Your E-mail:
Hobby Farms - Current Issue

Printer Friendly

John Ivanko

John Ivanko, HobbyFarms.com Contributor

John Ivanko is co-author, with his wife, Lisa Kivirist, of the cookbook, Farmstead Chef (New Society Publishing, 2011), which aims to transform traditional farmstead cooking skills for the modern kitchen gardener, urban homesteader and homestead cook in all of us. The duo also authored the award-winning book ECOpreneuring (New Society Publishing, 2008), a fresh approach to entrepreneurial thinking that blends protecting the planet with small-business pragmatics, and Rural Renaissance (New Society Publishing, 2009), which captures the American dream of farm living for contemporary times. John is also the co-author of and photographer for six, award-winning multicultural children’s photo-books, including To Be an Artist (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2004), Be My Neighbor (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2006) and To Be a Kid (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2000), which support the work of the Global Fund for Children.

When not writing books, John is a national speaker on topics related to local and seasonal food, renewable energy, sustainable living, and green enterprises that thrive with a triple bottom line of planet, people and (some) profits. He has consulted with communities and organizations related to culinary experiences, enrichment travel, ecotourism and agritourism. Some of the projects he’s been involved with include the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest, Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Travel Green Wisconsin program and Renewing the Countryside’s Green Routes.

As pioneers in green travel, John and his family also operate the award-winning Inn Serendipity Bed-and-Breakfast in southwestern Wisconsin, considered among the "Top 10 Eco-Destinations in North America” and featured in USA Today, MSNBC, ABC news, Newsweek and numerous other media. Powered by 100-percent renewable energy, Inn Serendipity was the recipient of the Energy Star Small Business Network Award from the EPA and is an example of a "carbon-negative" business, sequestering more carbon dioxide annually than it emits from its operations. He and his family grow fruits, vegetables and herbs for local sale with a specialty in leeks and garlic.

As a freelance writer and photographer, John contributes to Hobby Farms, HobbyFarms.com, Hobby Farm Home, Urban Farm, UrbanFarmOnline.com the Popular Kitchen series and numerous other national magazines.  His writing covers renewable energy, food and agriculture topics as well as permaculture, ecotourism, and green business operations.

"The biggest challenge in life is finding the sense of purpose and passion for what it is you love to do, then pursue it in earnest,” John says. "In part, I’ve found both with the diversified livelihood we’ve created together on our farm. Anyone who says money doesn’t grow on trees has obviously never picked an apple tree.”

John shares his farm with his wife, their son, a 10kw wind turbine and a flock of ladybugs.


5 Steps to Permaculture Design
Farm in a way that imitates nature and builds abundance with these steps to permaculture design.

Get into the Permaculture Zone
Start thinking of your farm as a set of concentric circles, all with their own purpose and function, and you’re on your way to success in permaculture design.

Going Green with Co-op America’s Green Business Conference
Visit to annual green business networking event and green festival inspires hobby farmers and ecopreneurs or sustainable business owners alike.

How to Write a Farm Business Plan
Want to take your farm from hobby to budding enterprise? Make your business endeavor a success story by formulating a plan and putting it into action.

How Well Will Your Farm Products Do At Market?
Find out how well your farm-made pickles, breads or jams will sell in your community by studying a test market.

What the Frack? Beginning Farmers’ Energy and Pollution Dilemma
As fracking for natural gas becomes widespread across the U.S., it puts beginning farmers’ sustainability and bottom line at risk.

Straw Bale Greenhouse Building Plans
Learn the six main steps and environmental benefits building a straw bale greenhouse.

Wind Energy Pros and Cons
Check this list of wind energy pros and cons to determine if it's the right choice of renewable energy for your farm.


Product Spotlight
Hobby Farm Rewards 
Member Login »


Information on over 200 horse breeds