GFP012: Farming For Health Reasons, Interview with Ethan Book of Crooked Gap Farm Knoxville Iowa

There are many good reasons to get into farming.

  • Take part in work that is challenging and fulfilling.

  • Have easy access to fresh and healthy food.
  • Be a part of a local community with shared goals.
  • Spend more time with you family working together on the farm.
  • Simply because your parents did it.
  • Your spouse wants to do it.

Whatever reason you have to start a farm it will take you down a long and adventurous road. I have been on a number of adventures in my day, and this one is just as crazy as the rest. In some ways, I feel like there is a lot more at stake with this adventure.

In the beginning of this episode I update you on what is going on on my farm. The weather is warming and things are starting to happen OUT of the office, which is fantastic. Though I feel like the more that happens out of the office, the more paperwork comes up to take care of whatever else is happening.

I then discuss one of the reasons I have for starting a farm, my health. I share insights into my goals of creating a healthy atmosphere for myself and my family through farming, and give some advice on how to deal with motivating others to eat right.

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In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • How to start a grass-fed farm in Iowa.
  • The most effective way to instill the change you wish to see in the world.
  • Insights on pasture management, grain storage, and farrowing pigs.
  • Another farm marketing strategy illustrating the power of word of mouth marketing.
  • The health benefits of choosing farming as a career.

Interview with Ethan Book of Crooked Gap Farm, Knoxville, Iowa

ethan book crooked gap farm

Ethan and his wife Rebecca farm 40 acres in Knoxville, Iowa.  They raise a variety of animals for meat including pigs, chickens, sheep, cattle, and rabbits.

I wanted to quote the philosophy section of Ethan's "About Us" page:

The three most important things to us are our faith, our family, and our friends.  These things directly impact the way we farm.  We strive to raise our animals in a way that reflects how they were created and to manage our land in a way that benefits nature.   We also desire to work together as a family while doing this, cultivating strong family ties and values in our children.  Because of this, we plan on remaining a small family farm and do not wish to become a large producer.  And finally, we value friendships and building community.  Our hope is that as customers come out to our farm, many new friendships will be formed.

the beginning farmer show

Ethan has also started his own podcast about farming. He was nice enough to come on my show, and since I know his audio is great I wanted to give him a plug on Farm Marketing Solutions.

His episodes seem to be about 30 minutes in length. They are about his experiences as a farmer, how he started his farm, what he has learned along the way, and advice so you can learn from his mistakes. It's definitely a format that is near and dear to my heart. I hope that if you listen you can get some good information from Ethan. He's a nice guy and very willing to help out and give advice.

Congrats on launching Ethan!

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:


Take aways:

Why do you want to farm? What do you hope to get out of the experience?

If you are farming, why did you get started originally? Do you still have that original intention in sight?

What work do you do, or that you want to do, that is worth fighting for?


My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a rating in iTunes if you liked the show.