When he purchased four acres of land on Vashon Island, Kurt Timmermeister was only looking for an affordable home near the restaurants he ran in Seattle. But as he slowly settled into his new property, he became awakened to the connection between what he ate and where it came from: a hive of bees provided honey, a young cow could give fresh milk, an apple orchard allowed him to make vinegar. With refreshing honesty, Timmermeister details the initial stumbles and subsequent realities he faced as he established a profitable farm for himself. Personal yet practical, Growing a Farmer will entirely recast the way we think about our relationship to the food we consume.
"Charming . . . . [Kurt Timmermeister] narrates his personal journey with an open, straightforward spirit." (Wall Street Journal)
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So you want to be a farmer?
Yes. The author's journey from an urban restaurant owner to an accomplished small farmer over a number of years is a story worth reading (or hearing).
Most books about small farming are not memoirs, but "how to" books, so it is hard to compare. Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living, which is part memoir, might come close.
There were not really "scenes", but the author's descriptions of the habits of the various animals he has raised are interesting.
No. For one thing, it is too long for that. For another, too much information at one time is hard to absorb. I did listen to it consistently and was never bored.
Yes. About 20 years ago I was able to acquire my present residence and 6 acres from a "don't wanter." I didn't really know what to do with it, but began to plant vegetables (primarily tomatoes). Today, I plant a variety of vegetables including many heirloom tomato varieties. This book really struck a chord with me as the author related his progress through various experiences growing vegetables and fruits and raising farm animals, actually making a living from his endeavors. Although I have occasionally thought about raising animals, I have concluded that it would require too much time and dedication. His description of raising the animals to provide eggs and dairy products, through actual slaughter for meat, were detailed and fascinating. They also reinforced my conclusion that I'm not really cut out for that level of commitment. I did appreciate his concept of the "50 year plan," making gradual improvements year by year, and like to think I do that myself.
I also gave 5 stars for the narrator, who sounded as if he might have been the actual author.
Honest and educational
- Tracy Bunnell