Why I Farm (or Homestead)

Why I Homestead: Jenn Campus


Since I was small, I have always loved animals with horns and hooves, mainly goats and sheep, but also as I have gotten older, members of the cervidae family, like elk, reindeer and whitetails, all ruminants similar to their domesticated cousins. If there is a family of animals that I feel a kind of kinship and draw to, it would be ruminants. Yes, I love my dogs – they are pretty much kids to me, but the ruminants have always held deep fascination for me. Goats for example are the second domesticated animal after dogs, so the human race has a long history with them, as well as the cervidaes who have nourished and clothed humans for centuries. It is stored in our blood and DNA, and theirs too.

My whole life, I have loved working farms and petting zoos – where I could go and watch, get close to and touch domesticated livestock animals, always dreaming that one day I might have my own flock of sheep or mixed herd of sheep and goats

Why I Farm: John Finlayson

Peanut and I

New Zealand

At over 60 years of age I have been farming in Northern New Zealand all of my life; dairying, sheep, beef cattle, goats, organic orcharding and vegetable growing and obviously a few hens, ducks, etc; initially on a commercial basis on the family farm of 1,400 acres but then reality set in and I have now downsized to a more manageable 50 acres which suits me just fine. We live a reasonably sustainable lifestyle; not connected to the grid, grow or produce/make most of what we need and if we do require something from an external source then we will plan ahead and purchase it.

Why I Farm: Chiara Dowell

Little Flower Farm CSA

Sometimes when I’m covered in mud, smell like a mixture of whey and pig manure, can’t close my blistered fingers, and am too exhausted to fix anything but a bowl of snap peas for dinner I wonder why I’m farming.

But upon reflection, I realize I farm because it means I get covered in mud, smell like whey and pig doo, can’t close my aching hands for all the blisters and get to feast on fresh peas from the garden.

I grew up in the middle of the city in a townhouse on a street with a clump of 3 pine trees down the road… which I was afraid to go near for fear I’d get lost in the woods. The leap to farming was just that… a mad wild leap. One I never would have had the courage to make had I not given birth to my first daughter. We watched her grow, and desired a life we could live with her. And with eachother.

So now I get to be five everyday. Sometimes that means