The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution

Aerial view of The New Farm

“The New Farm” – Brent Preston and Gillian Flies – Creemore, Canada

Note: Details and Information shown here are quoted from the Amazon Sales Page for this book together with editorial commentary from “How To Live Off The Grid Now™”.


The inspiring and sometimes hilarious story of a family that quit the rat race and left the city to live out their ideals on an organic farm in Creemore, Ontario, and ended up building a model for a new kind of agriculture in Canada.

This story is, in essence, about the experiences of two people who set out to follow their dream of seeking freedom from dependence on “the power grid for electricity, super-markets for food and 9-5 jobs for income” in their own fashion. In other words, they are very much like the people for whom How To Live Off The Grid Now was created.

It’s true that Brent Preston and Gillian Flies did leave the city and move to the country, and they did make a lot of stupid mistakes, some of which are pretty funny in hindsight. But their goal from the beginning was to build a real farm, one that would sustain their family, heal their environment, and nourish their community. And that is exactly what “How To Live Off The Grid Now™” has in mind as the solution to creating your own self-sustaining, self-reliant lifestyle off-the-grid.

It is important to note that, just as Rome was not built in a day. Creating this farm as an ongoing successful business was a goal that Gillian and Brent achieved, not through bucolic self-reflection, but through a decade of grinding toil and perseverance. However, since they can show a revenue of around $500,000 (Canadian) per growing season now from those efforts, seems that this was very well worth while and goes to what we have been saying about “creating your own source of income” to support your off-the-grid lifestyle. Disclaimer: Obviously everyone’s results will be different from this unique example. This result for Preston and Flies is no guarantee that you will achieve this kind of result in return for your own efforts.

Told with humour and heart in Preston’s unflinchingly honest voice, The New Farm is the story of one family’s transition from die-hard urbanites to bona fide farmers and passionate advocates for a more just and sustainable food system. It’s the story of how a couple of young professionals learned not just how to grow food, but how to succeed at the business of farming. And it’s the story of how a small, sustainable, organic farm ended up providing not just a livelihood, but a happy, meaningful and fulfilling way of life.

Click the link below to get your own copy of their book via Amazon. Currently available in Hard Back only but at least you can scribble notes in it and highlight important pieces of information for later reference.


Editorial Reviews:

“Brent Preston and his partner, Gillian Flies, are like the super supportive, always revered and forever humble god-parents of the new good food movement in Ontario. Brent’s book is as inspiring (and funny!) as he is and tells the story of his move into agriculture and what it takes to run The New Farm, one of Ontario’s favourite farms. It’s a beautiful, thoughtful book. If you love food as much as we do, you’ll love it.” —Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance

“Preston’s book speaks to how quickly the foodscape has changed and where it may be headed. The memoir is both a book about the food system and a tell-all of his journey. . . . The ups, and mostly downs, he describes might have been a trial but they do make for a good read. Preston and Flies are strongly committed to being not just farmers, but sustainable farmers.” —The Globe and Mail

“A refreshingly honest, beautifully crafted story of family life on the front lines of the good-food economy, serving double duty as a handbook for those who dream of leaving the rat race. You will be inspired.” —Alisa Smith, co-author of The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating

“A must-read story told with honesty, humour and humility by a passionate farmer who reminds us what our food system can and should be about.” —Daniel Boulud, chef and owner, The Dinex Group

“It’s one thing to dream of leaving behind your career to follow a more sustainable path, but how many of us have the courage to actually make that leap? Brent Preston uses brilliant storytelling and brutal honesty to describe what it takes to create both a viable organic farm and a more meaningful life for himself and his family. The New Farm is the kind of book that will inspire people to make positive change.” —Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global

“This is a hilarious, deeply honest memoir, with profound insight into the ways in which small-scale agriculture can be a viable alternative to our havoc-wreaking current system. Now more than ever we need such wise and inspiring stories to guide us as we seek to build a more just and healthy world. I dare you to read this book and remain unmoved about the urgency for change.” —Nick Saul, president and CEO of Community Food Centres Canada

“This book has timely and important things to say about food and farming and building a more sustainable future, but it’s also a fantastic story about the new economy, a textbook case of doing well by doing good. The New Farm should be required reading for every Canadian entrepreneur.” —Arlene Dickinson, businesswoman, author, former co-host on Dragon’s Den

“Reading Brent’s book was as satisfying and as entertaining as learning the origin story of a favourite superhero. Delicious food starts with the best ingredients, and no one sets a higher standard for the food they grow than The New Farm. I hold Brent and Gillian in the same esteem as the best chefs I’ve worked with because they have forever changed the way I cook.” —Carl Heinrich, winner of Top Chef Canada

About The Author:

Brent Preston worked as a human rights investigator, aid worker, election observer and journalist on four continents before finding his true calling as a farmer. In 2003 he and his wife, Gillian Flies, abandoned successful careers in Toronto, packed up their two young children, and moved to a run-down farm outside Creemore, Ontario. Since then, they have built The New Farm into a thriving business and a leading light in the good food movement, providing organic vegetables to some of the best restaurants in Canada. Preston speaks often on food and farming issues, and writes for the Huffington Post.