This week it’s news that boomers are leaving their desk jobs and turning to a life of farming. You have to admit it sounds like a very bohemian thing to do: retire from the cubicle and corporate uniform, put on some bib overalls and start growing organic beets.
Dailyyonder.com profiles three Texas boomers who’ve left jobs (attorney, graphic designer, customs agent) and gone back to the land. Not everyone is cut out for this kind of retirement, but agriculture folks are definitely seeing a trend here:
What’s going on in the Rio Grande Valley doesn’t surprise Brad Stufflebeam, former president of Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA). Stufflebeam says many of those who attend TOFGA’s annual conferences are baby boomers. They dabble in farming with mixed results.
“The ones that are successful are the ones that choose to do it as a lifestyle,” Stufflebeam said, taking a break from work at his farm in the Houston area, Home Sweet Farm. “The ones I see failing are the ones who have money, buy land, and hire help to do the work. I see those failing. The reason is you have to be deeply involved and its very management intensive.”
“Management intensive,” in our opinion, is an understatement. Some of us here at bohemianboomer.com come from farm people who worked the land for a living in Oklahoma and Kansas. The hours are beyond dusk to dawn, the work back-breaking, and you’re constantly at the mercy of Mother Nature. And boomer beware: You do it for love of the lifestyle – not for money:
Yes, these farmers can make some money. But more importantly, farmers like Kalman Morris enjoy the life they’re living more than the office jobs they’ve left behind. The economic margins Morris lives within are narrow. He couldn’t realistically afford to live this way if it weren’t for the money he’s banked from time spent in a more lucrative industry — graphic design.
Having said all that, we still acknowledge that farming is a deeply rewarding endeavor; there just seems to be something innately gratifying about working the land.
We predict you’ll see many more boomers turn in their powerpoint for a plow in the years to come.