The New Farm

The New Farm

Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution

eBook - 2017
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The inspiring and sometimes hilarious story of a family that quit the rat race and left the city to live out their ideals on an organic farm, and ended up building a model for a new kind of agriculture.You know those books where the city folks move to the country and have all kinds of crazy misadventures? Where the barnyard is a place of bucolic harmony and each passing season brings the author closer to understanding his proper place in the natural order? You know those books where the primary objective is not so much farming, but writing about farming? This isn't that kind of book. It's true that Brent Preston and Gillian Flies did leave the city and move to the country, and they did make a lot of stupid mistakes, some of which are pretty funny in hindsight. But their goal from the beginning was to build a real farm, one that would sustain their family, heal their environment, and nourish their community. It was a goal that was achieved not through bucolic self-reflection, but through a decade of grinding toil and perseverance. Told with humour and heart in Preston's unflinchingly honest voice, The New Farm is the story of one family's transition from die-hard urbanites to bona fide farmers and passionate advocates for a more just and sustainable food system. It's the story of how a couple of young professionals learned not just how to grow food, but how to succeed at the business of farming. And it's the story of how a small, sustainable, organic farm ended up providing not just a livelihood, but a happy, meaningful and fulfilling way of life.
Publisher: 2017.
ISBN: 9780345811875
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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slawr084 May 25, 2017

While Preston's prose is remarkably engaging and captivating in a way that I find rare for nonfiction, I was less than thrilled at the disdainful and patronizing way he spoke about the (primarily women) interns whom he fleetingly admits played a crucial role in the New Farm's success. His comment... Read More »


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ehbooklover Jul 08, 2017

3.5 stars. An educational and eye-opening book written by a man who left life in the Big City to create and run a small-scale organic farm. I really liked the author's honest and authentic writing style. The injection of wit and humour into what could have been a very dry topic made for a very interesting (and sometimes even fun) read. I learned a lot and would definitely recommend this title to anyone who wants to learn more about organic food and sustainable farming.

t
TiborBiro
Jun 08, 2017

Loved it, found it inspirational and didn't find the intern part anything special unlike the previous reviewer. Recommended if you are an aspiring hobby farmer or just want to learn about farming and where food is coming from.

slawr084 May 25, 2017

While Preston's prose is remarkably engaging and captivating in a way that I find rare for nonfiction, I was less than thrilled at the disdainful and patronizing way he spoke about the (primarily women) interns whom he fleetingly admits played a crucial role in the New Farm's success. His comments are condescending, bordering on outright misogyny and assholery.

The farm's noble intent presents a bizarre contrast against Preston's attitude toward his interns. Workers enter into minimum wage work in all industries with little to no experience, yet he somehow feels entitled to skilled, experienced interns willing to work for free for longer than full-time hours. In these pages, he ridicules the relatively inexperienced workers who are actually willing to do that free work. Rather than framing his reliance on intern labour as an error of judgement on his part, he repeatedly blames them for their perceived inadequacies.

In his commentaries on building a sustainable food system, Preston never once thinks to ask why the people willing to work for free on farms like his are overwhelmingly women. This is just one of the systemic injustices that he glosses over in this work.

I was particularly perturbed to see my own experience as a New Farm intern recounted here in a factually inaccurate and wildly exaggerated way. The liberties Preston has taken with this account leave me questioning just how much of this book actually reflects reality and how much is sensationalized to create an interesting narrative.

I loved about 70% of this book, but the rest has left a decidedly bitter taste in my mouth.

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