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New Lives for the Better: Becoming a Farmer

June 11, 2014       On Higher Ground
Young People Now
Turn to Farming

After a few years stint in corporate drudgery and getting the chance to enjoy their rewards by seeing the world for how it is, traveling and finding out what else makes life sweet, many in the West and even in Asia reconsider the corporate life and opt out.  To become FARMERS!

Farmer Abraham had Blessings: Me Have Too!

Americans in their 20s and 30s are seeing a great opportunity going into farming and making a commitment to make the best of it.  The Future Farmers of America, now boasts nearly 600,000 members--mostly young people choosing to grow their own food and offer the surplus at farmers' markets .  Educated, skilled and passionate people are dedicating themselves to a change from the ways of the world, working a sustainable way of living.  In fact, farming has become so popular in the United States, that last year a farming lifestyle magazine was launched — and it recently won one of the nation's most prestigious print media awards. 

"Modern Farmer" beat out "Vanity Fair," "GQ" and "New York Magazine" to win a National Magazine Award.

Filipinos Redicover Farming

Running their own urban farm and selling produce at the local farmer's market, many Filipinos who have access to good local farms or manage their own are making a commitment to organic farming and craft related food processing.  The work may be hard but it is satisfying and you can see young moms even. 

Like young mom, Kristine Garcia who put up a shop like Emporium Antipolo, which not only scours good organic farms for produce to sell, but she also prepares very good organic kitchen meals for delivery anywhere in Manila.  You can check out the local weekend farmer's markets that have been sprouting all over the city and more entrepreneurs are getting into organic farm produce,  as well as craft food processing like goat cheese, pie making, organic bread, dips and butter. fresh fruit juices and health tonics.

My Aching Back...Must Be a Storm Coming

But farming can be a risky business. Weather extremes like El Nino droughts and storm flooding can destroy a year's worth of crops.  Start up costs are high for farmers and most rely on the local government agriculture development agencies to assist them in getting soft loans for covering farm expenses.  

Farming also involves long hours of physical labor.  Crops grow slowly and there is nothing definite until they grow out. So for many months out of the year, farmers tend to their seedlings so that a harvest can be assured.  But those who have ventured into the organic farming business, some for nearly 20 years already, say the benefits outweigh the risks.  People often say farmers must be committed to work ridiculous hours. Around 40 hours a week supposedly.

But all things considered, working for  12 hours a day for three or four months a year isn't like a career as a corporate stooge or whipping boy.  Farmers are better off with the satisfying work of growing their own food, and  work is usually finished after the 4 month stretch.  Then one gets to enjoy four months off until planting season again.


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