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Gold Shaw Farm: My favorite YouTube channel of 2021

Gordon Chaffin
Gordon Chaffin
Morgan Gold, of Gold Shaw Farm in Vermont, runs my favorite of YouTube channels I discovered this year.

Gold Shaw Farm is a YouTube channel about a small, start-up farm in Vermont.
Gold Shaw Farm is a YouTube channel about a small, start-up farm in Vermont.
2021 was a year of really good things and really bad things in my life. Maybe this has also been your experience. I wanted to share something that made 2021 better: the Gold Shaw Farm channel on YouTube.
Morgan Shaw moved to Peacham, Vermont from Washington, D.C. several years ago to start a small, start-up farm. He started a YouTube channel at that time to chronicle the journey of farming and homesteading. It’s a surprisingly large corner of YouTube: people from all across the country and world who create content about their increasingly rare way of life in the days of suburban sprawl and order-everything-online consumerism. For us city slickers or soccer parents stuck in traffic, watching these videos is so calming and fun.
I came across Gold Shaw Farm because a video featuring his livestock guardian dog was recommended to me. I’m a dog lover and sitter — as many of you know — and this is how I find my way into many enjoyable things. Toby, the dog, is joined by barn cats, geese, ducks, the “weird chickens,” and now Scottish Highland cows.
How Much Money Did I Make Farming in 2021?
How Much Money Did I Make Farming in 2021?
In addition to the lighter videos about life on a farm, Morgan produces really interesting videos about the business of farming. There are tic-tocs of hunting laws and local politics. Morgan shares how he builds things and why, even despite being very handy, it makes sense to buy some things from professional builders or manufacturers.
Morgan has taught me a lot about agriculture and animal husbandry. For example, did you know that an overwhelming percentage of American farmers make most of their income at a different job? Most farmers have day jobs, just like Morgan and his wife.
My small media business start-up failed. So I can relate and learn when Morgan explains the books like in the video above. Morgan is approaching this effort in a very thoughtful, risk-managed way. He’s proactive and forward-thinking: indirect and ancillary revenue from things like YouTube sponsorships are high-margin and can cross-subsidize low-margin, loss leader business lines such as eggs for eating. Remember, these days, musicians make money off live experiences and brand partnerships. There isn’t a living wage from selling music anymore.
I’m a softy progressive that despises the suburbs, but I love Morgan’s rural, rugged spirit. I wish fellow Democrats would get better at listening to and talking about people like rural farmers. People are practical regardless of population density, and I think so much suburb focus “eats our brains” with culture war chaos instead of focusing on fixing people’s real problems. Democrats lost the VA Governor race because they didn’t focus on re-opening schools ASAP during COVID; not because of the diversity curriculum. That’s what the data and reporting show.
Individualism isn’t mutually exclusive with collectivism. We can be both self-reliant and stewards of each other in a democratic society. It’s kind of like the Holy Trinity: Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are the same thing and different things. No matter how far you fall away from the church pew, the metaphors stick with you.
It makes me really happy watching Morgan Gold. I’ve started thinking about ways America has to reorganize around BOTH walkable/bikeable, transit-filled smart growth land-use AND local, rural, small food and manufacturing businesses. In my mind, the current suburban status quo is the enemy.
Anyway, you should subscribe to Gold Shaw Farm on YouTube. Morgan produces great content on Instagram as well.
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Gordon Chaffin
Gordon Chaffin

This is Gordon Chaffin's newsletter featuring commentary on life in Washington, D.C., and tourism on a bike as the primary means of functional and recreational transportation. If society does not replace car-based infrastructure with public transportation and safe-for-everyone (e-)bike lanes, the planet will be destroyed by climate change. Gordon moonlights as a 5-star dog-sitter and freelance photographer, video producer, and audio technician. #GoBlue #RaiseHigh #ForksUp #DCStatehood

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Gordon Chaffin, 680 Rhode Island Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002