Overstory #15 - Cultivating Connections with Other Farmers
Practical experience is a key source of information on sustainable farming that can only be gained first-hand and can't be found in any book. The study of books is valuable too, but there is no substitute for seeing something in action. Many aspiring farmers feel awkward and don't know how to start to approach local old-timers, neighbors, or complete strangers whose work they have heard about or seen from a distance. Yet, it is an essential part of learning to meet other farmers in your region and get a first-hand look at their work, and hear about their experiences. These valuable relationships can be a wellspring of information, ideas, and inspiration for you, as well as result in long-term supportive friendships.
So, how does one go about approaching that person for the first time to ask to see their farm practices? To make it more comfortable, effective and enjoyable, there is a certain code of conduct that goes along with tapping into a farmer's wealth of information.