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Paperback You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise Book

ISBN: 0963810928

ISBN13: 9780963810922

You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farm Enterprise

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Book Overview

Have you ever desired, deep within your soul, to make a comfortable full-time living from a farming enterprise? Too often people dare not even vocalize this desire because it seems absurd. It's like thinking the unthinkable. After all, the farm population is dwindling. It takes too much capital to start. The pay is too low. The working conditions are dusty, smelly and noisy: not the place to raise a family. This is all true, and more, for most farmers...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Not for the faint of heart

If you don't like reality checks, don't read this book. With his no-nonsense attitude, Salatin walks you through several opportunities in farming that show tremendous potential as profitable enterprises, and he also tells you what to stay away from and why (e.g. starting a horse or alpaca farm is NOT the best way to break into farming and turn a real profit, no matter how pretty or cuddly they may be). Yes, occasionally he does break into a radical conservative rant--but who cares what he thinks about healthcare and New York City? What matters to me is that I come away from the book equipped with knowledge that will help me make wiser decisions. For someone like me who's starting from scratch, what I want to know is how I will do things differently after reading this book, and in that regard, this book was EXCELLENT. The most important message that Salatin drilled through my head with "You Can Farm" is this: Carve your niche first, start the farm later. Most of us have it backwards. Perhaps too many people have seen "Field of Dreams" and assume "Build it, and they will come." It simply doesn't work that way with farming. That's why so many agricultural operations depend on off-farm income and/or go out business completely. Then there's the little fantasy of having a patch of land to call your own. I'm no stranger to it; I want to own the land I farm, too, for no reason other than I just want to. But it comes at a high cost, and Salatin won't let you forget it: "Land should only be acquired when you know what to do with it, and the size should be less important than location. Be patient and let your farming enterprise drive the land base, rather than the land base driving the farm." If you latch onto a piece of land too early on, you'll probably end up painting yourself into a corner--a tight, unprofitable corner. And that brings me to Salatin's next major point: Stay flexible. In order to succeed in farming, you've got to be an opportunist. That means you've got to have an eye for chances to fill a niche, and be adaptive enough to fill them. If you invest in a specific type of farming, if you weigh yourself down with unnecessary expenses, or if you're too hung up on waiting for the "perfect" opportunity, then the REAL opportunities will pass you by. This book is for farming ENTREPRENEURS: people who need to turn a solid profit from farming in order to pursue it at all. If you're interested in having a farm more for a lifestyle than for a living, or if you don't mind working an outside job, or if you're at all squeamish about livestock and everything it entails (including "processing" and "culling"), then you may prefer titles by Eliot Coleman and the like. But if you want to learn how to approach farming as a business, this is a must-have.

Great Book !

This book is not designed to give you exact deails on a farming enterprise, his other books do that well. This is a book designed to show you that YOU CAN FARM. It gives you the appropriate perspective to take when beginning a farming enterprise. I have read all of his books and this is one intelligent man. While you may not agree with all of his personal views, if you want to start farming, READ THIS BOOK FIRST!!! My family did well in their agricultural enterprises when they followed methods similar to Salatins. When they began using so called "conventional" methods, profits went down, work increased and headaches abounded. This is a must read for anyone thinking about farming. One of the few times you will see farming presented in a positive light.

A Practical and Unsentimental Guide to the Good Life

In YOU CAN FARM, Joel Salatin describes just how he runs his farm and why. By sticking to the example of his own experience and his own farm, he paints a vivid, detailed, and obviously accurate picture of how he makes his living from farming, and how you can, too.Most of the farm activities he recommends require little up-front investment or experience. One can start small and expand as one learns the ropes.We've used many of Salatin's ideas on our farm in Oregon, and they've worked very well for us, and we know a lot of other people who've put them to work as well. Other writers focus too much on the romance and political correctness of ecologically responsible farming. But romance and political correctness don't pay the bills. "Sustainable agriculture" has to sustain the farmer as well as the land, or it's nothing but a snare and a delusion. Salatin shows a proven path to success and profitability.


This is one of the best books I've read on any subject, not just farming. Salatin's sage advice on basic life skills (debt, sacrifice, discipline, being a good neighbor, etc) alone is the worth the price of the book. In addition, his model for sucessful farming is well thought out and clearly presented. Buy this book!
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