Farmer

Farmer

Peaceful Valley Farm

La Selva Beach, CA

Female, 47

I've been a full-time farmer for a couple of years now. Our farm is rather small and very diverse. We raise rare and endangered breeds of turkeys and chickens. We also have alpacas, sheep, goats, geese, and recently harvested a 500-lb pig that we raised from a piglet! We grow organically, using heirloom seed stock. I'm able to provide meat and most of the vegetables for our family of 5. In the Spring and Summer, we sell chicks and eggs and have educational farm camps for kids.

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Last Answer on January 28, 2013

Best Rated

You said that farming is rarely profitable, but are there any areas of farming that are exceptions to that?

Asked by Jimbeau over 6 years ago

Don't get me wrong, I know lots of farmers who make their living on the farm. But I know even more who have at least one person working off the farm to make ends meet. It's not a get rich type of endeavor. That said, I think that people with a specialty do better than, say, someone growing your run of the mill tomatoes and carrots. Heirloom and organic vegetables are in demand. If a farmer can find a restaurant that wants to buy their specialty produce, that can be a money maker. Other profitable options are farm stays, hosting seasonal events or private events (weddings or parties) or, like we do, farm camps. It definitely takes some creativity to make money, in my experience.

Is there a town vet that you call when an animal gets sick and how does he know how to treat all the different kind of animals?

Asked by Braylen over 6 years ago

We have yet to call the vet for animal illness or injury. There is one, nearby, who is well known and been around for ages. We took our goat kids to him for dis-budding (removing their horns, which I would never do again). There are large animal vets and your dog/cat variety. Usually, they will specialize in certain animals-horses, ruminants, birds or domestics-so we chose one who specializes in farm animals. But, our friend who works with domestics has also trained with alpacas, so they have a general knowledge of all animals.

Do you think current U.S. farm laws do enough to ensure the humane treatment of farm animals?

Asked by Dan79 over 6 years ago

The way I see it, there are two vastly different farming models in the U.S. There is Big Ag, often receiving subsidies from the government, whose goal is to produce mass quantities of cheap food, by any means necessary. Their animals are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and live sad, short lives in cramped and dirty quarters. I don't think that the laws do enough to protect these animals, and are actually part of the problem, not the solution, since the government gives financial aid to this model. On the other hand, there are smaller, more sustainable, often family run homestead farms. These farms, like ours, consider their impact on the earth and the health of the animals that they raise. For us, it's more personal and. As a result, I think the small farm model is treating animals very humanely. Recently, in California, there has been a number of times when a homesteader has been reported to animal services because they were harvesting rabbits or chickens. Investigations are made and one never knows how that will go. In this case, I think that the government is overstepping. Our animals have really good lives, until that one day. It's unfortunate that big business can't come to small farm's way of thinking without a bunch of laws, dictating common decency.

What time do you have to wake up / go to bed?

Asked by Trish over 6 years ago

I've found that the animals will adapt to my schedule, which is perfect! I get up between 6-7AM, mostly because I have to get my kids off to school. I do that, have coffee, check email, then tend the animals about 9. They're used to it, so they wait. During warm weather, I'll get out there earlier to be sure the watering is done and they have plenty of water before it gets too hot. I go to bed between 11-12 at night. zzzzz

My brother and I are trying to raise sheep we have about eleven. What I'de like to know if one is born and is not moving should you throghg water on it to bring it around and if so should it be cold water or warm ? thank you.

Asked by Da Eagle almost 6 years ago

 

Do farmers still use scarecrows?

Asked by Alisa over 6 years ago

 

How do farmers markets work? Are they profitable for you, or is the point just to increase your farm's profile in the community?

Asked by Talia over 6 years ago