Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers

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9780865718050: Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers
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Women in agriculture are sprouting up in record numbers, but they face a host of distinct challenges and opportunities. Blending What Color is Your Parachute-style career advice with sustainable agriculture practices viewed through a gender lens, Soil Sisters provides a wealth of invaluable information for fledging female farming entrepreneurs.
The first manual of its kind, this authoritative and comprehensive blueprint presents practical considerations from a woman's perspective, covering everything from business planning to tool use and ergonomics to integrating children and family in farm and field operations. Key topics include:
Finding your niche: mid-life encore careers, young and beginning, Boomerangs, and more From concept to crop: diversified farm start-up basics Resources, grants, and loans available especially for women farmers.
Soil Sisters also contains case studies, inspirational ideas, and savvy advice nuggets from over one hundred successful women farmers and advocates. Targeted specifically to members of the fastest-growing demographic in local agriculture, this highly readable guide is practical and pragmatic "Chick Lit" for today's food scene.


Lisa Kivirist is Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and a national advocate for women in sustainable agriculture.  She founded and directs the Rural Women's Project of the Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service, an award-winning initiative championing female farmers and food-based entrepreneurs. Together with her husband, John Ivanko, Lisa is co-author of Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring, and Rural Renaissance. Lisa and her family run Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, completely powered by the wind and sun in the rolling green hills of southern Wisconsin.

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The first collaborative and practical, hands-on guide for female farmers



Our world would be a much better place with several thousand Soil Sisters nurturing our land and shepherding our food. A truly wonderful guidebook. ---Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm



Women in agriculture are sprouting up in record numbers, but they face a host of distinct challenges and opportunities. Soil Sisters shares and celebrates farming for women, by women and provides the how-to blueprint to bring your farm dream to life. Blending What Color is Your Parachute-style career advice with sustainable agriculture practices, Soil Sisters plows new ground and provides a wealth of invaluable information and resources for fledging female farming entrepreneurs.



This authoritative and comprehensive manual covers everything from business planning to tool use and ergonomics, to integrating children and family in farm operations. Key topics include:


  • Finding your niche: mid-life encore careers, young and beginning, boomerangs and more
  • From concept to crop: diversified farm start-up basics
  • Resources, grants and loans for women farmers.

    Presenting seasoned advice, case studies and inspiration from over 100 successful women farmers and advocates, Soil Sisters roots in the collaborative community of support women bring to farming and invites you into this sisterhood. Together we're doing more than bringing broccoli, beets and beef to market: we're fundamentally transforming our food system.



    ...this must-have book has anecdotes, advice, tips and stories for women who want to start a business, learn a craft, or dare to dream big. If that’s you, this book is for you.---Karen Washington, Founder, Black Urban Growers; and farmer & co-owner, Rise&Root Farm


    With more and more young women looking for a future on the farm, this book couldn’t be more timely or useful. Buy it along with your first shovel and hat. ---Raj Patel, author, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System



    Lisa Kivirist is a Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, and a national advocate for women in sustainable agriculture. Together with her husband, John Ivanko, Lisa is co-author of Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance. Lisa and her family run Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast.

  • About the Author:

    Lisa Kivirist is a Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and a national advocate for women in sustainable agriculture. She founded and directs the Rural Women's Project of the Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service, an award-winning initiative championing female farmers and food-based entrepreneurs. Together with her husband, John Ivanko, Lisa is co-author of Homemade for Sale, Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance. Lisa and her family run Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, completely powered by the wind and sun in the rolling green hills of southern Wisconsin.

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