Thoughts of A Wannabe Farmer – Two Years Later

In About Me by James9 Comments

It’s now been a full two years since I started this website and began the journey of exploring the possibility of becoming a farmer. Last year around this time I was preparing to head to Australia for a five-week stay on a farm to learn about holistic planned grazing with one of Australia’s top consultants. That trip turned out to be a life changing experience in that it gave me some much needed testing on the type of lifestyle I was pursuing. I am happy to say the experience was a confirmation toward the positive and recharged my passion to pursue a life of entrepreneurship and farming. The rest of the year was a decently productive one. After returning from Australia I wrote an article about the experience and edited and published a 20 minute video highlighting what I learned. In addition I wrote five new articles about my farming experiences throughout the year, conducted an interview with Sheri Salatin of Eager Farmer, and  I read and wrote book reviews for eleven new books on farming and business. One of the biggest highlights was my girlfriend Anna starting work as a manager for Gachi CSA which is Seoul’s first foreigner friendly CSA (meaning they offer English service) after our return from Australia. I helped out with some events Gachi CSA hosted at Hansol Farm and wrote four articles for Gachi’s monthly newsletter. I am now entering what is planned to be my last year in Korea before I make the transition into farming. The goals for this year include more reading and book reviews, traveling around Korea to get some new farming experiences, learning to cook Korean food, growing my own greens with my newly acquired indoor hydroponic system, and getting my financial house in order.

Highlights from 2014 

The biggest highlight in 2014

Anna and I spent five weeks living on a farm with the Hand family and working with Holistic Planned Grazing expert Graeme Hand. We were working with the cows everyday and moving them multiple times throughout the day. The frequent shifts (moving the cows) was the perfect training tool. Repetition is the mother of mastery after all. You can read more about our experience here.

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The second most impactful event of 2014

Getting Things Done by David Allen. It’s a classic life management book that’s been around for 13 years and has been translated into over 28 languages. My friend Gabriel who was also the one who inspired me to start this blog recommended it. The timing was perfect as I was in the midst of a productivity slump. Reading that book changed my life in a measurable way. Emphasis on measurable – it’s the Getting Things Done methodology which makes it bullet proof (it’s not a motivational book full of fluff). For the past four months I have been incorporating the Getting Things Done method with an application called Evernote and ever since my productivity and peace of mind have been operating on levels I did not know were possible. Please read the book review I wrote for Getting Things Done and give it a try. I can’t imagine a person who would not immediately benefit from implementing the principles.  Read my book review Here.

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The third highlight from 2014

Hansol Farm is the farm where I first got my hands dirty. Since then I’ve been there countless times getting my hands dirty, bloody, and eggy. Thinking back to the first time I came to Hansol Farm as a WWOOF member for a day of strawberry harvesting and egg collecting I never would have imagined that my experiences there would add up to what they are now. I hope to get a few more great ones in this coming year and I’ll be forever thankful for Hansol Farm’s Kim Byung Soo for welcoming me to his farm and treating me like a part of the team. You can read about my first time processing a chicken here and second time when Dan and I used a different method and made Indian food – here.

 

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Final Thoughts of a Wannabe Farmer – The Power of Review

I recently finished reading my first Tony Robbins book. Yes, the infomercial man-giant with the banana hands and blinding white smile. The book was about savings and investment and I’ll be posting a book review in the coming weeks. It was well worth the read. The reason I read the book was because I realized I had never taken any courses or had been taught about savings and investing – the book is not about speculative stock market playing, it’s about saving for your future, something the majority of baby boomers are not prepared for now! I also chose the book because of something new I started this year which was the process of educating myself about business, finance, and management. Last year I only read and reviewed farming books – 19 of them! But farming is not only about getting your hands dirty, it’s about being a business owner. It’s about entrepreneurship which includes: marketing, budgeting, savings, and branding – plus a few more. The failure to understand the business side of farming is why most farmers fail. Nobody plans to fail, but not planning is planning for failure. I look forward to rounding my knowledge out as best I can in the coming year and keeping my journey updated on this blog. Going forward something I want to put more energy and consciousness into is the act of review. If you’re familiar with Getting Things Done, the entire system hinges on doing the weekly review. David Allen hammers this point home, and Tony Robbins does as well for the same reason. Actually every book I’ve come across on business or life management hammers home the importance of writing things down and review. Reviewing enables you to slow down and look at what you’ve accomplished, or not accomplished. The mind plays tricks and it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re doing more than you really are (most people) or less than you are – both lead to negative thoughts and are action and happiness killers. Review is a way to close things that are ready to be moved on from, while at the same time build your pride and sense of accomplishment as you’re able to recognize the products of your labor. There’s no shame in recognizing your achievements.  Review is also a reinforcer as it helps you concretize the things you want to remember.  It’s one of the reasons I write the book reviews for this blog, but I want to make a conscious effort in 2015 to not only review the books that I read, but review my actions and goals on a regular basis. A regular basis means a weekly basis. Not every two weeks, not once a month – every week. A once a week review seems to be the right enough time to let you do what you need to do without distancing yourself too much from being conscious of your actual measurable progress. It allows you to get lost in your work, then come back and check your bearings and reorient yourself if need be.  The review is akin to the captains compass on the open sea – it enables you to stay the course and not end up lost and eventually shipwrecked. Here’s to none of us ending up shipwrecked in 2015 and staying the course for owning our actions and our dreams.

Comments

  1. Addye Thole

    Ownership of one’s life is the best gift anyone could ever–ever give themselves!!!! May your life journey always be full of moments, people, realizations, peace, & strengths that guide & fulfill your purpose. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    1. Dan

      Hey James. Richie just pointed me to this site. I’ve only read the three about me articles, but I love the idea. I’m n the process of starting a similar paradigm shift . Shoot me an email if you want to talk about it, otherwise good luck and I’ll be watching from here.

  2. Author
    James

    Hi Dan. Great to hear from you. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about. Email coming!

  3. Greg Hoyt

    James I saw your posting on Eager farmer. Did you find a mentor yet. If not, send me an email I might have what you are looking for.

  4. Pingback: Thoughts of a Wannabe Farmer – Three Years Later | I Wanna Farm

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