Book Review: Growing a Farmer


This morning's book post is fitting as the ASPCA continues to shed light on Ag-Gag Legislation. In a nutshell it means that factory farms can criminalize the acts around day-to-day investigation of industrial farms. Read more here >>

If you eat meat, knowing where it comes from and how it was raised, to me, is invaluable knowledge. Even if you don't eat meat, but do consume an animal product (like eggs) it's equally as important to know that those chickens (or ducks or quail or whatever) are producing those eggs in happy and healthy environments.

As meat eaters ourselves we take pride in knowing the animals we are raise for meat are being treated with compassion and dignity. Okay, enough soapbox. But it's a good tie in to this book:

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

I originally picked this book up because Kurt lives on Vashon Island (which is just a hop, skip and a ferry ride away from The Farmstead). A Seattle native, Kurt made his living as a successful restauranteur, a talented chef and savvy business owner. When he moved to Vashon Island it was not originally to start a farm. But, somewhere along the way he got bit by the bug and started to chase his dreams.

The book starts off slow, but if you stick with it, you'll be rewarded. Kurt's description of butchering a pig is by far one of the most respectful and meaningful descriptions I have ever read. Additionally, he's brutally honest about his mistakes. I appreciate that, since, the handsome man and I are no stranger to mistakes (although hopefully we don't go through as many bee colonies as he does). Also, there's a section where Kurt talks about stripping down and taking a nap on a particularly warm day in his greenhouse only to be surprised by a neighbor. It made me laugh out loud.

If you care about where your food comes from this is an excellent read. As a chef Kurt's voice is unique and informative providing beautiful insight into the lives of the animals he depends on for food.

You can visit his website at

ps: if you click on the book picture it will link to Amazon where you can buy it, we don’t get anything if you purchase it, I just like when websites are helpful like that.