Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Author
Rebecca Thistlethwaite. Chelsea Green, $29.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-60358-438-8
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-60358-439-5
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In this down-to-earth, business-oriented guide to running a farm, Thistlethwaite gives new and prospective farmers a hard-nosed taste of what it takes to run a sustainable farm and what steps are needed to succeed in this field, drawing on her six years of farming and a yearlong adventure visiting and interviewing small farmers across America. The book covers topics familiar to anyone starting a business—market niches, business plans, financing, accounting, human resources—in the context of farming, as well as farm-specific issues like finding land, choosing equipment, managing soil and water, harvesting, and processing. These sometimes dry subjects are leavened with instructive and inspiring stories about a wide variety of inventive, persistent farmers from Long Island and Vermont to Texas and Montana, ranging from novices to old-timers. Thistlethwaite’s experience teaching beginning farmers is evident in the logical, easy-to-follow, realistic but encouraging text, which will help separate the wheat from the chaff. “If you are not prepared for some serious hard work, inclement weather, dirt lodged in every crevice of your body, and being so dog-tired that you fall into your easy chair at night and don’t wake up until the next morning, then you might look into another vocation,” she says. (Jan.)
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