The New Farm

The New Farm

Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
3
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The inspiring and sometimes hilarious story of a family that quit the rat race and left the city to live out their ideals on an organic farm, and ended up building a model for a new kind of agriculture. When Brent Preston, his wife, Gillian, and their two young children left Toronto ten years ago, they arrived on an empty plot of land with no machinery, no money and not much of a clue. Through a decade of grinding toil, they built a real organic farm, one that is profitable, sustainable, and their family's sole source of income. Along the way they earned the respect and loyalty of some of the best chefs in North America, and created a farm that is a leading light in the good food movement.
Publisher: Toronto :, Random House Canada,, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780345811851
0345811852
Branch Call Number: 631.584 PRE NVD
Characteristics: 325 pages : map ; 22 cm

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ehbooklover Jul 08, 2017

3.5 stars. An educational and eye-opening book written by a man who left life in the Big City to create and run a small-scale organic farm. I really liked the author's honest and authentic writing style. The injection of wit and humour into what could have been a very dry topic made for a very interesting (and sometimes even fun) read. I learned a lot and would definitely recommend this title to anyone who wants to learn more about organic food and sustainable farming.

t
TiborBiro
Jun 08, 2017

Loved it, found it inspirational and didn't find the intern part anything special unlike the previous reviewer. Recommended if you are an aspiring hobby farmer or just want to learn about farming and where food is coming from.

slawr084 May 25, 2017

While Preston's prose is remarkably engaging and captivating in a way that I find rare for nonfiction, I was less than thrilled at the disdainful and patronizing way he spoke about the (primarily women) interns whom he fleetingly admits played a crucial role in the New Farm's success. His comments are condescending, bordering on outright misogyny and assholery.

The farm's noble intent presents a bizarre contrast against Preston's attitude toward his interns. Workers enter into minimum wage work in all industries with little to no experience, yet he somehow feels entitled to skilled, experienced interns willing to work for free for longer than full-time hours. In these pages, he ridicules the relatively inexperienced workers who are actually willing to do that free work. Rather than framing his reliance on intern labour as an error of judgement on his part, he repeatedly blames them for their perceived inadequacies.

In his commentaries on building a sustainable food system, Preston never once thinks to ask why the people willing to work for free on farms like his are overwhelmingly women. This is just one of the systemic injustices that he glosses over in this work.

I was particularly perturbed to see my own experience as a New Farm intern recounted here in a factually inaccurate and wildly exaggerated way. The liberties Preston has taken with this account leave me questioning just how much of this book actually reflects reality and how much is sensationalized to create an interesting narrative.

I loved about 70% of this book, but the rest has left a decidedly bitter taste in my mouth.

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