Forrest Pritchard

Forrest has been farming professionally since 1996. His book Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers Markets, Local Food & Saving The Family Farm is now available from Lyons Press. Click HERE to order.

20 responses to “How To Start Your Own Farm”

  1. Sandra

    #7

  2. Emmy

    This was so great to read! I really love number 8. As a young family trying to raise and grow as much as we can for our family we are often reminded of how little we know. There is no generational knowledge hidden deep in my memories. Having people like you, who are willing to share their wisdom is huge! Thank you.

  3. Steve Ault

    You all hit it right on the head. We have made our fare share of mistakes and learn from each one. You just have to keep on adjusting to each situation as it comes. You all keep on keeping on.
    Steve Ault
    Aults Family Farm
    Pamplin, VA

  4. Ellen Strickler

    Thanks for the great reminders…your timing is impeccable!

  5. Luke Chambers

    Loved your advice on failure I’ve always said there are only two ways to fail. By giving up or being to afraid to try. each “failure” is just a step to success. I’ve learned more from failure than anything else.

  6. Great Blog! "Rules to Start Your Farm" - Homesteading Today

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  7. Bob Welch

    I loved the article, and I find information like this liberating, but I always get hung up on the financial picture. Item #1 is an important point for maintaining the future of a farming enterprise (or any enterprise, really), but it always leaves me begging the question, How? How do I get started in farming without debt? I’ve got a very deep hunger to try it, to farm just as my family has done for generations, but since I don’t have access to land, or the money to attain land for myself, I just don’t know how to move forward at this point beyond dreaming and reading.

  8. JIMMY

    I really like this and am inspired to start a farm, am in Uganda.

  9. Sara

    Do you think it would be possible to start up a small farm for the purpose of being self-sufficient, ie not for profit?
    I’m sure it sounds really naive, I’m a city girl but I’ve always dreamed of living off the land… I just don’t have the funds/knowledge for a business.

    1. Samantha

      I too have this dream, and I too am a city girl and for a long while thought that I never could achieve it, but I persevered. I volunteered at a organic farm every weekend two and a half hours away from where I attended school, work a part-time job during the week ad saved up enough money to by a few acres. Where over time I slowly bought the surrounding land, I raise goats with is great because they love to forage in the abundant forests in my land- with is cheaper where I am then cleared farmland- and where I grow food for my self and local community. I don’t feed the entire province (I’m Canadian) but I do my part, doing what I love. If this is what you truly want don’t let anything hold you back. P.S I also live off grid, which means I have no hydro bill, which helps a lot with the money issue.

  10. Alfredo Barriga

    Hi Forrest, thanks for the tips. I live in the US but my dream is to return to my home country Chile and start a farm there. God willing I will be able to do it soon and raise my kids (My first one is on the way) in a farm. Thanks for inspiring us all.

  11. adalynfarm

    It does take time. And debt is a killer. We’ve been in our place 6 years and we are just finally getting to the point of having an established (very small) customer base. We are committed to debt free growth, and are working on refining what we want to do with our tiny little farm. One Step At A Time…..

  12. Janelly

    Hi Forrest,

    Your list could’ve come at a better time; I am at a major crossroads in my life. I am 27 years old, with a beautiful 4 year old daughter and wonderful husband. I am at the point in my life where, I am confused about where my life is going and where I want to take it. Food and eating organically is an immense passion of mine, this happened after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and I wanted to give her a fighting chance at life to live long and healthy. I started to read everything! Educate myself on the foods I was consuming. I read and watched Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do about It. It changed my entire world, something so beautiful and honest happened that day I watched it, how real the world became for me. I decided than I was done with processed foods and organic was the only way to live. With that being said being 27, being married and raising a 4 year old, financially it’s straining and stressful. My husband and I find ourselves eating bad so that our child can eat better, because sometimes we can’t feed a family of three a pure organic meal. So sometimes I’ll skip eating organically so my daughter can eat it. Than I start to imagine, if I start eating badly and only feed my daughter organic food, than who will be here to raise her, if I can’t make it past a certain age because of what I am putting into my body. So we sacrifice everything to eat well, we budget accordingly and we try! But sometimes we just can’t do it, and it brings me down. I’m a firm believer of astrology, some people find it silly, but it speaks to me. I find myself seeing this quote every time I do read my horoscope.
    “If you are not one with the earth, you will never truly be happy”.
    These words play over and over in my head, it took my sometime to get to this, but after I read your blog, I realized I need to listen to myself and do what I really want and not let other people tell me I’m crazy or tell me it can never be done!. . . Damn it! I want to be a farmer and I want to raise chickens 100% vegetarian feed, no added anything just pure organic, humanly raised, free roaming happy as can be chickens! Sale to my local markets, eat my chicken, feel proud, offer the exact chicken I am selling to the markets and offer the community who can’t always afford that $17 dollar chicken breast and offer them an affordable price. They will be happy knowing exactly what’s in the chickens, where it’s coming from and be happy feeding it to their families. I guess I just want to know, how the hell do I start?? Ha!

    Respectfully,
    Janelly

  13. Yepez

    Beautiful.From Venezuela.

  14. darwin

    I am from Philippines, I love reading this and I know I can start my own farm in a little.

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