[Market-farming] Eliot Coleman

Hook Family ghf at townisp.com
Wed Feb 7 18:52:52 EST 2007

Sounds like you are having fun :) in your "retirement".  I would like to 
point out however that while Mr. Coleman has done amazing things on his 
farm, he too has an "off farm" job.  One I suspect is fairly lucrative :). 

I've relocated and have to start over at the age of 63, but what I'm doing
or not doing shouldn't convince anyone to risk time and capital with my
exact methods. We're in semi-arid central NM on land that's never been
farmed, so permanent no-till beds need to be preceded with digging down and
building up with frames to hold mulch in high winds. Starting over with
back trouble doesn't sound promising. And if and when I ever quit learning,
the only thing I'll be good for is pushing up daisies. Even if I could
claim to be an expert it wouldn't make any difference since experts are
notorious for disagreeing.

I mentioned Eliot Coleman because he's got 30 years of growing behind him
and succeeded financially, growing sustainably without power equipment or
chemicals, on a miniscule area of land in a harsh climate. That ought to be
an example worth investigating. I thought it very odd that no one here
asked how does he do it, how can he succeed on such small acreage, how can
he make any money without tractors and other equipment. Those would seem to
be the obvious questions, esp when a large percent of produce growers need
an outside job just to pay bills and support their growing operation. And
the common wisdom for decades has been "get big or get out" (as Earl Butz

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