Why I Farm (or Homestead)

Why I Farm — A City Version: Barbara Ayers


I hope everyone won’t mind if I contribute my story. I have often wanted to comment on this wonderful, thought provoking site, but felt too shy because I don’t have a farm. My husband works in the entertainment business, hence we live in Pasadena, part of the giant suburban sprawl of Los Angeles, California. I didn’t grow up on a farm either — suburbs, again, outside of Washington, DC.  But my maternal grandparents were farmers who emigrated from Romania to Western Canada. I believe the urge to farm must be passed down in one’s genetic code.

I’d always made flower gardens, and I’m a good cook. Somewhere back during the culinary revolution, I came upon a cookbook by Alice Waters, who can’t help but be inspiring. So I planted a pot of basil and parsley on my apartment balcony. Alice was right — picking that super fresh basil whenever I needed it, instead of spending two dollars for it, half wilted from the grocery store, was absolutely life changing. I spent the next fifteen years growing fruits and vegetables

Why I Farm: Jeff Pence

Greenfield, Ohio

To many, farming is hard work and not worth the risk. But to others, the enjoyment of caring for livestock and growing your own food makes it more than fun, it becomes a passion.

The garden alone is a game played with Mother Nature that equals anything a person can view on any of the TV sports channels. I’d say it is a combination of chess; wrestling and hide-n-go seek.

The thrills of a garden never end for those bitten by the gardening bug. Every season brings a new delight of anticipation, optimism, and rewards along with a touch of disappointment and the rare discouragement. Mother Nature doesn’t always play fair.

Why I Want To Farm: Chris Geddings


When I was in my teens, my paternal grandfather, Grandad, announced to me that tomatoes no longer had any flavor. He remembered tomatoes from when he was young, and what you could buy or grow in your garden today just didn’t compare.

My maternal grandparents had a place in the North Carolina mountains. In my teens, they lived off of part civil service pension, periodic tax work, and subsisting off of their 40 acres, where they had a few fields and some pastured livestock.

I grew up around chickens, rabbits and gardens. Nothing very extensive, but, at my Dad’s we always had fresh eggs, and never quite got the rabbits going well, but tried, and at my Mom’s we had eggs and her chickens from time to time. The gardening was never very extensive, but it put some interesting things on our table