Saturday, December 26, 2009

one of the crazies

I'm currently reading Joel Salatin's You Can Farm, which is fantastic, but it's raising a lot of questions. Not questions for Joel concerning his methods and philosophy (I think the man's brilliant) but questions for me. This book is making me realize how society (in general) views farming as a career choice. The most prominent of all questions the book's raised so far was this: "Do people think I'm crazy for wanting to be a Shepherd in the 21st century?"

His answer: yes.

The book opens up with the harsh reality that if you want to pursue a profitable, family-friendly, self-employed life as a small farmer—you're going to run into a lot of naysayers. It's just not something a lot of people want to do or even want to understand anymore. Young people from non-agricultural backgrounds without farming friends are going to meet a lot of push back when they "come out of the chicken coop" and admit: Yes, they want to be farmers. To some people that's equivalent to happiness suicide. Thanks to the distance from our food sources the supermarket grants us, the perception of farming is bleak. People think farming for a living is back-breaking, mindless, drudgery. To some, saying you want to start a farm is like saying you want to be a Navy Seal for kicks. Why would anyone put themselves through that?

This makes me ask another question. When did work become bad? And not just work, when did putting any sort of effort into our tasks of eating, clothing, and sheltering ourselves become crazy?


Blogger Sherry Sutherby said...

Not only crazy, but illegal. Read Joel's "Everything I want to do is Illegal" and you'll be even more committed to make this plunge.

I hope to meet his son, Daniel, in Michigan in January when he is here for a conference on small farming. We have followed Joel's practices for years now.

BTW, his video is also well worth the $$. ;)

December 26, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

"when did putting any sort of effort into our tasks of eating, clothing, and sheltering ourselves become crazy?"

I think social attitudes to farming are particularly bad. Imagine going to a party and telling someone you're in the process of building your own home - log home, strawbale, yurt, stick frame, whatever. You know that the reactions would run the following range: impressed, curious, astounded, admiring. Sure, there would be a little skepticism here or there, maybe some mild condescension from the odd professional builder. But by and large positive. No way are those the attitudes that come back in response to farming or even homesteading.

People may be lazy or completely unskilled when it comes to cooking, but no one looks at me like I'm crazy when I mention the fact that I teach cooking classes. I would imagine that people who make their own clothes aren't treated as though they're crazy either. Farming just comes in for particular and unfathomable scorn in this country. Very sad.

December 26, 2009 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

what does being a shepherd in the 21st century mean? what is the job description?

December 26, 2009 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

I think it too a hit in the 60's with the "if it feels good, do it" thinking and then another in the 70's-80's when video games starting replacing chores for kids. Spock didn't help when he told the nation we were ruining our kids, but many people don't realize that he reversed his whole thinking on child rearing before it was over. He admitted that his theories, if carried out, would ruin the nation. We would be spoiled and selfish and lazy... Guess what?? It worked! If it doesn't give instant gratification, don't bother. But I've found that good things come to those who wait..sometimes a LOOONG, LOOONG time. I could have gone to any store and bought 3 blankets to give to my friends in 15minutes flat, much cheaper, much quicker. But instead, I shopped for flannel fabric, cut it up, added some more, sewed the squares, matched them in rows, sewed the rows 6x10, repeated 2 more times, then tied them with batting and backing, and gave them to 3 special friends for Christmas. These friends know what it took and what it meant...they get it. some get it, but don't want to do it; some never get it.

December 26, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Jo - I mean it literally. To raise sheep in 2010.

December 26, 2009 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

As a non-Christian, unschooling, wanna be homesteader, living in Kentucky, I'm amongst the craziest of the crazies. Needless to say I have very few friends, and the ones I do have really don't know what to make of me most of the time. So I just want to thank you again Jenna for letting me know that I'm not alone. Thank you for keeping me focused on the important things in my life. Wether it's teaching my kids, or cooking a fine meal, the extra time and effort put into it makes it all the more rewarding.
I agree with Karen Sue. And I also I think that girls growing up in the 80's were discouraged from doing "girlie things" such as cooking and sewing. Everthing was about getting our fair share in a man's world. I can also remember the FFA kids getting picked on by the college bound students. Everything was about technology and cooporations. We were being geared to be good little producers and consumers,and unfortuanately that school of thought still prevails. But we're on the leading edge of a new school of thought, and I'm so proud to be part of this fine community.

December 26, 2009 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Hi Jenna,

I am also reading this book over the holidays. It's true too... people think I am crazy for wanting to farm... especially people my age (mid-twenties) I hear: "dirty" "hard" and they seem to feel my lack of ability to travel the world horrifying. I'm sure you've heard it all before.

I think the secret is to talk about your dreams with people who understand them and will support you. My parents don't understand why I would want to farm, but they think I should do it if I want to.

I am so thankful that your blog exists. It's a place where the rest of us dreamers can come and feel like it's possible.

December 26, 2009 at 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're in a great position - you're ahead of the curve, and the pendulum is swinging back your way, I'm sure of it.

I think we got away from self-sufficiency when electronics opened the world up. Small, rual communities weren't as isolated anymore. Student loans made it possible for farm kids to get a university education and leave the farm if they wanted to. Farms used to be family affairs, necessary for survival and impossible to get away from. Farms actually were a burden to people born into the life who didn't want to live it.

Like feminism opened up options for women, there was a time when any woman who choose to do traditional "women's work" like raising her kids, cooking and knitting was scorned by the women's movement. Two generations later, knitting is back and it's a luxury passtime.

My point is I believe the small farm is on it's way back. Ten years ago I didn't even know what a farmers market was, now it seems like every town and big city has one every week. Every year there are more books out about living in harmony with the environment, the evils of factory farms, the merits of buying local. The winds of change are blowin' our way.

I'm imagining what your job description would look like:

- responsible for X head of sheep, managed daily maintenance tasks, rotated grazing, health checks etc.
- worked in cooperation with two border collies, excellent communication skills
- successfully facilitated the annual sheep shear
- coordinated processing of raw wool, established lasting relationships with fiber clients and fellow farmers

December 26, 2009 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You get used to it after awhile, being looked at as crazy. At first, my co-workers laughed at me for accidentally wearing my "barn shoes" to work, and finding feathers on my sweater. But now, they like the eggs and the stories I tell. I just got pot belly pigs for yard ornaments, (I already have chickens)and I was talking to a co-worker about them, how much noise they make when they eat, etc. She looked at me and said "I never really understood the terms "pecking order" and "eat like a pig" till I met you". Yes, I am the amusement of the department, but now, when they want to know what food chemicals to watch for on packages, they come to me. I'm changing the world, one person at a time.

December 26, 2009 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

There were several reasons many people left the farming life. One was many bad seasons when they couldn't make a living, lack of retirement income or being able to put enough away for retirement and lack of medical benefits.
Unfortunately we need money to live now. Farming can be a hard life but it can also be a rewarding life if you can find a balance and a healthy savings account.

December 26, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I am from Iowa and to be a farmer they say you have to be half nuts. It's the challenge and the work that keep the small people coming back. But we are mostly Gmo corn and bean too. I say go for it, I'd be running a CSA if my husband would let me!

December 26, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Hi Jenna,

Have you read Bill Coperthwaite's book: A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity? He has some interesting things to say about "work". I really admire this man and he is practically your neighbor. He lives in Maine. Check out his book. It may hit a sweet note for you.

December 26, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger John said...

Jenna, You may have already seen this but there is a documentary coming out on sheep herding...

It looks pretty interesting.
On the farming note, I think what isn't being considered by those that think it crazy is the intimate and immediate connection between us and our world that farming gives. The world that provides life, that we have become so ridiculously disconnected from is what we are looking for again. What, in any logical discussion, could be seen as crazy in that?

December 26, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this question; it's something my father and I would talk about on occasion, and I'm lucky that I've got his thoughts on tape from an interview I did with him for an oral history project during my undergrad years. A little backstory, my father was born and raised on our family farm, and he witnessed a lot of societal and cultural changes from the 1950s through his passing three years ago. He knew that I wanted to farm, to pick up where my grandfather left off, and my father concentrated on the labor and isolation of farm life. If you dairy, and he did growing up, you have to be there twice a day, every day, in order to take care of the cattle. You need to be present to take care of the garden and the crops; while modern petrochemicals might make the task "somewhat" easier today, you still have to do the work. If you choose to go organic, you have to be in the field and garden cultivating or the weeds will choke you out. Farming is hard work; it's rewarding, but it's hard work.

As an historian, I see a pattern of changes that began after the Civil War and sped up as the twentieth century rolled along, running headlong into modernity after WWII. After the Civil War with the rise of the industrial revolution farmers had access to more and better machinery, making them more productive. People everywhere began buying into the mindset of the separate spheres for men and women, rather than the reality of shared household labor. We as a culture developed the modern notions of childhood as a time of leisure and education, rather than an apprenticeship for life. With these changes came pushes for more and better and faster and easier, all of which came with a price tag that made us work harder and longer in order to afford those machines that were supposed to make our lives easier. It's a model that applies to all of American life and not just the rural life. Farmers have historically been cash-poor; to push them to get big or get out, to get more equipment to make their lives easier and work harder to get that equipment, well, it showed younger generations that farming just worked you to death. And so many people, just like my grandparents, pushed their children out of agriculture and into the colleges so that they could have more to life than just staring at the hood of a tractor, hoping that the crop somehow pays off this year's debt so that they can get a bigger loan next year.

I hope I haven't rambled too much. As I said, this is something that I've thought a lot about. So many things have conspired in our history to bring us to this point that we could talk about this forever. And if that percolator's got something good and hot and black in it, I might just be tempted.

December 26, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

John, If you were in Vermont I'd buy you a drink for sharing that link with me! Amazing!

December 26, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 26, 2009 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger KimT said...

I totally want a farm! But, alas, my husband does not......Go keep pursuing your goal. A lot of us wannabes are living vicariously through you and others like you.

December 26, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, I read a REALLY good book today...yours! My Mom bought "Made from Scratch" for me for Christmas and I loved every second of it. Wonderful job!

December 26, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I don't think it's just farming. As a society, we have been encouraged to not "do" for ourselves. I live on a small suburban lot. I have two small raised bed gardens, preserve most of the food we eat, know how to do simple repairs and maintenance.

Our friends, family, and acquaintances do not know how to do this or are even capable of figuring out how to do it. I'm puzzled that people see nothing wrong with being unable to do physical things for themselves.

But they sure do think I'm weird for it.

December 26, 2009 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger karl micheal said...

Miss Jenna, all the naysayers are the ones who will never understand what it is or means to plant a seed, watch and tend the plant as it grows and when it is ready harvest the fruit of the seed. They have never, nor will they ever, gotten any closer to a farm than going to the grocery store, the clothing store or the zoo to see animals. Never for a minute should you ever worry about what anyone else thinks about what you want to do. Life is too short to let others thoughts worry you. Continue to strive towards that goal you have for yourself for 2010and beyond. Everyone who reads this blog of yours supports you one million percent. God bless you maam..karl kimbrel

December 26, 2009 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

You know, its funny, until I started making the change I never realized that my aunt and uncle were small time homesteaders. And, after reading this post I'm reminded about what people say about them, like "why do they have so many animals when they are barely getting by?" and "they're crazy". The funny thing is, I've never tasted better home grown beef and pork. I wouldn't trade that for anything. And they might be just getting by, but think of all the eggs and meat they would have to buy from a store, then they really would be broke. And the animals they are raising aren't all full of who knows what comes in the meat at the supermarket! I tip my hat to them now, and look up to them. I know where I can get free advice on things when I finally get to start my little farming paradise. :)

December 26, 2009 at 11:51 PM  
Blogger Fallen Oak said...

When people became specialists; which, ironically, agricultural life allowed to happen. With surplus food and storage capability time was freed up for individuals to become tailors, carpenters, blacksmiths, etc. Before agriculture hunter gatherers were only divided in gender differentiated tasks but just about everyone was able to do everything for themselves. Sheep herding is even closer to the hunter gatherer than agriculture. So you are insane. I strive for hunter gatherer mountain man what does that make me?

December 27, 2009 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Jenna, I agree with Debi that you are providing a valuable networking service for the few, growing all the time, who are choosing a more self-sufficient life and rejecting the cruel and unwholesome food industry. You provide a meeting place here, where like-minded folks can feel less isolated.

I am constantly encouraged by reading stories like yours, about young people going back to farming, livestock raising, homesteading lives. You are (I hope) the wave of the future.

I am in my 70's and can no longer do all that you do, but I do what I can, and try to encourage more to follow.

I think being a shepherd in the 21st century is a wonderful idea!

December 27, 2009 at 5:04 AM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

Everytime I talk to my family and my one co worker who grew up on a farm about growing my own food and raising my own meat they say it's hard work. Seriously? It might be hard work but satisfying in the end.
America has a terrible illness these days and it's called LAZY. Most people will not do anything that wont benifit them immediatly. But I think the things that I've made and done, even if it took me an hour or two, is way more satisfying.
Since I live with my parents I'm very limited to what I can do, a little cooking (because my mom hates what I make), sewing, knitting, gardening (even though it wasn't a huge success, and canning which I just gained this past summer even if my mom had a fit about the gas bill being high.
It's hard to believe that just a few short years ago my parents proccessed jars of food, grew a huge garden, and hunted for meat.

December 27, 2009 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger Linda's Kitchen said...

I think in this country we are teaching our young to get an education and a "good job" By a good job, they mean white collar with good benefits and lots of money.

While that is good for some, not all our children are suited for that type of work or life. There are many who need to be outside building things, farming, etc.

I have always encouraged my children to do what they love. If they follow their passion, then they will find a way to make money and live well.

If your passion is farming (and it seems to be), then you can't go wrong. I think more people should strike out on their own and start their own businesses, whether it be farms or anything else. This may solve some of the economic problems in our country.

So, no, I don't think you are crazy at all and I am enjoying reading about your adventures!

December 27, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, those of us who walk the less well-beaten path are so blessed with this "Internet" thing. How on earth did we find each other before it? How did we find like-minded friends and far-distant neighbors blazing a similar trail to ask questions of and share a laugh with? In our 21st century times, farming and herding may be rare, but so is the fellowship!

December 27, 2009 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

From an ethics course I learned Thomas Jefferson's vision for the first thirteen colonies was for everyone to be a farmer and to help each other. Of course, Jefferson and Washington were plantation owners, so they weren't necessarily including themselves.

In those days, as now, the chief drawback for farming is that you are at the mercy of the elements. You can't control the weather. If you have a bad season, most likely your neighbors and your family had one, too, so you had not recourse to fall back on.

Early colonials turned to tobacco as a fast and easy cash crop. Cash provided the buffer for the weather. However, tobacco depleted the soil of nutrients. Cereal grains are the best for enriching the soil. The depletion by tobacco was such a problem that even though Jefferson was the third US president, he commissioned Louis and Clark to explore through to the west coast and instituted the Louisana Purchase, which doubled the land size of the US.

What lesson for today? Plan to grow and store food to guard against the ravages of the weather. As for retirement, you need either younger family or younger apprentices to keep your farm growing.

December 27, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger RayMan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 27, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

I think it's largely about power. The corporate world does not want the consumer to have power over their lives. And being able to feed, clothe, and shelter ones self is power! So, the media engines are set in motion, and the consumer is sold on the idea that farming, weaving, building, and all other forms of useful skills, are beyond their ability, and nothing but soulless drudgery anyway. "...So just buy our prepackaged crappy food and shoddy clothes and while you're at it a uninspired cracker box house complete with a colossal 30 year mortgage. Do you feel like you're living the American dream now? Good. Why not add 10, 20, or $30,000 worth of credit card debt to your obligations?" What you now have is a financial slave for life.

Knowledge is power. "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."

December 27, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...

And those that think you are the craziest are the farmers.

There's a couple of reason's and some thoughts in general.

Most farmers are retirement age, my husband is one of the few "young guys". They have worked with little gain and at the mercy of the commodity markets. They for the most part are inflexible to change - farming practises, government legislation etc. Their children have watched this and have wanted more and with their parents blessing have done so - gone to the city. Therefore most farmers think you are crazy.

Those in the city, think of farms as their personal playground and not private property. As a social activity, not something you'd even want to work at. Plus ask anyone in the downtown of a major city and their kids will tell you meat comes from a grocery store. So the truth is they haven't a clue and therefore a mystery of why you'd even want to do it.

Farming, depending on what your end goal is, is not a lark or a whim. If you are looking for a few eggs, veggies, a calf for the freezer.... it can be done, it's a lot of work, but doable.

To make a living at it, you need to view it as a job. Complete with business plan. Just putting up a veggie stand at the end of the lane won't pay the bills. The days of farming and making a living just by putting a crop in the ground are long gone.

December 27, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger karental said...

Thanks to everyone for their comments. This comment thread has provided much food for thought. One thing I love about this blog and its readers is the respectful discourse.



December 27, 2009 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Uh, no, I hope you're not crazy, because then I'd be crazy. Being a single woman shepherd is totally doable. And it keeps you sane :o) Joel Salatin is great. Chickens go great with sheep, btw.

December 27, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Farmer's Daughter said...

As a farm kid, I was extremely embarrassed to admit to my friends that I'd like to live on a farm someday. When we were really young, they all thought it was so cool to have animals and we were so lucky. Then as a teenager and young adult, they couldn't understand why I'd want to do it all. And as one of only a few farming families in town, my pickings for a future mate were slim, too! Fortunately, I did find my tractor-driving prince charming who's vision for the future completed mine (literally: we raise crops and his family raises meat... all set!)

But now, I've connected with so many people through my blog. That's why the internet is so great, because like-minded people can connect.

December 27, 2009 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger Jayme Goffin, The Coop Keeper said...

Jenna...yesterday I checked your book out of the library. I was thrilled to find it since I'd just posted on my blog "My Quest for A Simple Life" Your book was so good for my soul! I've got 10 laying hens, and live on three acres. I want a milk cow so bad I can taste it! My friends think I'm crazy. I've still got a long way to go, but I'm loving the journey.

Thanks for the inspiration!

December 27, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Jayme, have you looked into Dexter cows? They're only about three and a half feet tall and can supposedly be kept on and acre or two of land. Their also dual purpose, so you could use the calfs for meat.

December 27, 2009 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

David Shearer - I completely agree. I'd like to tack on my observation of pushing teenagers to make major life choices - pick a career in grade 9 so you can stream your courses to get into the college / university, and get that job. If you don't you'll be flipping burgers!

As a result a lot of people to through post secondary education because they don't know what else to do. And then they graduate with a ton of student debt.

Debt is the modern form of indenturement. When you graduate in your early 20s owing $20K plus already, you'd better slide into that corporate job as quick as you can and stick to it.

Breaking out on your own is difficult because the system is set up to facilitate the status quo - the debt, the huge mortgage, etc.

As well, how are you going to buy all that great crap you don't need if you aren't making piles of money in a soul-sucking job?

December 27, 2009 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...

Jayme, I just read an article yesterday on the return of "milking Shorthorns". Another dual usage animal.

Also, once upon a time, I knew a farm family that had them and my 4H calf - did well for a city girl :) - was a shorthorn/angus cross.

December 28, 2009 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Jenna: this is such a string of wonderful insights. I can't tell you how little things like hanging my clothes out on the clothesline and having a small garden and canning is just not admired by anyone these days. People are LAZY and seemingly happy to be herded into the masses conforming to the present-day trends without a thought of what is being taken away from them--freedom to be independent of debt, conformity, unhealthy foods, and all the rest that has become commonplace. I'm happy I know how to be self-sufficient and I'm teaching my children as well. They may not use it but they'll know it if they need to rely on it. That is truly a valuable thing. The peace of mind that you can get along on your own skills and creativity is a wonderful gift. Mimi

December 28, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, I just purchased that book as a gift for a dear friend this Christmas. He plans on having his little farm within the next five years. Optimistically, I see a growing movement here. There are quite a few blogs devoted to sustainable and self sufficient ways of life. Best wishes to all on their paths to this life. We are not crazy, quite the contrary I think. We have chosen to live a life that brings us inner happiness and a connectedness to the earth.

December 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, I just purchased that book as a gift for a dear friend this Christmas. He plans on having his little farm within the next five years. Optimistically, I see a growing movement here. There are quite a few blogs devoted to sustainable and self sufficient ways of life. Best wishes to all on their paths to this life. We are not crazy, quite the contrary I think. We have chosen to live a life that brings us inner happiness and a connectedness to the earth.

December 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, I just purchased that book as a gift for a dear friend this Christmas. He plans on having his little farm within the next five years. Optimistically, I see a growing movement here. There are quite a few blogs devoted to sustainable and self sufficient ways of life. Best wishes to all on their paths to this life. We are not crazy, quite the contrary I think. We have chosen to live a life that brings us inner happiness and a connectedness to the earth.

December 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Barb -

Bill Coperthwaite's book is one of my favorite's. I pick it up once a every couple months and read through it. It really strikes a chord with me, and it helps me stay centered and focused on finding purpose in this life.

December 28, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Jenna- you are not crazy, not in the least. The world needs shepherds and farmers going forward, or we won't have wool to wear or sheep's milk cheese, or all manner of food to eat.

Also- it seems from the many blogs I read that link various articles that there is an ever-increasing number of twenty-somethings out there that want to farm. It's becoming cool to farm, and I mean the small, organic concern- not the giant agribusiness concern.

It might be helpful to keep writing and get those kinds of gigs to supplement your farming income until you can go it alone.


December 28, 2009 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Have you seen the movie Food Inc? Joel is in that and very interesting. I got it on netflix, highly recommend. He is in my state Virginia!

December 29, 2009 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My name is Wendy Gray and I work for Polyface Farms and read your blog religiously!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Joel's working on a new book due out in Sept! I'll send you a copy as soon as it's available!!!!

December 30, 2009 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

To answer your last question, I think it was when all these gadgets came out to "make our lives easier". Our culture is ME and NOW and the appreciation of slowing down and satisfaction for doing things yourself have practically gone out the window. Thank goodness not ALL Americans think this way.

December 31, 2009 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Unfortunately many people in our society believe that to be a farmer is to degrade yourself when you could be doing something "productive" and be more successful, according to their definition. It's a sad commentary; however, look at this vast community/network of people around the nation that think differently. We may not be mainstream, but hey, at least we're a stream!

January 10, 2010 at 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think it's possible to make a profit in farming, ranching, herding, etc. and that's what people find unsettling. Not that I think that way but because they sense the truth of it.

You can make a LIVING out of it. You can take care of your needs and have a little left over to barter, sell, whatever, to get what you can't produce. That's the model I think people are so uncomfortable with; they want it all and they don't want to pay the price that comes with having it all. So they end up with a lot of debt, a soul sucking job, and not much else.

I'm coming from a place with a lot more debt load than you and mortgage I'm only even on after 10 years, but I'm heading in the same direction as you. I understand that I'll never get rich doing this, but I choose time over money, satisfaction over a Carribean vacation, and the ability to feed my family over another new car.

I guess it's all in what you want.

January 13, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

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