Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land

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9780393341294: Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land
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"Charming . . . . [Kurt Timmermeister] narrates his personal journey with an open, straightforward spirit." ―Wall Street Journal

When he purchased four acres of land on Vashon Island, Kurt Timmermeister was only looking for an affordable home near the restaurants he ran in Seattle. But as he slowly settled into his new property, he became awakened to the connection between what he ate and where it came from: a hive of bees provided honey, a young cow could give fresh milk, an apple orchard allowed him to make vinegar. With refreshing honesty, Timmermeister details the initial stumbles and subsequent realities he faced as he established a profitable farm for himself. Personal yet practical, Growing a Farmer will entirely recast the way we think about our relationship to the food we consume.

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About the Author:

Kurt Timmermeister was a successful restaurateur in Seattle before buying farmland on Vashon Island in 1991. Originally four acres, Kurtwood Farms is now a thirteen-acre dairy farm specializing in farmstead cheese.

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Successful baker, chef, and restaurateur Timmermeisters leap from food preparer to food producer should not have been a large one, yet the steps he took to become a working farmer were monumental. Starting with the purchase of a modest but woefully overgrown tract of land on Washingtons Vashon Island, Timmermeister quickly became ensconcedsome would say miredin the vagaries of self-sufficiency. As he set out to transform his acreage into a viable farm, raising vegetables, fruit, livestock, and even bees, Timmermeister had more will than wisdom, and he recounts his failures and setbacks with disarming honesty. Yet though his hodgepodge of animals and equipment was assembled in a haphazard fashion by relying both on the kindness of strangers and the miracle of Craigslist, somehow it all works. Think of it as the Little Farm That Could. With pluck, luck, and admirable determination, Timmermeister not only manages to supply his paying customers but, more importantly, succeeds in feeding his soul. --Carol Haggas

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