Starting A Small Farm Business


"It's not that hard to eat right." "I eat only small farm heritages which I have vetted."

And for those of in large cities, we do that how, exactly?

0 2016-09-19 22:21:02 - M

Couldn't agree more!

"Our Policy on Cuba has been wrong starting with the Bay of Pigs."
Absolutely. Kennedy chickened out at the last minute and left us in the lurch!

"We need to respect other people's rights of self-determination."
And demand that the Cuban people's right of self-determination be respected, as in for example, having a say on who governs the farm.

"Certainly Cuba today reflects greater economic and social equality than our own country."
True. Other than one small family (and members of their close circle) with private jets, a maximum-security estate, their own bank in London (look up Havin International) and absolute power over the lives of 11 million servants, everyone else in the island is equally poor.

1 2016-08-11 14:00:34 - Luis Saltiel

This sounds like a good trend to me. Living next to a farm where you can walk and get fresh produce is much better than driving to a supermarket and buying produce made who knows where. And it gives children a good education in how food is produced. What's not to like? Eventually, it would be great to see small neighborhood farms dotting cities, so even city dwellers could stop by a mini farm on their way home to purchase just picked produce for their evening meal.

14 2016-06-15 21:12:54 - Daniel

I don't know where you live but at my Whole Foods nearly all the meat is Step 3 or greater. Step 5 doesn't just mean the animal lived on a farm, but that it was rendered (killed) on the farm where it lived. Most small farmers can't deal with the requirements by USDA to render meat. I'm hugely thankful for Whole Foods' Step system of animal welfare.

6 2015-07-31 10:29:15 - Julie McNamara

I own a farm north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A fourth generation farm I grew up delivering food products to north Pittsburgh and assisted my father during my education years becoming a doctor. The farm is now surrounded by urbanization and natural gas development. This land needs to remain a productive farm not because of a family romance, but because we need productive farm land more that we need another housing development. You can build a house anywhere. You can only farm on good soil.

In our high speed investing, flying, driving, living culture we will do better to invest some of our money, attention, and value in something very slow: soil and farming. Today we have more small farms under 50 acres than ten years ago. These business do not show up on any investor charts or government statistics. They are too small. Small yet these farms are supporting and feeding local communities. They represent high risk and small returns and they feed local communities and local restaurants and hold communities together. It is a beginning. This will only continue if we value the quality of the food we eat, are willing to pay slightly more for fresh, quality food, and are willing to invest our time, attention and some money for it.

Buy local, eat locally grown food and meet the people who grow some of your food. It may not be your life choice, but the quality of your life in many ways depends upon it.

23 2015-05-28 18:17:52 - Matthew

I farm. A very small number of Americans farm, providing most of the food we eat. Farmers are no more greedy than other Americans. Yes, we need new solutions and more thoughtful policies. But America is overwhelmingly a service economy. Most employment is in the service sector. If changes need to be made in order to restore sustainability, won't those changes have to be made by all of us?

That includes bureaucrats, teachers, bankers, etc. Are private jets and Manhattan condos part of the problem? Blue states too. Who, after all, consumes all that meat and fracked energy?

On my farm we are very careful with water use. Our water is more valuable than the land. Farmers are rapidly discovering that truth.

But America is often about excess. Are we willing to restrain excess?

14 2015-05-08 14:18:50 - Ferrington

The entire government subsidized farm system starting with the ability to use underage labor to the use of taxpayer dollars to underwrite farming must come to a stop. The myth of the virtuous small town farmer is used to perpetuate billions in farm subsidies and one of the biggest incentives for illegal labor.

3 2015-03-30 17:39:50 - Chris

Having traveled in rural China over the past 12 years I disagree with the author on several points. First he writes "replacing small rural homes with high-rises, paving over vast swaths of farmland." If 1,000 families move from small rural homes into 30-40 story buildings, farm land is actually created. With average farm sizes in many regions in the east under 1/4 of an acre houses, foot paths and even outhouses take up a significant portion of the arable land, reducing food production. Those same 1,000 families in living a high rise would create more farmland.

Second, the author ignores the fact that much of the migration would occur without government action, but those migrants have little access to education or medical resources. You may disagree with the governments methods, but the migration will occur with or without the government.

Yes there is a huge migration in China, but it is a natural part of development. Please don't think that somehow trying to survive on a 2 mu (1/8 of a HA) farm that brings in less than $300/year of income is a harmonious life.

2 2015-03-22 10:24:02 - JJ
In New Jersey, we are treated to an array of farm-to-table restaurants, as well as small mom & pop diners that run the gamut. There are big named organic supermarkets and the regular ones, in my area at least, have large organic sections. Small farms and CSAs abound, and many of us have gardens in the backyard. But there are too many large swaths of the country where this is not the case. Perhaps the choice of where to live is just as important.
1 2014-11-08 13:22:03 - Jennifer

Post to Starting A Small Farm Business (login required)

33Demise of the Southern Democrat Is Now Nearly Complete799Inequality Is a Drag957A Scourge Is Spreading. M.T.A.’s Cure? Dude, Close Your Legs.489The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street1194Living Wages, Rarity for U.S. Fast-Food Workers, Served Up in Denmark989The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio104The Profits-Investment Disconnect580U.S. to Commit Up to 3,000 Troops to Fight Ebola in Africa245Living on Purpose409Staten Island Man Died From Chokehold During Arrest, Autopsy Finds355Poor Sanitation in India May Afflict Well-Fed Children With Malnutrition775After Losing Scottish Independence Vote, Alex Salmond Will Resign323How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Parties1Cambodians Gather to Pray, Offer Gifts for 'Killing Fields' Dead1338The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food108My Selfie, Myself1457Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll374A Political Crystal Ball219An Affair to Remember, Differently52Live Updates: Aftermath of Grand Jury's Decision in Michael Brown Shooting in Ferguson1511Shooting Accounts Differ as Holder Schedules Visit to Ferguson101Teenagers Stand Up to Backpage4380A Plea for Caution From Russia818How Obama Lost America334Death by Data281In Florida Student Assaults, an Added Burden on Accusers1625A Punch Is Seen, and a Player Is Out164 The Shifting Politics of Cuba Policy 2207Under Pressure, Cuomo Says Ebola Quarantines Can Be Spent at Home652Germany Fights Population Drop494Trayvon Martin Case Shadowed by Series of Police Missteps167It Takes a Mentor622House Votes to Sue Obama for Overstepping Powers597Don’t Muzzle the Clown443The Humanist Vocation192Weak Oversight, Deadly Cars163More on Sleeping Pills and Older Adults1092The Big Lie Behind Voter ID Laws 128‘Princelings’ in China Use Family Ties to Gain Riches495Doctors Denounce Cancer Drug Prices of $100,000 a Year445Let’s Reject the ‘Inevitable’530Will Portland Always Be a Retirement Community for the Young?733On Election’s Eve, G.O.P. Is Confident, but Voters Are Sour118The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K 1031One Day in an Elevator With Obama, Then Out of a Job630Ultra-Orthodox Shun Their Own for Reporting Child Sexual Abuse290Cuomo’s Gun Law Plays Well Downstate but Alienates Upstate 999Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?449Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize in Literature1022Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt