Beth Hoffman: Getting Real about the Cost and Value of Farming

In her new book, Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, Beth Hoffman tells the story of how she and her husband moved onto Iowa land owned by her father-in-law and began raising cattle, goats, and growing various crops. But unlike many farming stories, this is not a romanticized tale of waking at dawn to gather eggs in your apron pocket and cooking a beautiful breakfast with homemade jam and bread, then heading out to the fields to weed your lush vegetable patch…

Alright, we’re exaggerating a little bit. But that’s kind of the vibe you get from food memoirs these days. And Bet the Farm is not that. Hoffman is brutally honest about the hardships she and her husband face in their farming venture—and that’s with land available and a good chunk of start-up money. She talks in depth about how much harder things are for farmers who don’t have these resources.  

In this interview on the Bottom-Up Revolution podcast (and in Hoffman’s book, if you read it), you’re going to notice a lot of parallels between the challenges of farming and the challenges of small towns in America, and you’ll also hear Hoffman talk about why farms and towns need each other to survive. 

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