Green Acres : Are you a farmer in another life?

Green Acres : Are you a farmer in another life?

It is no wonder with the success of books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma and films like Food, Inc. that many Americans are beginning to take that daydream of a simple life more seriously.Especially when faced with the idea that our food is one of the worst things we do for ourselves.

No longer a cob-pipe dream of Green Acres with the shenanigans of a glamorous Zsa Zsa Gabore;  leaving the “big city” life to start a farm is becoming a viable career change option for some.

There are organizations literally cropping up all over the United States to share the skills and wisdom of the trade. And the trade in this case is not just farming, but organic, bio-dynamic and permaculture examples of agriculture.

The new generation of farmer is living closer to the land than ever before, learning to use the natural rhythms of nature to their best advantage. The added value of selling through a farm-to-table market through farmers markets and exclusive relationships with restaurants comes with genuine support of local economies.

Between the failure of the government subsidized farm model and the motivation to lead more environmentally aware lives, the success and desirability of these models is not only understandable, but practically a no-brainer for the aspiring agriculturist.

One thing remains, no matter what sort of farming a person chooses to do, it is hard work. The work comes, in this case, with the satisfaction of growing truly nutritious, commodities. Edible, salable commodities that help grow local economies and nourish local bodies.

Farming is not for everyone. No one will doubt that, but there are surprises to find who gravitates toward farming. Not a likely farmer and certainly not a suspected outspoken voice on the opportunities for social change and personal profit through creating sustainable food souces, Will Allen, ex-pro basketball player,  has proven to be just that through Growing Power based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

His organization offers education and real world solutions to aspiring farmers in urban settings. His mission is not alone, in Illinois there is a great organization called Learn Grow Connect that hosts a variety of learning and outreach programs, as well as practical farming training programs via their formal connection with Angelic Organics Farm.

It is not limited to just the folks living in the breadbasket heartland of the Midwest, there are great resources found  around the nation. Many of these farms offer a variety of workshops or tours to help you decide if you are indeed ready to break ground on this growing career path.

You can find resources in your regions through directories like the Biodynamic Gardening and Farming Association,  the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program site, the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program, the Permaculture Institute, or by simply visiting your local farmers market and asking a farmer a few good questions.