The standard definition of a hobby farmer is someone who raises livestock or produce, on a small acreage of land, without the need to be profitable.  I’ve considered myself a hobby farmer for several years now and I was, at the time, quite content with that title.  I raise chickens, goats, pigs and have a large vegetable garden on our 4.5 acre property.  My main source of income comes from my job in the city but I do occasionally sell some of my excess produce to friends and neighbours, rarely at a profit.  Therefore, by definition, I am a hobby farmer.

Recently however, I’ve found this definition is far too simplistic because it doesn’t explain why I am a hobby farmer.  I could be strongly committed to organic principles with free ranged livestock.  I could be against the use of growth hormones and pesticides or I could be simply against the large corporate food system.  In fact I’m all of those things but that still don’t explain why I do what I do.

The truth be told, I simply love food.  I love to cook and I absolutely love using the best quality ingredients.

So, after much thought and reflection I realized that I do what I do because the quality and taste of what I produce far exceeded anything that I could buy in a store.  Better eggs, better meat, better milk and better cheese.  Everything I was doing contributed to the final product being the best it could be and therefor the best I could cook with.  Combining organic, free range, hormone free, ethically raised, home butchered together equates to superior quality and better taste.

I had graduated to a new class of hobby farmer.  A class I call the culinary hobby farmer.

I define a culinary hobby farmer as someone who raises livestock or produce, on a small acreage of land, with the main goal of enjoying food and products of significantly greater quality and taste than that available to the general public.

My food system is small and self-contained.  I control everything with the belief that if you put the best in, you’ll get the best out. It’s a system that works.  It’s a system I trust.

This is who I am.  This is what I do.  This is how I eat.  This is what I teach.

I’m happy to share what I know and exchange ideas with like-minded people.  It helps promote self-sufficiency as well as help to build stronger communities by bringing people together.  Like-minded people are out there, we simply need a way to find each other.    That’s where Minga comes in.  Join our upcoming Chevre Cheese Making Workshop on January 20th.

Sincerely,

Greg Stevenson

Culinary Hobby Farmer

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