Ron Macher is the publisher and editor of Small Farm Today magazine and personally farms 80 acres of his own.
In this book he takes us through 25 guiding principles for evaluating not only your land, but also your personality traits and those of your family, your local market, and being your own public relations advocate… something he feels is vital to the success of your farm.
When so much of small farming is left to the whims of nature and other seemingly random acts of divine intervention, having something in print and in front of you that is solid and orderly is comforting, soothing and panic-quenching.
Each step building on the last, Ron Macher presents each principle and fills out each one with facts and figures, then has the reader honestly apply them to their own situation. There are a lot of helpful tables and comparisons to help determine just how much (if any) heavy equipment and machinery your farm will need, what kind of livestock will be the most cost-effective to get from birth (or purchase) to market, and different marketing techniques according to your proximity to urban centers.
Although sometimes he comes across as being too serious, it’s apparent that Ron takes survival of each and every family farm very seriously, and important enough to pay attention to every little detail. As he states at the end of the book:
“Small farms hold the key to reconnect people with the land and the food they must have to sustain life. Small farms are an ongoing process of discovery about life and people. Small farms are the wave of the future, leading to a better world.”
As homesteaders, it’s something we believe as well.