So you want to be a farmer?

young-farmer_0“Roy Skeen is a 32-year-old farmer with a degree in history from Yale University. When he graduated in 2004, he moved to New York to work in investment banking, but he found the work unfulfilling.
 
After a trip to the Caribbean, he discovered his true calling: farming.
 ‘It exposed me to culture that grows food and lives in one place,’ he told CNN. ‘It was pretty simple, but it was nice and I liked it.’
 
Skeen moved to his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and now runs his own urban farm and sells produce at the local farmer’s market. He says the work is hard but satisfying.”

I have been in the botanical trades for over 30 years. The horticulture trade is quite worried about where the new, young gardeners are going to come from. They didn’t garden like their parents, and seemed to show no sign of interest in the garden. Many, many nurseries have closed due to the lack of a younger generation of gardeners taking over from the aging baby boomers. 

That all changed a couple of years ago, and has really hit it’s stride this year. The number of younger people, especially young families, that come into the nursery has increased from years past. It’s all about growing food, which leaves the ornamental side of the trade still hurting, but we take our pleasures where we can. 

I am not sure where all this interest will take us. For now it’s a pleasure to be dealing with a whole new group of interested people. They really want to make it work, and are just discovering how hard, but rewarding it can be to grow food. That’s an important part of the movement,  putting people back in touch with how much work is involved from farm to table. As far as making a small farm profitable, that’s a whole different set of challenges. Still, it’s nice to see so many young people heading back to the garden. 

via:
Mother Earth News
http://bit.ly/1mpMBgJ

#smallfarm  
#horticulture  


About Trey Pitsenberger

Trey is a nurseryman, author, and speaker.

25. June 2014 by Trey Pitsenberger
Categories: | Tags: , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Trey – what do you think the chances are that some of these new gardeners will eventually broaden their gardening interests to include ornamental plants?

    It seems like new gardeners might get that itch once they realize that they have green thumbs. But if the mindset is strictly utilitarian and if there are other limitations (time, space, $$$) perhaps they will be content with sticking to their veggies?

    • Chad,
      I think some will broaden their horizons once they see the potential. Edible gardening feeds the body, while ornamental gardening can feed the soul. I am just glad to see interest in gardening by younger folks. It’s the first step.