I've been finding myself reading a few small farming blogs these days, and the thing that strikes me most is that there seem to be a small but persistent number who want to make it their life's work, but only circumstances prevent them from expanding. I found one or two folks in my area that do very well urban farming on very little land. I found a few more in my province that have enough room to raise a few chickens. Urban homesteaders are out there, they're just not the easiest folks to find! while I was traipsing around the internet I came across a program here in Ontario that basically hooks small scale farmers up with young folks who want to learn on the job. Craft Ontario
It's a farmer intern program. Through this program, wanna-be farmers get on the job experience, learning and hands-in-dirt training that books just can't give. Small scale farmers get help on their farms and the chance to pass on what they know. Sometimes the farmers put up the interns with room and board, sometimes there is pay involved. It sounds like a fascinating experience! I just wish there had been something like this when I was in my formative years.
I think it's great that someone has decided it's time to encourage folks who want to get into farming. Most farmers these days are challenged to think of new ways to stay competitive, no matter what size their land. There is a woman in Kitchener, Ontario that has a herbal company that she runs like a vegetable based CSA. She takes her orders ahead of planting so she has a clear idea what she needs that season. Vision, insight and goals. Awesome! There are young people in Toronto that are running flower and vegetable businesses, but using other people's yards. The home or landowner gets a lovely, productive yard that adds to the value of the land, and the entrepreneur has a place to grow what they need without the hassle of paying land tax, etc, etc. There are more perks and details than what I've mentioned here, but it's an example of new ways of approaching an interesting dilemma.
I see there are a growing number of people that want to reconnect with the land, and those that want to help those that want to reconnect.
Perhaps there is hope for society after all.