Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"farm-dreams guide to profitable homesteading"

I've written about Natures Harmony farms / Tim and Liz Young a few times; basically that they talk a lot about farms and profits when none of their ventures appear to have made one; and that their animal husbandry choices aren't what most farmers would choose to do,given the same choices.  You can read more details if you'd like here.

So they've written a booklet this time, "The farm-dreams guide to profitable homesteading" and they're peddling it on amazon.  I wrote the following review:

"Dusty Bottoms" is a pseudonym of Tim and Liz Young. While they have many opinions on farming and have dabbled in it for a few years now, they've never had any of their ventures last more than a year or two, and as near as I can tell and in my opinion, none of them have produced any profit.

It's a lot easier to talk about farming than to actually do it. Take what is written here with a grain of salt, please.

You'll find my review (and some very critical comments about me and my review:) here.  (link now broken, see updates, below)

Update:  "T.J", who appears to be Tim Young, has deleted his comments about my review and has now purchased his own book so that he can be an "amazon verified purchase", after I pointed out to him that it was a little embarrassing to be "reviewing" a book you'd never purchased.

Update 2: Tim has managed to get my review, above, deleted.  Amazing.  It even erased it from my amazon profile; that's very sneaky, amazon.  If you delete peoples reviews, what good is what is left?
At the time of deletion, 5 of 7 people found my review helpful.  The next-most-helpful review had 2 votes.

Update 3:  I've reposted my review.  link broken, see update #4  Wonder how long it will last?   Amazon support emailed me and said that the removal of my review was "due to a technical error" and that the review was within their guidelines.  And it seems that most folks agree with it.

Update 4:   My review was removed,  here's the email from amazon support:

Your recent review for "The Farm-Dreams Guide to Profitable Homesteading" was found to reveal personal information that is not publicly available. In order to help customer make informed choices, we encourage them to review the product and information related to it. However, reviews which violate our guidelines or conditions of use will be removed.

It's a big secret that Tim and Liz are really dusty bottoms and farm-dreams, eh?  Ok.  Shhh!  Don't tell anyone!   

In my opinion half the reviews written are by the authors; no "real name" tag on their names, none of them have any other history or reviews, and they're all glowing reports.  Tim has a lot of time on his hands, I think.  Maybe you should make some more cheese there, Tim.  Idle hands and all that. 


Rich said...

Do people actually buy books and stuff like this thinking it will actually help them start a farm (or homestead or cottage farm or whatever the newest name is)?

If people actually want to start a farm they should buy my yet to be published book. It is short and sweet, and out of the goodness of my heart I will publish it in its entirety in this comment (just use the $2.99 you save to buy some super-awesome-uber-sustainable cheese from Tim because he apparently needs the money since he is printing up these bogus self-help books trying to raise some cash).

You have to learn how to farm by farming.

Don't buy books that tell you how to farm the "right" way.

Don't believe anything you read in a book, blog, or e-book (even what I just wrote).

You aren't going to save or change the world with your farm.

Life ain't fair.

That's most of what you need to know about starting a farm (or homestead or whatever).

Bruce King said...

Rich, there's no replacing hands-on experience, I agree. But yes, people do buy books like this and use them as guides for their ventures.

I've got no problem buying a book and they often provide valuable information -- I reviewed "grass fed cattle" a bit ago, written by a successful rancher, and liked what the guy had to say, and especially that he was actually doing what he was talking about.

But a book on making a profit from a guy who's never walked that path, well, I'm not a fan.

becky3086 said...

Ok, I don't know what these people have done to you but I am going to say it, if it was me, I would "let it go". You have talked about them A LOT and every time they "move" we hear about it. Now I am not trying to be ugly here.
I love your blog but I don't think you realize what this is doing to you and how it makes you look.
You have a great farm and you know what you are doing. Any of us who follow your blog can see that. Honesty is easy to spot even on a blog. Who cares what they are doing? I want to know what YOU are doing. That is why I come to your blog. The more you talk about them the more time you waste on them and they don't seem like they are worth it.
I looked at their blog- because you kept showing it to me- and I didn't necessarily immediately believe everything everyone says on a blog. Their blog seemed nice but something about it just didn't appeal to me and I haven't been back to it. It wasn't even anything you said, it just didn't keep me coming back.
Your blog did. But you are starting to sound jealous every time you post about them.
It if fine with me if you don't post this. It is mainly for you anyway.

Bruce King said...

Thank you for the feedback, Becky. What I feel about Tim & Liz is complicated; on one hand, I like a lot of their earlier work on their blog, but really didn't like the direction they took after they ran into difficulties.
The biggest gripe I have with them is that they persist in offering themselves as a source of information on stuff that they just didn't do. Never have done. Have no experience with. And if anyone says it they do their level best to squash that discussion. I'm not the only one.

Heck, I didn't vote for them to be the voice of small farming, and I honestly think that some of their views are wacky, as in insane.

I do like a good fight, too, and I'll admit to a bit of satisfaction that my one-star review is the most helpful as voted on amazon. Maybe Tim will listen to the community and write about stuff he has some experience in.

Jealous of them... no, not that. I do like their idea of a farming forum anchored by a podcast. That's an interesting notion.

Powdery Top said...

Why did you moderate my link that clearly shows Tim (from HNF) is still working a real job?