How a Vegetarian Teacher Decided to Raise Pigs
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In Chapter 15 of 15, “The Art of Eating In” author and 'Not Eating Out in New York' food blogger Cathy Erway shares how Tamarack Hollow Farm's Mike Betit has inspired her through his actions. Betit, a Vermont-based greenmarket farmer and small meat producer, left a teaching career to raise pigs and create healthier, locally grown food options for parents raising families. Erway shares Betit's early struggles and persistence building a business around a clearly defined purpose.

Transcript


00:04 to 00:11 Erik: How has Tammerack Hollow Farm’s owner and farmer Mike Bennett inspired your own purpose in what you’re doing? 00:11 to 02:03 Cathy: That’s an interesting question. I think I mentioned before that he’s a green market farmer. One of the many small, unique, meat producers at the green market, actually a very small meat producer. I was just very inspired by his story. He cooked a dinner at a friends home in Brooklyn, it was really great food. But in the down time he talked about how his experience of opening that farm and how he had been a teacher before and wanted to change careers. Actually he was a vegetarian and wanted to raise food, raise meat that he could feel was responsibly raised, humanely raised. So we started raising pigs and selling them at the local markets in Vermont. He told me that his first year he lost about 8K and the next year he went even further in the whole. The third year, he started selling at the New York City Green Market in Union Square and he broke even. So, now he’s been selling there for a couple of years now and has started making some money, peanuts really, but clearly he’s doing this for passion and for a strong belief and I feel like everyone else there at the green market feels the same way. They’re not doing it for money, they’re doing it because they want to share really good food for their children, your children, for you, for the better of people and it’s a very altruistic goal. And when I think about the struggles that they have to go through and the lack on monetary gains that they’re doing for all that stuff, it’s just really inspiring.