Keep a Founder’s Journal

I have been recently researching what it takes to run a small farm or homesteam lately. This has involved not only looking at properties but reading a lot of blogs and, more often than not, talking to real generational farmers who have spent their entire life out in the field.

What happens to a farm if the family decides to move on? Who takes it over and how do they take it over? What grows in the fields? When does it grow? How often does it grow? How many people does it take to harvest a field? What maintenance is required during the off-seasons? What work is involved pre-season? What tools or special equipment are required? What has been successful over the years? What has not been successful?

Farmers are incredibly smart and detailed people. Knowing one’s land is crucial to surviving. Much like a chef is the leader in a kitchen, a farmer is the leader in the field. People will look up to a leader for advice or will rely on a leader to help solve important problems.

I recently learned about the practice of keeping a “Farmer’s Journal”. This can be a small notebook or binding of learnings and writings, sometimes daily. It can be as detailed or as vague as one wishes but the goal is all the same: document your learnings.

I have been practicing this technique for my own side projects lately. I use emacs and org-roam to keep track of noteable daily learnings (see About This Site). Often those daily learnings will build into a topic I want to document for sharing. I use mkdocs to document topics that might require collaboration in the future since git and markdown are slightly more approachable than emacs.

I really like using these tools so far. Documenting small, incremental learnings have allowed me the creative space to explore some often ignored topics in software engineering documentation, most of which I look forward to writing about in the future. My goal is to ultimately grow these learnings into a self-sustaining company, one that I can pass on when I feel ready to.

Author: Thomas Lackemann

Created: 2021-12-13 Mon 14:57