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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603584388
Year Added to Catalog: 2012
Book Format: Paperback
Book Art: B&W images
Dimensions: 7 x 10
Number of Pages: 306
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Release Date: December 3, 2012
Web Product ID: 699

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Farms with a Future

Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business

by Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Foreword by Richard Wiswall

"Farms with a Future should be handed out to every budding young farmer in America. Thistlethwaite guides us through the daunting process of creating a viable small farm by sharing hard-earned lessons of her own, and from experienced farmers she met while researching this book. Indispensable!"

Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

As communities seek greater resiliency in the wake of economic upheaval, job loss, climate change and global food shortages, local farmers are seen as a key resource to help reinvigorate, or create, a diversified, regionalized, ecologically-based food system. Farms with a Future explores the passion, creativity, and entrepreneurship that’s needed to help family farms find their niche and remain sustainable and successful in an age of agribusiness and consolidation.

What is a farm with a future? What will make it sustainable and resilient? And what key qualities and skills does a farmer need in today’s climate to be successful?

Rebecca Thistlethwaite addresses these and other crucial questions in this must-read book for anyone aspiring to get into small to mid-scale market farming, or who wants to make their existing farm more dynamic, profitable, and, above all, sustainable.

A growing interest in locally-grown food is evident: In 2008, local food sales (direct to consumers or direct to restaurants/retailers) totaled $4.8 billion dollars, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Those sales were predicted to top $7 billion by the end of 2011.

An experienced farmer herself, Thistlethwaite does not idealize or romanticize her subject in Farms with a Future. “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,” the author warns.

Thistlethwaite and her husband took a one-year sabbatical and traveled the length and breadth of the United States to live and work alongside some of the nation’s most innovative farmers to learn some of their best practices, and a whole lot about what doesn’t work too.

Farms with a Future introduces readers to some of the country’s most innovative farmers who are embracing their “inner entrepreneur”: unabashedly marketing and sharing the pride they have for what they produce; building systems and finding efficiencies and cost savings so they don’t have to keep raising prices every year; shying away from huge debt loads by developing ways to build their businesses patiently over time using earned income or creative arrangements with their community of customers; harnessing natural processes to ensure they are not degrading the natural resources the farms depend upon, and treating their employees and volunteers like family.

While many other books address agricultural production, very few talk about business management for long-term sustainability. Farms with a Future will help guide farmers to manage for long-term sustainability and build a triple-bottom-line farming business focused on economic viability, social justice, and ecological soundness.


About the Author

Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Rebecca Thistlethwaite is the author of Farms with a Future. She runs a small farm and food business consulting firm called Sustain Consulting and is starting a small homestead in Oregon with her husband, Jim Dunlop, and their daughter Fiona. They previously operated TLC Ranch in Watsonville, CA, where they raised organic, pastured livestock and poultry for direct markets across Northern California. Rebecca currently serves on the board of the Sustainable Food Trade Association as well as the Columbia Gorge Earth Center and writes for blogs such as "Cooking Up a Story" and her own blog "Honest Meat". Her ...

View Rebecca's full profile page >





Price: $29.95
Format: Paperback
Status: Available to Ship
Ships: Next day


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Rebecca Thistlethwaite's Upcoming Events

  • Rebecca Thistlethwaite at WA Mother Earth News Fair
    Mother Earth News Fair, Puyallup WA
    May 31, 2014, 12:00 pm

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