farmers’ Movement at Amazon or your local indie bookstore.

Danielle Tsi grew up in Singapore, a tiny, food-obsessed island on the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, where every waking minute was spent thinking about what her next meal was going to be. Landing in the United States with her well-traveled Nikon, she turned her lifelong love affair with food into images and words on her blog, Beyond the Plate. When not behind the lens or at the stove, Danielle can be found on her yoga mat perfecting the headstand.

3 Featured Comments

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  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    Jenny from TheLittleRagamuffin says: Featured

    We love Severine and all the Greenhorns! As small farmers ourselves as well as musicians Severine has reached out to my husband and I on several occasions to play farmer mixers and workshops. It is so refreshing to see young, energetic farmers coming together to share knowledge and skills, and at the end of a long hard day kick off their boots and put on their dancing shoes. It's wonderful to be a part of.

    2 years ago

  • marysworkshop

    Mary Wolf from marysworkshop says: Featured

    This is wonderful to see a new generation interested in running small farming operations. My husband and I both grew up on farms like that and operated our own small farm for almost 20 years. It is certainly a lot of hard work, but a great place to work together as a family and be in touch with nature. How encouraging it is to see the dream continue.

    2 years ago

  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says: Featured

    I have the farmer in me. My little kitchen garden draws me to it early in the morning and is a respite for me all day long. To take it to a professional level is both inspiring and brave and can only come from a true love of watching things grow.

    2 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    That's wonderful!!!

    2 years ago

  • lcarlsonjewelry

    Liesl Carlson from lcarlsonjewelry says:

    Wonderful!!!! My Grandfather was a blueberry farmer and I loved spending my summers growing up and helping out at the farm. Good luck to all!! Thank you for sharing.

    2 years ago

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDConnection from TheIDconnection says:

    I grew up on a farm and there is nothing like it! I miss the homegrown veggies, apples and all the fun things we did as kids. Great article

    2 years ago

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery says:

    All about this! Thank you so much for giving me a new obsession! I have a few tomato plants growing, so once I master that, I am all about growing all kinds of food!!! This is super inspirational and very important to the future of everything.

    2 years ago

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering says:

    This article is really interesting, I had no idea about the organization!

    2 years ago

  • gospellicea

    Mimi Maru from gospellicea says:

    This is so inspiring. I will definitely have to read the book!

    2 years ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty says:

    Dreamy!!!

    2 years ago

  • dannylion

    Lauryn Quinn from thefrolickingfrog says:

    Fantastic organization to help young people achieve their farming goals! With all the crazy stuff happening in the world its understandable that many want to return to a more "simple" life. Sounds so much more appealing to be working hard in the fields and with animals than sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen (what I'm doing now...blahhh). I hope to someday achieve that lifestyle. I'm pinning this book to pinterest so I'll remember Greenhorns!

    2 years ago

  • darkcycleclothing

    darkcycleclothing from darkcycleclothing says:

    I'm looking forward to reading the book! And I absolutely adore that picture with the lamb, beautiful!

    2 years ago

  • ElithEG

    Elith E Green says:

    The new farmers' story reminds me of my childhood on my parents' farms in rural Jamaica. These photographs make me long for the past.

    2 years ago

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says:

    With the current drought devastating crops in many states I wonder how small farmers are going to survive, and hope they get through it. I read another great book on farming awhile ago by Barbara Kingsolver, a novelist who moved onto a small farm and learned the realities of that life. It's called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Books like these and other web based information helps us appreciate what really goes into putting food on our table, beyond shopping at a supermarket

    2 years ago

  • FranceGallery

    France Gallery from FranceGallery says:

    This sounds like a really interesting book! Living in the country is such a great way of life.

    2 years ago

  • WoolenClogs

    Rasa from WoolenClogs says:

    Adorable lamb! :))) Let all your dreams come true,they are so beautiful:)

    2 years ago

  • twolittlefruits

    Derek Cadena and Brent Rodgers from twolittlefruits says:

    Very inspiring! My partner and I have had huge gardens in the past , but this year we took off to focus on art festivals. I miss my garden! Sounds like a very interesting book, can't wait to read it.

    2 years ago

  • rivahside

    rivahside says:

    The interest in farming is wonderful but most young people seem to be thinking in terms of "truck farming" or raising a few animals and fowls. But farming hundreds of acres, like my husband and I, takes on a whole new meaning. How about the thousand of dollars it takes just to buy one combine ( some cost as much as a house!) and hundreds more to fix it if it breaks down? How about thinking of farming in broader terms?

    2 years ago

  • thelittlemarket

    Debbie from thelittlemarket says:

    Great article!!!

    2 years ago

  • LivingVintage
  • timelapse

    timelapse from timelapse says:

    Wonderful presentation to inform people of an area so many are unaware of! Thank you!

    2 years ago

  • SweetElisabeth

    Elisabeth Miranda from SweetElisabeth says:

    I believe that the "small" farmer is going to become more and more necessary to our world. We have to learn to feed ourselves because the way that farming has been moving towards big business, genetic manipulation, pesticides, etc. has proven to be more and more damaging. The work and dedication of the small farmer needs to be honored. We cannot lose our ability to stay close to the land and feed ourselves and honor where that food comes from. Blessings to all the small farmers. Thanks to The Greenhorns and Severine and her cohorts for their contribution to bringing the message.

    2 years ago

  • jgaido

    Josie from JosiesBoutique says:

    lovely!

    2 years ago

  • PoppyandPearlCo

    Bobbi Bankston from PoppyandPearlCo says:

    Such a joy!!! Thank you : )

    2 years ago

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    Jenny from TheLittleRagamuffin says: Featured

    We love Severine and all the Greenhorns! As small farmers ourselves as well as musicians Severine has reached out to my husband and I on several occasions to play farmer mixers and workshops. It is so refreshing to see young, energetic farmers coming together to share knowledge and skills, and at the end of a long hard day kick off their boots and put on their dancing shoes. It's wonderful to be a part of.

    2 years ago

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl says:

    I like it, such a great idea. I love reading about people who have done that, and have such admiration for them. This sounds like the book is a very good read.

    2 years ago

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose says:

    Beautiful! I dream of a small farm of my own... All that is left is getting there.

    2 years ago

  • ArtyDidact

    Sharon Parker from ArtyDidact says:

    What a wonderful and inspiring movement. It gives us hope for the future and the possibility of a shift to more sustainable ways of farming becoming the norm. We try to buy from small local farmers as much as we can through our co-op and local farmers' market. The book sounds delightful, I will be sure to look for it.

    2 years ago

  • VoleedeMoineaux
  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice says:

    Interesting read, thanks!

    2 years ago

  • pamelam

    Pamela Munger from pamelam says:

    important stuff! We have a hop farm and it's not an expensive endeavor, but so rewarding. Thanks for featuring this movement about farming.

    2 years ago

  • roachz

    SF Chen says:

    I love this installation of your series. I have been following you, and have been especially interested loss of biodiversity in our food chain as a result of dominion of large-scale agriculture. My mom and i have always been adventurous in our vegetable & fruit intake, and whenever we see something strange looking, we just have to try it out. But what is sad is that "strange" should not have been the word used to describe such produce, the diversity is what should have been. I am currently a biodiversity scientist, have always been involved in Red Data Book vegetation list... endangered animals... but i have never really thought deeply about our food. One of the things that i would love to get involve in, is to be involved in urban agriculture, cultivate my own heirloom vegetables, and use them to educate at least people around me, hopefully to spark a movement too. In the US, the movement is strong, but in Asia not so much, so there are much potential :) One thing i am worried about now is quinoa. Now that everyone wants quinoa, there is not enough for Andean south americans, and they have to turn to other less nutritious grains, and could also lead to environmental degradation. Health food fads can be equally dangerous to biodiversity, and has much social impacts. I think to really be sustainable, we should eat as local as we can (by ecoregion units).

    2 years ago

  • theroyal

    The Royal from theroyal says:

    i love your blog. you are always writing about what is important to me

    2 years ago

  • kristinasmiley

    Kristina Smiley from CreativeEndeavorsKS says:

    Interesting story! My husband and I farm approximately 200 acres and also raise our own vegetables. To help alleviate my allergy symptoms, I have learned how to cook most meals from scratch, can my own vegetables, and make soaps and lotions from my herb garden. I really love my life on our farm and love to read of others whose experiences are similar.

    2 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage says:

    Great blog! Great info!

    2 years ago

  • papernickle

    Brandy and Tyler from BrandyCupcakesStudio says:

    It is our goal and ultimate dream to someday live life as small scale farmers, in addition to artists and crafters. We'd like to be off the grid, build an Earthship on a small piece of property, and be as self-sustainable as possible. We are Iowans surrounded by farmers of all types, so this is no naive dreaming of magical animals and gardens that are picture perfect and easy to maintain, but dreams of a life full of earth and sweat, life and death, manure and mud, lean times and much less materialism than we currently allow ourselves. We are working hard right now to be able to more comfortably afford the leap to this dream in the next few years, because we know this is a case of our hearts yearning for not only what is best for our family, but for our environment as well.

    2 years ago

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts says:

    My fondest desire is to have a small farm some day. This is an inspiring blog post!

    2 years ago

  • CopperheadCreations

    Sarah from CopperheadCreations says:

    This is great! Congrats!

    2 years ago

  • EnterpriseAmericana

    Enterprise Americana from EnterpriseAmericana says:

    My wife grew up on a dairy farm. It tugs as me,. not sure I'd want to start farming @ 41 but the urge is there. Great article.

    2 years ago

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka says:

    Great article!

    2 years ago

  • PattiTrostle

    Patti Trostle from PattiTrostle says:

    Loved reading this. I actually have a farm that has been in my family since the 1850's. The drought is really making things rough right now. That's part of farming though. Good years..bad years, but it is worth it!!

    2 years ago

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop says:

    Love this post!

    2 years ago

  • elfjewellery

    elf jewellery says:

    I love the tag line of your book"The next generation of American Farmers". Truly! Your blog is amazingly good because while reading it I could feel and miss some of the days of my childhood when I along with my parents used to go to our village farmhouse. Tanks a lot for re-energizing me with those priceless memories.

    2 years ago

  • PinwheelStudio

    Whitney from PinwheelStudio says:

    Enjoyed this post, and hope to enjoy the book as well! There's certainly a shift going on in our thinking about farming, and it's neat to see it documented in the historical context of farming and family that is real to many of us.

    2 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery says:

    I remember reading in the UK newspaper a while ago that the biggest killer of farmers is depression brought on by social isolation, its a tough life being a farmer!

    2 years ago

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural says:

    Love this ~ this is exactly what we are working for everyday. Super cute photo of the lamb :)

    2 years ago

  • vermontbranchcompany

    vermontbranchcompany from vermontbranchcompany says:

    Recently finished their book - it is awesome - and passed it on to a new farming family.

    2 years ago

  • OneLaneRoad

    Becky from OneLaneRoad says:

    Oooh. I want to read this book now! Love those small farmers.

    2 years ago

  • cubits

    Laura and Ryan from cubits says:

    Such a nice article! We've just bought a farm and are wearing ourselves right out :)

    2 years ago

  • FireIslandSoap

    Billy Bubbles from FireIslandSoap says:

    I want to be a Greenhorn too! My lifelong goal is to have my own farm - God bless!

    2 years ago

  • buenobookshop
  • hinlee

    hin lee from overdo says:

    Very Nice!

    2 years ago

  • marysworkshop

    Mary Wolf from marysworkshop says: Featured

    This is wonderful to see a new generation interested in running small farming operations. My husband and I both grew up on farms like that and operated our own small farm for almost 20 years. It is certainly a lot of hard work, but a great place to work together as a family and be in touch with nature. How encouraging it is to see the dream continue.

    2 years ago

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky says:

    this is the most amazing article. i had no idea the average age of an american farmer is 60 years and older... wow! how inspiring to see my generation choosing this lifestyle.

    2 years ago

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage says:

    Awesome post and great story!

    2 years ago

  • grandmamarievintage

    Aly Barohn from vauxvintage says:

    My dream! Such a great story. Very inspiring.

    2 years ago

  • Auntiesoapworts

    Auntiesoapworts from BrackenfernCottage says:

    Great article. I hope it is contagious!

    2 years ago

  • wrevered

    Wendy Rolfe Evered from SayItSigns says:

    Power to the farmers! What would we do without you!?

    2 years ago

  • imogenskyefreeman

    Imogen Skye Freeman from InkPaintings says:

    From the NYT article linked above: "Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, said he hoped some beginning farmers would graduate to midsize and large farms as older farmers retired." I think this is one of the bigger obstacle that farmers face- the significant lack of understanding of why they're doing it, and the trickle-down through media and into the genpop. If the point of small-scale farming to retain connection, diversity and nutrient/species density (among other vital aspects of creating a synthetic ecosystem), then the plan is not likely to "graduate to midsize and large farms." People who farm in the small-scale bio-diversity way are the least likely to be looking forward to large-scale agricorp-style factory farming. I think these execs and gov't agents who are hoping for this have really missed the point. By a long shot.

    2 years ago

  • wrevered

    Wendy Rolfe Evered from SayItSigns says:

    THANK YOU! You help us to: "EAT OUR LEAFY GREENS!"

    2 years ago

  • imogenskyefreeman

    Imogen Skye Freeman from InkPaintings says:

    Another obstacle at least in Canada, is the Puritanical work ethic mentality that convinces people that farming must be exhausting if it's to be worthwhile or respectable. More diversity on the farm makes daily tasks and chores less tiring, more enjoyable, and much easier to do. I know a lot of stubborn farmers who insist on doing things the way they've always been done, in spite of there being methods better suited to the scale of their farms, but they are so tied up in identifying with "this is what a real farmer does and is", that they are just stuck, and they suffer, and the result will eventually be to either go to mid-to-large scale monocropping (to deal with profit loss from misplaced methodology), or to burn out and quit. The new farmers have to create something VERY different (not just slightly) than what's been done, if they're going to be the solution to the current mess.

    2 years ago

  • imogenskyefreeman

    Imogen Skye Freeman from InkPaintings says:

    Thanks for this article. :) It's such an important topic and there are so many really amazing people making the changes that are needed, with boldness, competence, willingness, and compassion. Bravo! :)

    2 years ago

  • wheatleypaperworks

    M Wheatley from wheatleypaperworks says:

    I have such respect and admiration for this new breed of farmer. They go quietly about their business tilling; seeding; watering and harvesting and the most amazing things happen. (And sometimes the most devastating things.)God bless their tired bones.

    2 years ago

  • RenataandJonathan
  • izodesign

    izodesign from izodesign says:

    Thank you! What an inspiration.

    2 years ago

  • moonula

    moonula from MoonulaVintage says:

    Thank goodness there is a new generation willing to buck the trend of huge agri-businesses. Support your local farmer and, at the very least, buy one thing from your farmer's market once a week! Keep these folks going!

    2 years ago

  • ValliCraftEmporium

    ValliCraftEmporium from ValliCraftEmporium says:

    Wonderful story! Looking forward to your book. Yeah! Biodiversity!

    2 years ago

  • jmayoriginals

    jean from jmayoriginals says:

    i love this story. thanks so much for sharing! in less than 10 years from now i plan on having my very own small farm. i'm putting the book on my must-read list.

    2 years ago

  • fieldtrip

    Amy from fieldtrip says:

    i'm so glad you're sharing this book - after seeing food inc. these types of topics are on my mind big time these days. i'll definitely be checking it out. off to download the kindle preview now :)

    2 years ago

  • oldyellowhorsegifts

    yellowhorsewoman from oldyellowhorsegifts says:

    Love to see so many working to promote people being more in control of their food security, food safety and hope for the future =)

    2 years ago

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties says:

    Such a great story!

    2 years ago

  • 4EnvisioningVintage

    Tracy from 4EnvisioningVintage says:

    Great to see another generation of farmers & will be ordering the book

    2 years ago

  • silviaberrios1

    Silvia Berrios from DesignsbySilvia says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful and inspirational story. I took classes about organic farming for almost two years in 2009, and I immediately started to practice what I learned in class. I live in Southern CA, so now basically 80% of my fruit and vegetables comes from my orchard. I work approx. 20 to 25 hours a week just doing that, but I am now seeing the fruits of my hard labor. I have no words to express how happy I am when I am doing this type of work. I am sharing with my neighbors some of this year bounty, especially my heirloom tomatoes. Some of them have some goodies I don't grow, so we basically exchange them.

    2 years ago

  • lalitkhatri

    Lalit Khatri says:

    I am very impressed, astonishing work. I will forward this blog to all my closest.

    2 years ago

  • buffalogirls

    Ludmilla from buffalogirls says:

    We are living our organic small ranch dream, living on 80 acres, organic garden, chickens, sheep and a little Etsy shop, how great is that?

    2 years ago

  • my2handsstudio

    Donna from my2handsstudio says:

    I loved this post, was married to a dairy farmer in another Lifetime, the stories of his childhood were precious.

    2 years ago

  • partytymeshop

    Jessica from partytymeshop says:

    Fantastic organization and wonderful article!

    2 years ago

  • BohemianFarmgirl

    Christina from BohemianFarmgirl says:

    How inspirational! I soooooo long for a farm of my own.... Greenhorn Wannabe

    2 years ago

  • thewomensrepublic

    Sara Brazil from SararaVintage says:

    I currently live on what was a farmhouse rebuilt in the 1920s right outside NYC. The long history of the land itself, in the same family beginning in the 1800s is amazing. It reminds me of my roots and allows me a little peace. What these young farmers are doing is admirable.

    2 years ago

  • needleandfelt

    Amy from needleandfelt says:

    Yay, so happy you featured them!! I look forward to reading their book. p.s. happiness is a sweet little lamb :)

    2 years ago

  • DewyMorningVintage

    DewyMorningVintage from DewyMorningVintage says:

    Very interesting...my grandfathers were both farmers..how many people will be able to say that in the near future..not too many. This is a great article and organization! p.s. Lambs are so adorable!

    2 years ago

  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags says:

    Love to read ! And i hope lots of people will choose this way for natural and healty life, for future !

    2 years ago

  • milocreativestudios

    milocreativestudios from MiloCreativeStudios says:

    What a wonderful article! Thank you for sharing your story!

    2 years ago

  • ReclaimedandRustic

    Zach Moss from ReclaimedandRustic says:

    I love this story:)

    2 years ago

  • MandyBesek

    MandyBesek from MandyBesek says:

    I would love to read more blog posts about this topic

    2 years ago

  • Craftelina

    vik and ig from Craftelina says:

    Many thanks for this story and Greenhorns initiative. We spread the word about it! The farming subject is close to our hearts and we try to grow things too. Good luck to all idie local farmers!

    2 years ago

  • busybonniebee
  • TheMillineryShop

    Marcia Lacher from TheMillineryShop says: Featured

    I have the farmer in me. My little kitchen garden draws me to it early in the morning and is a respite for me all day long. To take it to a professional level is both inspiring and brave and can only come from a true love of watching things grow.

    2 years ago

  • leahwilson1

    Leah Wilson from leahwilson1 says:

    I think the idea of young folks growing their own food is awesome. I've been growing food for a lot of years, I'm what you call a want -to -be farmer.I'm too old now to start a farm but will encourage anyone under or over the age of 60 to try it ,It's a grand feeling to nurture and watch you own garden grow,even if it's only one tomato plant ,it's farming. Thank you so much for this article. I will read the book.

    2 years ago

  • leahwilson1

    Leah Wilson from leahwilson1 says:

    This is a wonderful idea.Our country is in dire need of young farmers, not that the older ones havent done a great job, they have.Our young people need to know how to grow food if it's only one tomato plant .Thats a start.Thank for the Greenhornes.

    2 years ago

  • gildedingypsy

    gilded in gypsy from gildedingypsy says:

    What a fascinating story! I always thought it would be very interesting to own your own farm. I have a few plants that I grow, but nothing compared to the challenges of your own farm, I'm sure.

    2 years ago

  • TheSunshineGrove

    Natalie and Jeremy from TheSunshineGrove says:

    Thank you for this story. We had never heard of Greenhorns but now are very excited to learn more. Although we live in the suburbs we have raised bed gardens, vermicompost all alongside our dogs. At our recent county fair we read that only 4% of the US population are farmers. Educating the nation on our farmers and what they do is important for our future and the need for more agricultural programs.

    2 years ago

  • SBuss

    Sherri from BurninLoveJewelry says:

    Thank goodness for people like you and the farms you are growing. giving us options to the corporate giant Monsanto. There are people that do care and don't want Genetically Modified Food or everything sprayed with Round Up. This is getting to be a scary world when the corporations continuously with our food. Keep up the good work. Congratulations on being featured!!

    2 years ago

  • DreamJewelrySupplies
  • katrinaalana

    Katrina Alana from KatrinaAlana says:

    Very inspirational. It's wonderful to know there's an organization dedicated to helping the next generation farmers.

    2 years ago

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects from PoetryofObjects says:

    Just back from Solar Fest in Vermont. A weekend with greenhorns, workshops, music and living with a tribe of folks for the weekend that embrace a lifestlye of sustainability and small scale food growing was just perfect. Thank you for sharing what's important and possible...

    2 years ago

  • LeesBeesNJ

    Leeann Coleman from LeesBeesNJ says:

    I just bought the farm of my dreams - it's not the biggest in the world, but it's all mine. My land. My place. What a wonderful thing to be able to say! Stick to your dreams. Sometimes they don't come to fulfillment right away (I'm 52) but with perseverance they do. Your land! Your place! I blog about my becomine-a-farmer experience at www.silverspringfarm.org Bee happy, all! Dream! Dream!!!

    2 years ago

  • ULLIkarnerART

    Ulli Karner from ULLIkarnerART says:

    Growing up in Austria I remember there is nothing better then fresh Milk from the farm next door and fresh veggies from my moms garden. Great Dream and great blog - thanks for sharing ;-)

    2 years ago

  • ViixC

    Vic Coolidge from SepiaTree says:

    My Grandfather owned a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin he worked it till the day he died. Money was tight so he didn't have a lot of things and free time was scarce so the only things he made where for the farm. One thing he did leave behind fit into a small box. Whenever he plowed his fields he watched the dirt behind him. If he seen anything out of the ordinary he would stop and grab it. He ended up leaving behind a very large collection of Indian arrow heads and a spear spear heads. Just something to keep in mind while tilling your field.

    2 years ago

  • stonebridgeworks

    stonebridgeworks from stonebridgeworks says:

    Our CSA is in its 21st season and more than ever, we believe that community can be created around food production. Growing wonderful food brings people together around so many important issues: land and water rights, climate change, organic ecology, and cross-generational outreach. Our motto at Stonebridge is "When the community feeds itself, the land and the people prosper"--that's why we farm.

    2 years ago

  • BSandBuf

    Natalie Durham from brightstarandbuffalo says:

    My small family and I bought a modest piece of acreage nearly one year ago...to begin our new life as "Fartists" (farmer/artists)...it has been the most difficult/rewarding year of my life. Thank you so much for creating a movement to help support and inspire a new generation of farmers. Our blog: http://tfm.typepad.com/the_fartists_manifesto

    2 years ago

  • BSandBuf

    Natalie Durham from brightstarandbuffalo says:

    I tried to comment before and can't find my comment in this thread so please forgive if this is redundant... I am fresh to farm life. My small family and I bought a modest piece of raw land in the high desert of Northern Arizona a little over one year ago...to begin our new life as "fartists" (farmer/artists). This has been the most difficult/rewarding year of my life. Thank you for creating Greenhorns...I look forward to finding more and more inspiration for our way of life! My husband and I blog at: http://tfm.typepad.com/the_fartists_manifesto Natalie

    2 years ago

  • pickitfreshfarm

    pickitfreshfarm says:

    My husband and I are new farmers. We are in our second year of a small production and growing. We would not be considered young farmers but definitely young at heart. There is a most rewarding feeling about planting and watching your vegetables grow knowing you are doing good for the land and for your community. Our goal to to invite people to our farm and let them spend time seeing how food grows and picking their own fresh vegetables. It has been proven that this is a great step to getting young children to eat healthier.

    2 years ago

  • ParisianDreams

    ParisianDreams from ParisianDreams says:

    Good article. If people like a rural landscape, they should support their local farmers.

    2 years ago

  • Rembrandtrocks

    Celena McMahon from Rembrandtrocks says:

    Lovely Inspirational story-we too had a family business-love it!

    2 years ago

  • crissymatt

    Mialma says:

    I love this article so much. But I am curious about what kind of sheep is the lady carrying? :)

    2 years ago

  • discountdesires

    Heather J from DiscountDesires says:

    Great article!

    2 years ago

  • 12bookdog

    12bookdog says:

    It's reassuring to know that there are a lot of people out there who are dedicated to continue farming in a family and community based way. The networking and building of ties between small farmers is absolutely as necessary as learning hundreds of how-tos and marketing. Having grown up on a family dairy farm in the 50's and 60's, the unrelenting work and isolation drove many of my generation and the next away, not to mention the need for income security. It is important that not all the arable land belong to factory or gentlemen farmers - maybe that''s nostalgic, but it seems the only way respect for the land and water can be taught to new generations.

    2 years ago

  • nettesneedle

    Jeanette from nettesneedle says:

    So inspiring, brings a lovely warm feeling to know that so many young people are so concerned about farming and growing things on all different levels.

    2 years ago

  • Demoriam

    Debra Gordon from DGordonDesigns says:

    There is something nice about being self sufficient. Farming whether you own a hobby farm or full size - it's a lot of work. But very rewarding. Great article!

    2 years ago