Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Farm Eye for the Farm Guy

What happens when Queer Eye for the Straight Guy meets the farm? My friend Ben suggested I listen to This American Life's story about a farmer [search the bottom left list for the term "farm guy"] with troubles, and a wise farm guy's attempt to help him. The story is revealing about just what it takes to make it as a farmer, and though I don't want to give away the ending, let's just say it isn't a fairy tale. I listened to the story in preparation for heading to Full Belly Farm today, to visit the 200-plus-acre farm two-hours Northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area where I'm staying this week. Full Belly's bustling operation definitely reminded me of all it takes to make a farm work and the brilliance of re-thinking the one-family-farm into a multi-family-farm operation. (At Full Belly, two couples form the basis of a four-person partnership while they also work with a neighboring farmer and his wife. Every year, their team is bolstered by four to five interns who live on the land and by 30 to 40 full-time employees, some of whom have been there for more than a decade).