Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land

Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land

by Kurt Timmermeister
     
 

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A bona-fide city dweller, Kurt Timmermeister never intended to run his own dairy farm. When he purchased four acres of land on Vashon Island, he was looking for an affordable home a ferry ride away from the restaurants he ran in Seattle. But as he continued to serve his customers frozen chicken breasts and packaged pork, he became aware of the connection between

Overview

A bona-fide city dweller, Kurt Timmermeister never intended to run his own dairy farm. When he purchased four acres of land on Vashon Island, he was looking for an affordable home a ferry ride away from the restaurants he ran in Seattle. But as he continued to serve his customers frozen chicken breasts and packaged pork, he became aware of 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. Told in Timmermeister's plainspoken voice, Growing a Farmer details with honesty the initial stumbles and subsequent realities he had to face in his quest to establish a profitable farm for himself. Personal yet practical, Growing a Farmer includes the specifics of making cheese, raising cows, and slaughtering pigs, and it will recast entirely the way we think about our relationship to the food we consume.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Former Seattle chef Timmermeister shares how he turned a neglected, bramble-covered property into Kurtwood Farms, a 13-acre farm specializing in cheese production and weekly farm-to-table dinners. Timmermeister begins his enterprise with little farming know-how. As he cultivates his agrarian education (often through trial and error), he reflects on self-sufficiency, sustainability, and the industrialization of food production. While narrating over two decades of the farm's history, he describes such tasks as installing bees in a new hive, making apple cider, buying livestock, and slaughtering a pig. Timmermeister also provides a helpful annotated list of supplementary titles for readers interested in the practice of sustainable local agriculture. VERDICT The growing popularity of farm-to-table movements has precipitated numerous books on city dwellers turned farmers. Part memoir, part manual, this refreshingly candid account doesn't oversell its author or a political message. An essential read for anyone who's seriously considered quitting a day job to pursue farming or cheese production.—Lisa Campbell, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Tuscaloosa
Food & Wine
“Half memoir, half farm guide, Kurt Timmermeister's book is perfect for anyone with agrarian fantasies.”
Los Angeles Times
“What sets this book apart is its practical, calm, confidence-inspiring tone. The message is: Farming may not be easy, but just do it.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393070859
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/17/2011
Pages:
335
Product dimensions:
7.08(w) x 11.34(h) x 1.06(d)

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Meet the Author

Kurt Timmermeister grew up in Seattle and was a successful restaurateur before moving to Vashon Island. There he transformed a rough patch of earth into Kurtwood Farms, presently a vibrant farm where he raises Jersey cows, produces farmstead cheese, and hosts weekly farm dinners composed entirely of ingredients from his tidy Vashon farm.

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