Farm Small Farm Smart

By Diego Footer

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Description

Weekly insights for vegetable farmers and market gardeners who earn, or want to earn, a living growing vegetables profitably. The show is hosted by Diego Footer of Permaculture Voices. Each week I talk with a beginning, or experienced farmer diving deep into their story to find out what makes their market farm successful. I focus on farming challenges and struggles, sales and marketing, soil preparation, weed management, post harvest processing, appropriate technology, farm startup, market selection, and work-life balance.

Episode Date
f5: There Isn't a Formula For Success That Works Everywhere
04:13

Farm 5 featuring Blake Cothron.


Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 18, 2019
f5: Selling Seeds - Where to Start?
05:10

Farm 5 featuring Dan Brisebois.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 17, 2019
f5: Going No-Till Changed Everything
04:54

Farm 5 featuring Conor Crickmore.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 16, 2019
f5: It's More Than Just Income Here
04:00

Farm 5 featuring Mark Shepard.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 15, 2019
BEST OF: Hustle - The Biggest and Most Powerful Tool on The Farm (FSFS64)
55:31

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!

 

The last few episodes have focused on stuff. The tools of farming. Today we are talking about the flip side of tools, the opposite of the physical. The mental side of things, in particular hustle.

The best tools and the right stuff without the business sense, hustle, and effort won't mean anything. The tools make the job easier. Just owning them doesn't mean anything. You have to do the work.

And it's that hustle to do the work form preparation to production to sales that can give you the advantage over people who just have the money and the stuff.

As Stephen C Hogan said. "You can't have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic."

Because if you do, where's that going to get you. Left with an unsuccessful business and collection of expensive stuff.

A lot of success isn't quantifiable with a dollar sign, instead being measured in pure blood, sweat, and hard work. And the beauty of it is that none of this costs any thing and can be applied by literally every person on the planet regardless of their particular situation.

Today, we will get into the importance of the hustle, and the areas like sales and preparation, where hustle makes the difference between you and the person who isn't hustling as hard.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 13, 2019
f5: There Isn't An Easy Path If You Do This
04:05

Farm 5 featuring Jean-Martin Fortier.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 12, 2019
f5: Information Is the Best Investment You Can Make
02:58

Farm 5 featuring Joel Salatin.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 11, 2019
f5: Refining the Vision
03:23

Farm 5 featuring Rob Avis.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 10, 2019
f5: Winter Growing In A Cold Climate
03:24

Farm 5 featuring Shawn Kuhn.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 09, 2019
f5: Don't Expect it To Be Easy
02:06

Farm 5 featuring Adam Klaus.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 08, 2019
BEST OF: Building Soil Health by Dr. Elaine Ingham
01:15:00

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!

 

This episode is a replay of Dr. Elaine Ingham’s keynote talk, Building Soil Health, from PV1. To introduce the talk, Dr. Elaine Ingham says…

A revolution in our understanding of soil has been taking place. “Conventional” agriculture requires ever-increasing inputs and energy into the system to maintain production, while natural systems reduce the disturbances in the system, while increasing production. Historically, soil science ignored or dismissed soil life as important, in large part because the methods used to study organisms in soil were mis-leading, inaccurate and missed about 99% or more of the species present in soil. With the advent of microscope methods and genetic assessment of soil life, we are beginning to unravel the mysteries of the soil. Understanding soil life is critical if we want to be sustainable; we need to work with nature, instead of waging war on natural laws as we do in our agricultural systems, to the detriment of people and the planet.

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 06, 2019
f5: Real Businesses Have Real Costs
04:13

Farm 5 featuring Chris Thoreau.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 05, 2019
f5: Find A Fit For You
06:11

Farm 5 featuring Javan Bernakevitch.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 04, 2019
f5: We Are All the Same
05:31

Farm 5 featuring Brian Bates.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 03, 2019
f5: Is a 30" Bed Width Optimum?
03:44

Farm 5 featuring Conor Crickmore.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 02, 2019
f5: Rural Farming Won't Make You Rich
04:05

Farm 5 featuring Blake Cothron.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jul 01, 2019
BEST OF: The Importance of Information, Mentors, and Adaptation – The Urban Farmer (FSFS23)
50:58

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!

 

This episode is all about the art of farming.

Creating a framework, and understanding the overlying philosophy about why you do what you do, and leaving yourself some room to maneuver within that philosophy.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 29, 2019
f5: What Are Your Dreams?
02:02

Farm 5 featuring Stefan Sobkowiak.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 28, 2019
f5: Can You Make Money Selling Seeds?
05:56

Farm 5 featuring Dan Brisebois.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 27, 2019
f5: How We Started Our Farm
04:36

Farm 5 featuring Shannon Jones.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 26, 2019
f5: Starting the Next Generation of Farmers
06:26

Farm 5 featuring Joel Salatin.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 25, 2019
f5: The Romanticism and Reality of Farming
05:25

Farm 5 featuring Jean-Martin Fortier.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 24, 2019
THE PODCAST AS YOU KNOW IT IS DONE - Changes Ahead - Please Listen
09:37

In this episode, I try to cover some of the upcoming changes to the podcast.  I really hope you enjoy them.

Jun 23, 2019
BEST OF: Knowing and Growing What Chef's Want and What's Profitable with The Culinary Gardener Evan Chender (FSFS115)
58:59

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!

 

Utilizing his experience as a chef Evan Chender has set out to produce niche crops for chefs such as edible flowers and more exotic cultivars and types of vegetables. It's this niche approach which has given him an edge in his market place. While a lot of other farmers just grow salad mix, Evan stands out because he produces crops that others don't. 

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 22, 2019
BEST OF: Increasing Crop Quality - Better Soil, Better Crops with Dan Kittredge of BioNutrient.org
01:11:51

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!

 

Farm and soil specialist Dan Kittredge joins me to talk about building soil and increasing plant nutrition.

Learn more about Dan and see his free courses at bionutrient.org.

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 15, 2019
BEST OF: Tomato Mania - How to Get More Total Crop Production by Inter-planting Tomatoes with Other Crops (FSFS48)
55:46

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!

Most of the tomatoes that Curtis grows fall into the cherry and saladette category - the smaller tomatoes.  These types of tomatoes offer several advantages - they are pretty vigorous, they have a relatively short DTM, and because chef's like them.  And when much of your sales are for restaurants, you grow what they want to buy.

Over the years Curtis has evolved his system for tomato culture.  And he now looks at them as a bit of a bonus crop given the way that he grows them.

Many home gardeners dedicate full rows to tomatoes and give the plants wide spacing’s.  

Curtis does the opposite.  He interplants his tomatoes; dedicating most of his bed space to another crop, while squeezing his tomatoes into the out 2 edges of each bed.  

This strategy works for several reasons.  It takes advantage of more of the soil strata.  The tomatoes are planted deep, so their roots occupy the deeper layers of soil.  While the main greens crops in the beds have shallow root systems.  So while the plants are planted in the same space competition is minimized.  Another reason why the competition is minimized is that the tomatoes occupy more of the vertical space.  If you time the plants strategically during the year plant growth and sun angles allow you to get more plants in the same space with no shading.

Overall, inter-planting has been huge for Curtis's farm.  It's what's allowed him to hundreds of pounds of greens and hundreds of pounds of tomato, in same relative space.  

Not a bad bonus yield in a situation where most farmers would simply leave the tomatoes out.  

Look around your garden at the extra space and think about that next time you plant your tomatoes.

It's currently May 4, 2016.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 08, 2019
Feel Better, Farm Better Live Better - A Farmer Wellness Episode with Scott Hebert (FSFS181)
01:16:24

Scott Hebert and I talk about how Scott has created a functional balance in life between business and non-business.  He also talks about some of the changes he has made to improve his life on farm and off-farm including getting more fit so he can think and farm better.

Connect with Scott:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flavourfulfarms

YouTube: https://bit.ly/2u3WxIW

 

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

 

Jun 05, 2019
BEST OF: Growing What Chefs Want with farmer Taylor Rogers of In Season Omaha (FSFS87)
01:02:50
Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!
 

Today farmer Taylor Rogers talks about how he started his farm and sells to restaurants - his primary market.

He currently grows of 20 different crops, and it's that variety that has been one of the keys to his success.  In this episode, he'll also talk about some of the other things that have made him successful such as growing what chefs want, how they want it and bringing it when you say you’re going to bring it.

All keys to his current success and keys he learned before he even got into farming when he saw these problems first hand working behind the scenes in the kitchen.  Taylor's going to share a lot of information and insight in this one about working with chefs.

Follow Taylor: https://www.instagram.com/inseasonomaha/

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 01, 2019
Sell More Flowers - The Different Market Streams for Cut Flowers (FSFS180)
01:14:16

Benny and Courtney Pino from Loblolly Farm join me to talk about all of the different potential market streams for small scale cut flower growers.  From selling to distributors to florists to designers there are a lot of potential outlets to sell to as a grower.  We will discuss each model hitting on the pros and cons of each, so you can hopefully find a market stream that works for you.  The whole key is finding the best one that fits your farm and your context.

 

Connect with Benny & Courtney:

Follow Loblolly at https://www.instagram.com/loblollyfarm/

 

Listen to past episodes at https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

 

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

May 29, 2019
BEST OF: The Importance of Soil - Where Market Gardening and Grow Biointensive Meet with Jodi Roebuck (FSFS124)
01:18:00
Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!
 
Jodi Roebuck of Roebuck farm discusses how he has incorporated Grow Biointensive practices into his market garden.  Techniques include compost, mulching with tarps, and the importance of deep soil.
 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

May 25, 2019
The Farmer’s Office - The Business of Farming with Emma Hendel (FSFS179)
01:18:39

Emma Hendel of Fair Share Farm gives us a look at the work that happens behind the scenes to support and enable field production.  She cover’s what she does in the office on a weekly basis for their farm.  Tasks include bookkeeping, market, and communicating with customers.  In this episode, there are tips for increasing your time bandwidth and some thoughts about the upside of on-farm sales.

 

Connect with Emma:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/fair_share_farm 

Website: https://www.fairsharefarm.net/

 

Listen to past episodes at https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

May 22, 2019
BEST OF: Failing Above Other Peoples' Heads (FSFS69)
01:05:58

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!

Whenever you do something why are you doing it?

Are you doing it because that something is pulling you towards it, is it the opposite, are you forcing yourself to do something and pushing yourself towards it.

There's a big difference there.  And depending on the answer to that question, it means the difference between doing big things and setting out to do big things, but never really getting anywhere.

To further explain this concept I turn to the brilliant personal development specialist Anthony Robbins...

“I think you have to have something larger than yourself that you are after because [otherwise] you will let your fear dominate you. But if you have something—your children, your mom, your dad, a friend, a mission—something you want to do that really pulls you [the fear disappears]. Because push never lasts. ‘Push’ motivation is I’m going to make myself do that. You can do that for a while, but you are eventually going to [regress]. When you are pulled toward something larger than yourself, you’ll make the sacrifices; you’ll do what’s necessary because it’s not just about you. I really believe life supports what supports more of life.”

This is what we are focusing on today.  It's a loose conversation based around this idea of push and pull.  And finding something that makes it easy to choose to be great. Something that you feel compelled to do, and you feel off when you aren't doing it.

When you hear about someone like Curtis putting in a ton of hours working in the farm, and you think, why does he work so much, you are missing the point, because maybe that thing that you think is work isn't working after all...

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

May 18, 2019
Choosing the Right Crops (and Customers) for Your Farm with Ben Hartman (FSFS178)
46:25

Today farmer Ben Hartman of Clay Bottom Farm joins me to talk about choosing the right crops for your farm’s context.  He goes through some of the most profitable small farm crops, and why you should consider growing them.  He also gets into choosing the right customers for those crops and how to make sure those crops are a fit for the customers.

Ben's Online Course:

www.theleanfarmschool.com

Follow Ben:

https://www.instagram.com/claybottomfarm

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: bit.ly/2B45VK

May 15, 2019
BEST OF: Successfully Growing Summer Greens (FSFS108)
01:17:37

Today's episode is a BEST OF episode, which is a replay of a previously aired episode.  Enjoy!


For today's show I got a group of those growers together and asked them all how their doing it, growing greens during the summer heat.  And not just growing them, but
growing them very successfully.

In today's episode you will hear how their doing it and what goes into growing the greens from establishment to harvesting to storage.

There are some similarities in their strategies and some differences.  There's a lot in here.

The Farmers:
Elliot Seldner of Fair Share Farm in Winston Salem, NC.
Brandon Gordon of Five Acres Farms in Pleasant Plains, AR
Erich Schultz of Steadfast Farm in Queen Creek, AZ
Ray Tyler of Rose Creek Farms in Selmer, TN

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

May 10, 2019
Being a Parent and a Farmer (While Starting a Farm) with Justin Logeais (FSFS177)
52:32

Justin Logeais joins me to talk about transitioning from full-time employment to full-time farming - how he did it, how it paid for it, and the balance that was required.  He also talks about balancing family with running a business and keeping family first.

Connect with Justin:

https://en-gb.facebook.com/compostguycsa/

 

Plant Fast, Live More...

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

May 08, 2019
Top 10 Cool Season Flowers for Small Farms (FSFS176)
01:31:37

Benny and Courtney Pino from Loblolly Farm join me to talk about the Top 10 Cool Season Flowers for Small Farms.  We talk about why you should consider these flowers, how to grow then, and how to use them in bouquets.  We also get into pest and disease pressure for each type of flower and the overall difficulty to grow them.

Follow Loblolly at https://www.instagram.com/loblollyfarm/

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Apr 29, 2019
Crop Planning for Microgreens with Spreadsheets (FSFS175)
57:39

Chris Thoreau joins me to discuss crop planning for a microgreens business using spreadsheets. We discuss timing crops for orders, using spreadsheets to plan and forecast income, and how to use spreadsheets for business planning.

Get Chris's Crop Planner at: https://urbanmicro.ca/crop-planner/

 

This show is brought to you by Paperpot Co.

Apr 24, 2019
Practical Tips for Increasing Sales at the Farmers Market (GFL174)
01:28:13

John Paul Smajda joins me to talk about how he increased sales at their farmers' market by over 300%.  From display to customer interactions, to pricing, all of the tips in this one are practical ones anyone could implement.

Connect with John: smajda@mac.com

 

This show is brought to you by Paperpot Co

Apr 17, 2019
Farm Growth Without Compromises - Thoughts on Scaling, Hiring, and Maintaining Quality with Jordan MacPhee (FSFS173)
01:28:20

Jordan MacPhee of Maple Bloom Farm joins how microgreens fit in with field crops on their farm.  They are also in expansion mode on the farm and talk hiring considerations, selling more, and maintaining quality.

 

Connect with Jordan:

http://www.maplebloomfarm.ca

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

  

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Apr 10, 2019
Strategies for Growing Tomatoes and Building Soil with Ben Hartman (FSFS172)
49:52

Ben Hartman talks about creating the optimum conditions for growing tomatoes.  He also touches on building soil in between crops and handling crop turnover.

Ben's Online Course: 

https://www.theleanfarmschool.com

Follow Ben:

https://www.instagram.com/claybottomfarm

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Apr 03, 2019
BEST OF: Farming Against All Odds with Ray Tyler of Rosecreek Farms (FSFS83)
01:17:12

Today's show is a BEST OF episode where we replay a favorite episode from the past.

We all know that running a business is hard.

We all know that running a farm business is hard.

But think everyone knows how hard it actually is.  How much it can push you to the limits and test you to your core?  

It's during those tests, when the world seems darkest, that most entrepreneurs throw in the towel.  The pressure, the stress, the money, it's all too much.

Nonetheless more and more people flock to farming without any experience, not totally knowing what they are getting themselves into.

One of those people was Ray Tyler...

Ray started out like a lot of people who get into farming, he was inspired by to get into farming by Joel Salatin's You Can farm...

He started raising livestock, and then life got real...

Imagine yourself as a new farmer running a full-time livestock operation raising 50 pigs and a few thousand chickens a year.  

And then imagine running a two-acre market garden on top of that...

And along the way the, your 5-year-old daughter gets cancer...

It was a moment that put Ray's farm and life on the ropes... it's the story of Ray Tyler or Rosecreek Farms...

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Mar 27, 2019
Farming While Being a Parent - Time Management and More with Kim Doughty-McCannon (FSFS171)
59:12

Kim Doughty-McCannon joins me to talk about being a mom and a farmer.  How does she balance both?  We get into topics such as time management and splitting time.  Kim also talks about her experiences running a cut flower CSA.

Follow Kim:

@bellurbanfarm

https://www.bellurbanfarm.com/

 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Mar 20, 2019
A Very Important Topic Affecting Farmers (and Everyone Else) (FSFS170)
49:56

Depression is an issue that affects over 20 million Americans, and the farm space is not isolated from that.  Today Farmer Chris Gilbert joins me to talk about the topic of depression and some of his experiences with depression.  

Follow Chris:

https://www.instagram.com/gilbertsgrapesiowa/

 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

 

Mar 13, 2019
Growing Tomatoes for Profit with Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm (FSFS169)
49:02

Tomatoes can be a big economic center for small farms.  In this episode, Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm talks tomatoes.  The economics and seasonality and production from seed to transplanting.  

Winstrip Trays: http://www.neversinktools.com

Conor's Online Course: http://www.neversinkcourses.com

Follow Neversink at https://www.instagram.com/neversinkfarm

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Mar 06, 2019
Top 10 Warm Season Flowers for Small Farms (FSFS168)
01:19:04

Benny and Courtney Pino from Loblolly Farm join me to talk about the Top 10 Warm Season Flowers for Small Farms.  We talk about why you should consider these flowers, how to grow then, and how to use them in bouquets.  We also get into pest and disease pressure for each type of flower and the overall difficulty to grow them.

Follow Loblolly at https://www.instagram.com/loblollyfarm/

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Feb 27, 2019
Farm Couples: Being Successful as Partners in Life and Business with Emma Hendel and Elliot Seldner (FSFS167)
01:12:19

Emma Hendel and Elliot Seldner talk about being husband and wife along with business owners.  How do they make it work?  What does it take?  What is it really like?  

Follow Fair Share Farm at http://instagram.com/fair_share_farm

https://www.fairsharefarm.net/

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Feb 20, 2019
Tips for Successfully Competing in a Crowded Market with Jordan MacPhee (FSFS166)
01:12:44

Jordan MacPhee of Maple Bloom Farm joins me to talk about how they sell their organic veggie box in the small, but crowded marketplace on PEI in Canada.  We discuss strategies for marketing CSAs, getting people interested, and keeping them coming back year after year.

Connect with Jordan:

http://www.maplebloomfarm.ca

http://www.waggon.ca

 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Feb 13, 2019
Business Opportunities Growing Cut Flowers with The Flower Grower Benny Pino (FSFS165)
53:46

If you think you need a lot of land to grow cut flowers or that cut flowers aren't profitable, then you might be wrong.  Benny Pino, The Flower Grower, of Loblolly Farm joins me to talk about business opportunities growing cut flowers on small farms. 

Follow Loblolly at https://www.instagram.com/loblollyfarm/

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Jan 30, 2019
Doing The Most Important Things in 2019 with Javan Bernakevitch (FSFS164)
01:52:52
Javan Bernakevitch and I talk about the need to decide what is truly important and why that, and only that, should be the focus in 2019.
 
Connect with Javan:
 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Jan 25, 2019
Goal Setting and Yearly Planning for Success with Farmer Yosef Camire (FSFS163)
49:53

Yosef Camire of Ahavah Farm talks about his process for goal setting and yearly planning.  We cover both short and long-range goal setting.  Along with how to attack larger longer-term goals.

Follow Yosef: https://www.instagram.com/ahavahfarm/

 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

 

Jan 23, 2019
Building Deep Soil with A Lot of Organic Matter featuring Ben Hartman (FSFS162)
01:03:34

Ben Hartman talks about building soil on a new farm or bringing new soil into production.  Topics include tillage, compost, and no-till.  

Ben's Online Course: 

https://www.theleanfarmschool.com

Follow Ben:

https://www.instagram.com/claybottomfarm

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Jan 16, 2019
Do You Have a Farm Business or a Farm Job? (FSFS161)
31:12

Today I am asking the question - Can you farm business scale enough to matter?  If not, then why are you doing it or what can you change?  Can the business scale, do you have a business or a job, and can your markets handle enough sales volume?

 

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Jan 09, 2019
10 Life Changing Audiobooks to Listen to With Your Cat When It's Snowing (FSFS160)
01:21:27

Scott Hebert and I each talk about 5 of our favorite audiobooks - why we like them and why you might too!  Happy New Years!

Connect with Scott:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flavourfulfarms

YouTube: https://bit.ly/2u3WxIW

 

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

 

Jan 02, 2019
Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever (FSFS159)
26:19

A review process for 2018 and tips on how to build off of success from 2018 to have your best year ever in 2019. 

 

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Dec 26, 2018
Growing a Farm Business with a Successful Farmstand featuring Jenny Quiner (FSFS158)
01:10:28

Jenny Quiner talks about growing her farm business through her farmstand.  What has worked, what hasn't, and several ideas for growing farmstand business.  

Follow Jenny @dogpatch_urban_gardens

 

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Dec 19, 2018
Different Crops and Market Streams to Scale Farm Income with Elliot Seldner (FSFS157)
56:33

Elliot Seldner of Fair Share Farm talks about his options for scaling income.  What crops he could add and what market streams he could grow and what that might look like.

 

Connect with Elliot: 

https://www.instagram.com/fair_share_farm/

 

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Dec 12, 2018
Increasing Net Profit with Less Work, Waste, and Costs featuring Ben Hartman (FSFS156)
01:02:59

Ben Hartman gives you some tips on how you can use LEAN principles to eliminate waste from your farm and make your farm more efficient in 2019.

Ben's Online Course: 

https://www.theleanfarmschool.com

Follow Ben:

https://www.instagram.com/claybottomfarm

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Dec 05, 2018
Beyond Startup: Taking A Farm to the Next Stage with Elliot Seldner (FSFS155)
01:01:50

Elliot Seldner of Fair Share Farm talks concerns and considerations with scaling once you have a business that works - from hiring employees to growing the farm.

Connect with Elliot: 

https://www.instagram.com/fair_share_farm/

 

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Nov 28, 2018
THANKSGIVING EXTRAVAGANZA - Board Game Edition
01:02:21

Happy Thanksgiving.  This episode is a replay of an episode of Grassfed Life that aired earlier this week.  In this fun episode, livestock farmer Darby Simpson and I talk about how board games are a great way to use your downtime and connect with others.  

Learn more about Grassfed Life: http://bit.ly/2D5gRJX

Subscribe to the podcast: https://apple.co/2hayYod

Farm Business Essentials Online Course is here, and it's not just a piece of the puzzle. FBE is a complete step by step A to Z system to plan, market, and grow the farm enterprise that's right for you. Built by a farmer for farmers just like you -https://www.farmbusinessessentials.com

Instagram:
Follow Darby: http://bit.ly/2D6mlo7
Follow Diego: http://bit.ly/2B3vprJ

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/grassfedlifepodcast/

 

Nov 21, 2018
A Base Principles Approach to Farming - Understanding Why and Context with Chris Thoreau (FSFS154)
54:50

Chris Thoreau discusses the importance of buying the right equipment, knowing when to get advice, and understanding the context of what you do and why you do it.  Blind copying is dangerous.

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Nov 14, 2018
Growing a Farm Business with Positive Optionality featuring Justin Gay (FSFS153)
01:00:59

Justin Gay talks about farms market sales strategies, selling live cut microgreens and pre-packaged, and growing a small farm that gives him the most options for his life context. 

Connect with Justin: 

https://www.instagram.com/theseedsofxanxadu/

 

Listen to past episodes: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Nov 07, 2018
The Four Base Principles of Lean Farming and How to Use Them on Your Farm (FSFS152)
01:22:31

Ben Hartman discusses the base principles that make up the lean system and gives you practical tips on how you can apply them to your farm to save time, money and effort.

Ben's Online Course: 

https://www.theleanfarmschool.com

Follow Ben:

https://www.instagram.com/claybottomfarm

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Oct 31, 2018
Hustling and Balancing Time to Build a Farm Business with Rome Julian (FSFS151)
01:04:56

Rome Julian of Lake Tilly Acres talks about starting his farm on the side, growth challenges, and how he has time to run the business, work another job, and have a family.

Follow Rome:

https://www.instagram.com/laketillyacres/

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Oct 24, 2018
Considerations for Adding Microgreens On Top of Field Crops (FSFS150)
01:00:14

Max Becher and Chris Thoreau chat about the differences between growing microgreens and field crops, when to add more microgreen crops, and when do you have too many crops.

Connect with Max: http://www.ojaifarmstand.com

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Oct 17, 2018
Creating the Perfect Farm Business for You with Travis Schulert (FSFS149)
01:08:36

Travis Schulert joins me to talk about how he has made farming on the side successfully mesh with the rest of his life and his full-time job.  Travis also discusses his farmer's market pricing and sales strategies.

Connect with Travis: https://www.permadynamics.org/

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

 

Oct 10, 2018
These Exact Lean Principles Turned Around My Farm with Ben Hartman
20:02

Farmer Ben Hartman talks about how lean principles turned their farm around. Learn more about Ben's courses: https://www.theleanfarmschool.com/

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Oct 07, 2018
How to Successfully Sell Microgreens to Wholesale Customers (FSFS148)
01:07:02

Luke Carneal of The Sonoma Farm joins me to shares his experience selling to wholesalers as a small farm.  He'll give you a lot of tips on approach and working with wholesale customers.

Connect with Luke: https://www.instagram.com/thesonomafarm/

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Oct 03, 2018
Marketing a New Farm and Overcoming Startup Challenges with Jay Reid (FSFS147)
01:07:29

Jay Reid talks about how they have marketed their new farm and CSA program and what steps they have taken to stand out from the competition.  Jay also discusses how he and his partner Kat have made farming and their relationship co-exist in a positive way.

Connect with Jay: https://www.instagram.com/resilient_farms/

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

 

Sep 26, 2018
Finding New Customers Fast with Max Becher (FSFS146)
01:11:46

Max Becher shares some strategies that he used to find new customers very quickly including Facebook ads and email campaigns.

Connect with Max: http://www.ojaifarmstand.com

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Sep 19, 2018
Complexity is the Opposite of Lean - Making Your Farm More Efficient with Ben Hartman
20:13

Farmer Ben Hartman and I talk about removing tools and processes from your farm to make your farm more efficient (lean). Ben's Upcoming Workshops: http://www.claybottomfarm.com

Ben's Books:
The Lean Guide to Growing Vegetables: https://amzn.to/2v0vpZv
The Lean Farm: https://amzn.to/2K1Yh8s

Marie Kondo - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: https://amzn.to/2uXEGBH

Follow Diego on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B3vprJ

Follow Diego on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/diegofooter

Co-Instructor in The Farm Business Essentials Online Course: https://www.farmbusinessessentials.com

My Podcasts:
Do The Work: https://apple.co/2ERsLHZ
Farm Small, Farm Smart: http://bit.ly/2vMUDvX
Grass Fed Life: http://bit.ly/2uOsLTH
Voices of Change: http://bit.ly/2vrn81r

Support content I have created:
https://www.patreon.com/diegofooter

Support while you shop at Amazon:
http://amzn.to/2vqAwCR

My Business:
Paperpot Transplanter: http://www.paperpot.co
Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Aug 01, 2018
Running Your Business Shouldn't Mean Working All of the Time with Chris Thoreau (FSFS145)
30:42

Chris Thoreau and I talk about balancing life and business, and planning for life and business.  We also talk about observing self care to get out of a rut and hit the mental reset button.

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 27, 2018
Challenges Growing and Managing a New Microgreens Business with Jon Grootveld (FSFS144)
01:23:43

Jon Grootveld talks about some of the challenges and successes that he is having during the early start-up stages of his new microgreens business. Then Chris Thoreau joins the conversation to troubleshoot some growing issues Jon is having.

Connect with Jon:

Instagram: @vertagrosystems 

Website: http://www.vertagro.ca

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jun 20, 2018
Selling to Whole Foods and Growing in Tropical Miami with Moses Kashem (FSFS143)
54:41

Moses Kashem joins me to talk about the challenges of growing in Miami, farming seasonally versus full-time, and how he has had success selling to Whole Foods as a small market farmer.

Connect with Moses:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/st.simonsfarm/

Website: https://urbanvegetableproject.com/

 

Building Your Microgreens Business Course:http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipmentat https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

Jun 13, 2018
Dialing Back Farming Expectations with John Jarmusz (FSFS142)
56:21

John Jarmusz joins me to talk about farming reality - what farming has been like in comparison to his expectations going in. We also touch on success, failure, and defining success.

Connect with John:

Website: http://apmicrofarm.com/

 

Building Your Microgreens Business Course:http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipmentat https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

Jun 06, 2018
Building a Thriving Farm Business with Relationships featuring Drew Sample (FSFS141)
01:13:16

Drew Sample of Columbus City Greens joins me to talk about how he has changed his farming path from one of market gardening to microgreens and how relationships he has formed have helped with that change.  Drew will share times on dealing with chef, microgreen growing, and sales.

Connect with Drew Sample:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/capcitygreens/

Podcast: http://www.samplehour.com

 

Building Your Microgreens Business Course: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

May 30, 2018
Innovative Techniques to Grow Microgreens with Urban Rebel Farms (FSFS140)
01:24:55

Joey and Jerome from Urban Rebel Farms talk about growing veganic microgreens, growing microgreens in only coir, selling live and uncut microgreens, and more.

Connect with Joey and Jerome:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/urbanrebelfarms/

Websitet: https://urbanrebelfarms.com/

 

Building Your Microgreens Business Course: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

May 23, 2018
Farming As Part of Life, Not All of Life with Scott Hebert (FSFS139)
01:11:19

Scott Hebert discusses how his farming journey has evolved and how it has challenged some of his initial expectations and assumptions.

Connect with Scott:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flavourfulfarms

Podcast: https://stoicmettle.com/

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

May 16, 2018
The Importance of Food Safety and Sanitization with Microgreens featuring Chris Thoreau (FSFS138)
50:10
Microgreen grower Chris Thoreau joins me to talk about the importance of sanitization and food safety when growing microgreens.  Building Your Microgreens Business Course: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Apr 25, 2018
Online Sales and Establishing Yourself as a New Farmer with Mark Chapman (FSFS137)
48:46

Mark Chapman of Marks Market Garden joins me to talk about what his first year was like as a bike powered urban farmer in Portland.  He discusses how he established himself in a crowded market, came up with his crop selection, and started an online store.

Connect with Mark:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marksmarketgarden/

Website: https://marksmarketgarden.com/

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Apr 18, 2018
Growing and Selling Medical Herbs with Lindsay Napolitano (FSFS136)
01:08:47

Lindsay Napolitano of Fields Without Fences joins me to talk about growing medical herbs as business, and to regenerate their farm property.  From production to sales via CSA Lindsay covers a lot in this one.

Connect with Lindsay and Fields Without Fences:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/fields_without_fences

Website: http://www.fieldswithoutfences.org/ 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Apr 11, 2018
A Produce Manager and Farmer's View on How to Sell Produce to Grocery Stores with Bob Close (FSFS135)
57:47

Bob Close of Stafford River Farms talks about farming on the side while working a full-time job. At one point in his career Bob worked as a produce manager for a grocery store, and he shares how that experience has helped him sell greens to his local grocery store.

Connect with Bob Close:

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/stafford_river_farm/

Website:https://www.staffordriverfarm.com/

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipmentat https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Apr 04, 2018
Selling Only Microgreens Only to Grocery Stores with Vincent Cuneo (FSFS134)
01:34:09

Vincent Cuneo talks about what has made him successful selling microgreens to small independent grocery stores.  He discusses giving samples, shelf placement, packaging, and credit for unsold product.  Then Chris Thoreau joins the conversation to troubleshoot some growing issues Vincent is having.

Connect with Vincent Cuneo:

 

Website: http://www.agrarianfeast.com/

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Mar 28, 2018
Pioneering Urban Farming in Sweden with Buddha Browett of Los Perros Urban Farming (FSFS133)
51:38

Buddha Browett joins me to talk about what it is like to run the first commercial urban farm in Sweden.  He discusses some of the challenges that he is facing from weather to cash flow to being a dad and balancing time.  

Connect with Buddha Browett:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/losperrosurbanfarming

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/losperrosurbanfarming/

Website: https://www.losperrosurbanfarming.com/

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Mar 21, 2018
Seeing the Vision - The Long, Slow Road to Farming for Life with Michael Bell (FSFS132)
59:48

Farmer Michael Bell from Texas joins me to talk about running an urban farm on the side while maintaining a full-time job as a teacher, and a father.

Connect with Michael on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mbell971/

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Mar 14, 2018
Running a Small Scale Seed Selling Business on a Small Farm with Dan Brisebois (FSFS131)
40:35

Dan Brisebois of Tourne Sol Farm joins me to talk about small scale vegetable seed growing.  Dan has grown seed on his farm for over 10 years and sells that seed via his own seed company and to other seed retailers.  It's a lucrative business model that might just be a fit as a side business or an add on business for a small farm.

Dan Brisebois:

Dan's PV3 presentation on Growing Seed

Dan's Farm Website

Dan's book on Crop Planning

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Mar 07, 2018
Growing Great Microgreens Starts with the Great Soil featuring Chris Thoreau (FSFS130)
01:09:04
Microgreen grower Chris Thoreau joins me to talk about the importance of soil in growing microgreens.  Learn how Chris grows microgreens in his online course: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Feb 21, 2018
Selling Vegetables Online and Farm Start Up with Daniel Garcia of Garcia's Gardens (FSFS129)
56:40

Daniel Garcia joins me to talk about his journey into farming - why he started and how he evolved his farm.  He also discusses tips for selling at the farmers' market and gives his thoughts on selling to two online grocers - a model that seems very promising.

Garcia's Gardens:

Website: http://garciasgardens.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garciasgardens/

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Feb 14, 2018
Farm Success with Methods You Might Not Expect featuring Yosef Camire (FSFS128)
01:11:56

Yosef Camire of Ahavah Farm joins me to talk about some of the challenges and successes he has had starting a farm at an elevation 7000 feet in Colorado. His farm uses "different" techniques such as woodchips in the beds and a pay what you can farmers' market model, and it works.

Ahavah Farm:

Website - https://www.ahavahfarm.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ahavahfarm

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Feb 07, 2018
Grow A Lot of Vegetables on Just 8000 Square Feet... Hydroponically with Darren Vollmar (FSFS127)
01:15:37

Darren Vollmar of Ledgeview Gardens in Green Bay, Wisconsin joins me to talk about why they grow vegetables hydroponically and what it takes to do so.

Ledgeview Gardens:

Website - http://www.ledgeviewgardens.com/

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/ledgeview_gardens

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ledgeviewgardens/

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

Jan 31, 2018
A Practical Look at Vegetable Farming and a Fragile Seed System with Chris Thoreau (FSFS126)
01:13:40
Microgreen grower and local seed advocate Chris Thoreau and I talk about local seed - the challenges of it, what that means, and how practical it is.
 
Learn how Chris grows microgreens in his online course: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 24, 2018
What Urban Farming Is Really Like - Success and Challenges with Farmer AJ Zaycheck (FSFS125)
01:15:27
AJ Zaycheck of Spin Cities Farm joins me to talk about what his first year in farming was really like.  He also shares a lot of tips on what helped make the farm profitable in year one - from selling to time management.
 
Follow AJ on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spincitiesfarm/

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 17, 2018
The Importance of Soil - Where Market Gardening and Grow Biointensive Meet with Jodi Roebuck (FSFS124)
01:19:08
Jodi Roebuck of Roebuck farm discusses how he has incorporated Grow Biointensive practices into his market garden.  Techniques include compost, mulching with tarps, and the importance of deep soil.
 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 10, 2018
Why We Choose Flowers Over Vegetables with Loblolly Farm (FSFS123)
01:31:35
Benny and Courtney Pino join me to talk about their journey into small scale vegetable farming and why that journey shifted to growing flowers.

Follow Loblolly Farm on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loblollyfarm/

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 03, 2018
Your Journey to You - Following The Dream and Following Opportunity Too (TUF REPLAY)
50:08

We all have this great chance to go great places.  Yet we all don't take it.  Today's episode is a look at the opportunity and why some people squander it, and why some people don't.  A replay of Season 2 Episode 14 of The Urban Farmer.

Learn more at permaculturevoices.com/theurbanfarmer

Support the show at permaculturevoices.com/support

Nov 22, 2017
The Challenges of Market Farming in Hot and Wet Texas with Brent Heironimus (FSFS122)
01:02:20
Brent joins me to talk about the challenges of growing in hot and wet Southeast Texas.  It's forced him to adapt and modify things he has seen on other farms for his own context.  Today you'll hear what he's doing and how he's doing it.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Nov 15, 2017
The 10 Year Evolution of a Microgreen Farmer - Life and Business, Business and Life (FSFS121)
01:11:18
Chris Thoreau has grow microgreens for over 10 years, but he recently reached the point where he Chris realized it was time to do something else and move on.  Find out what changed and why Chris is changing with it.
 

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Nov 08, 2017
Increasing Post Harvest Processing Efficiency with Michael Kilpatrick (FSFS120)
55:42

Michael Kilpatrick joins me to talk about some of the issues that he sees on farms that struggle with post harvest processing and how most farms can improve that part of the process.  He will also touch on the role that new food safety regulations will play on vegetable farms and how famers can start preparing for that.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Nov 01, 2017
Starting and Growing an On Site Farmstand and Farm with Jenny Quiner of Dog Patch Urban Gardens (FSFS119)
01:09:27

Farmer Jenny Quiner of Dog Patch Urban Gardens in Des Moines, Iowa  talks about farm startup, growth, and unique ways to sell your product.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Oct 25, 2017
Base Principles Which Make Neversink Farm Successful with farmer Conor Crickmore (FSFS118)
01:26:02

When you look at a farm like Conor Crickmore's Neversink farm which grosses around $350k on 1.5 acres, it's not about modeling exactly what Conor does, it's about modeling his approach, using his base principles.  That's the focus of today's show, farming base principles with Conor Crickmore.

Neversink Market Farming Course: http://bit.ly/2yoGdUm

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Oct 18, 2017
The Journey Towards the Regenerative Vegetable Farm - Learning, Selling, and Growing More Product Over Time with Shawn Kuhn of Vitruvian Farms (FSFS117)
01:09:17

Shawn Kuhn joins me to talk about selling to restaurants, growing a lot of greens, season extension, and trying to be more regenerative.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Learn how to start a microgreens business in Chris Thoreau's Build Your Microgreen Business Workshop.

Keep learning with these two great audiobooks:
The Market Gardener by JM Fortier
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Oct 11, 2017
Continuous Improvement - Lessons Learned on Farm and on Other Farms with Brian Bates of Bear Creek Organics (FSFS116)
01:52:36

In this episode Brian Bates of Bear Creek Organics joins me to talk about greens production, employees, and learning from big farms.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Learn how to start a microgreens business in Chris Thoreau's Build Your Microgreen Business Workshop.

Keep learning with these two great audiobooks:
The Market Gardener by JM Fortier
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Oct 04, 2017
Knowing and Growing What Chef's Want and What's Profitable with chef and farmer, The Culinary Gardener Evan Chender (FSFS115)
01:03:48

Utilizing his experience as a chef Evan Chender has set out to produce niche crops for chefs such as edible flowers and more exotic cultivars and types of vegetables. It's this niche approach which has given him an edge in his market place. While a lot of other farmers just grow salad mix, Evan stands out because he produces crops that others don't. 

Today's episode was brought to you by Audible.  Sign up for Audible's 30 Day Trial and get a FREE audiobook download.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Learn how to start a microgreens business in Chris Thoreau's Build Your Microgreen Business Workshop.

Keep learning with these two great audiobooks:
The Market Gardener by JM Fortier
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

 

 

Sep 27, 2017
Start with What You Can and Grow - Season Extension, Farm Tools, and Improving Processes with Ray Tyler (FSFS114)
55:10

In this episode Ray Tyler of Rose Creek Farms will talk about how his farm has dealt changes on the farm as it evolved.  He’ll also talk about how they tackle farm problems and deal with season extension.  It’s a practical look at what happens behind the scenes - because things always don’t go as planned and that tool that you bought, doesn’t always work as well as expected.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Learn how to start a microgreens business in Chris Thoreau's Build Your Microgreen Business Workshop.

Keep learning with these two great audiobooks:
The Market Gardener by JM Fortier
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Sep 20, 2017
Increasing Farm Productivity and Efficiency with Michael Kilpatrick (FSFS113)
01:20:12

Farmer and consultant Michael Kilpatrick joins me to talk about improving farm productivity and profitability through better processes.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Learn how to start a microgreens business in Chris Thoreau's Build Your Microgreen Business Workshop.

Keep learning with these two great audiobooks:
The Market Gardener by JM Fortier
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Sep 13, 2017
The Lean Farm with Ben Hartman (FSFS112)
01:07:34

Author and farmer Ben Hartman talks about his farm and his book, The Lean Farm.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Learn how to start a microgreens business in Chris Thoreau's Build Your Microgreen Business Workshop.

Keep learning with these two great audiobooks:
The Market Gardener by JM Fortier
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Aug 30, 2017
Buying, Growing, and Improving a Microgreens Business with Max Beecher and Chris Thoreau (FSFS111)
01:55:10

The benefits of building a microgreens business, and how to keep improving it.

View the show notes for this episode and all previous Farm Small, Farm Smart episodes.

Learn how to start a microgreens business in Chris Thoreau's Build Your Microgreen Business Workshop.

Keep learning with these two great audiobooks:
The Market Gardener by JM Fortier
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone 

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter.

Aug 23, 2017
Starting Your Own Farm by Selling Someone Else's Vegetables First with Max Beecher (FSFS110)
01:30:16

Today we are going to Ojai California to talk to a farmer who's more than just a farmer.

Max Beecher was inspired into farming by Joel Salatin and Joel's entrepreneurial spirit inspired Max to get created when ti came to his farm based businesses.  

Max started out his farm journey in 2013 with wife.  At the time they weren't farmers though, they started out as aggregators...
 
He describes the experience as "one where we sold produce from a few different local farms to a local customer base we were working on building.  This started by selling #2 produce from a local farm I was volunteering at, and the farmer let me split the gross with him, since he would have thrown the product away otherwise.  Our idea was to make money up front by selling other people's produce, and to build a customer base so one day we could sell our own product through it.  We have continued to grow that webstore business, and it remains a core feature of our business, with a list of almost 300 customers, generating over 100 orders per week.  We now source from around 15 local farms, and have a ready market for our own products, including the micro greens.  Because of building this webstore before we started farming, marketing what we grow has never been a problem, and we throw little to no product away due to over production."

That business has continued and evolved today to become a full-fledged online store generate over $100,000 a year in sales at a decent profit.  

It's a thriving business and an integral part of Max's farm, and it's one that started by selling someone else's waste.

Learn more at http://www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Aug 16, 2017
The Struggles and Successes of Microgreen Startup with Eddy Gilmore (FSFS109)
01:25:08

Today's episode is a different type of episode.  It's a consult style episode with new grower Eddy Gilmore and long-time microgreen grower Chris Thoreau.

The first part of this episode will be Eddy and I talking about what's going on with his farm, and then later in the episode Chris will join us to answer some of Eddy's questions about growing his microgreen business.

Eddy's at a point in that business that you may find yourself in.  He's growing his microgreens at home in his house, but he's running out of space and wondering where to from here.

Find out how Chris would handle and approach the business expansion.

For Eddy microgreens weren't the first farm business from day one.  They came about from necessity.  

In Eddy's words...

“We were freaking desperate over here. I have a wife and two kids, and I was all in on Tiny Farm Duluth. Less than two months ago it seemed as if all was lost. The land was being sold where the vast majority of my farm was located. It was owned by an institution, and I had no idea they were thinking of selling until just before it went on the market. Then, after it sold, I learned that the new owners weren't open to a 7,000 square foot market garden on their property. Just two hours after I received this devastating news, our 2008 Toyota Prius blew both the engine AND transmission. Total, absolute chaos. Our lives were completely upended.”

Given that Eddy's life was upended, how did it end up?

Stay tuned to find out.

Learn more at http://www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Chris’s Growing Your Microgreens Workshop:  http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Aug 16, 2017
Mastering Summer Greens - How 4 Farmers are Effectively and Productively Growing Salad Greens in the Heat (FSFS108)
01:22:28

Given summer heat growing certain crops can be really tough, especially greens.  Given the tendency of the normally cool weather lettuces to bolt quickly, turn bitter, and have their foliage burn, many growers simply pass on trying to grow summer greens.  The challenges are too great and the returns are too low.

But not for all growers.  Over the past few weeks I talked to a lot of growers and I tried to track down farmers who were growing greens exceptionally well in some very adverse hot conditions.

For today's show I got a group of those growers together and asked them all how their doing it, growing greens during the summer heat.  And not just growing them, but
growing them very successfully.

In today's episode you will hear how their doing it and what goes into growing the greens from establishment to harvesting to storage.

There are some similarities in their strategies and some differences.  There's a lot in here.

The Farmers:
Elliot Seldner of Fair Share Farm in Winston Salem, NC.
Brandon Gordon of Five Acres Farms in Pleasant Plains, AR
Erich Schultz of Steadfast Farm in Queen Creek, AZ
Ray Tyler of Rose Creek Farms in Selmer, TN

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VK

Aug 16, 2017
The Challenges and Successes of CSA Farming on 2 Acres with Sam McLemore of Bountiful Harvest Farms (FSFS107)
01:22:24

Sam's taken a perspective that he gained on hiking the Appalachian trail and he has used it to help navigate the equally hard journey into being a full time vegetable farmer. Like the trail, Sam's career as a farmer has spanned a lot of land going from 1/8 of an acre in town to two fenced acres a few years later.

Today Sam and I will talk about some of the challenges of growing crops on two acres, how Sam has to design his market streams to his land base, working with limited labor, and the trade- offs between growing niche crops and a wide variety of CSA crops. We'll also touch on some of Sam's big takeaways from his days on the trail and how that's helped him as a farmer.

Learn more at http://www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Aug 16, 2017
No-Till Farming in Rural Arkansas with farmer Brandon Gordon of 5 Acre Farms (FSFS106)
01:07:02

For today’s show we are going down to the State of Arkansas to talk to Brandon Lyons of 5 Acre Farms.

Brandon is someone who transitioned into farming from the nursery trade way back in 2010. Since then he’s grown his farm to 1.25 acre, and during that same time he’s also grown his family getting married and having kids.

It’s a farming journey that started out with a single farmer who could put in crazy hours on the farm to make it work, but one that’s now changed to a husband and father farmer, who absolutely can’t put in crazy hours on farm. As a result Brandon is now focusing on crop selection, seasonality, and processes to make the hours he does spend on the farm pay, and pay well.

One of the processes that Brandon has focuses on over the years to help save time and labor is no-till. He’s employed that strategy on his farm seeing great results both in terms of soil and reduced weed pressure. In this episode we’ll find out why he did it and how he did it, today it’s all about running a high intensity vegetable operation in rural Arkansas with farmer Brandon Gordon.

Learn more at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Aug 16, 2017
The Long Journey of Slowly Scaling a Farm on the Side with farmer Travis Schulert (FSFS105)
01:20:28

Everyone enters the world of farming for different reasons.

Reasons spanning from environmental concerns to bringing high quality food to their local market to creating a path to a more independent future…

For my guest today, Travis Schulert, farming became a mode of a change, because prior to farming Travis described his situation as…

"I was stuck in a dead end lifestyle, living in a trailer park, no savings, no plans, and between 24 and now (28) I started a CSA on leased land, funded the infrastructure of the farm and gave myself the money to build a tiny home. My wife and I lived in the tiny home and saved what we could, started doing markets and learning to sell and grow. “

Farming has been a means to get Travis and his wife out of that lifestyle which wasn’t working. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Between production issues, CSA issues, and trouble with land tenure, it’s been a bumpy road.

Travis has been able to navigate that road so far and is now in his 4th year of farming, but one which is also a new beginning as he starting his first season on a new plot of land currently dominated by grass.

As you’ll hear in this episode, like all things in farming, Travis is taking it in stride and doing his best with it, and now realizing “farming is only romantic until you start doing the work.”

Today it's all the trials and tribulation of slowly scaling a farm on the side with farmer Travis Schulert.

Learn more at http://www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at http://www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 16, 2017
Bigger or Better - The Next Step for Market Gardening with farmer Jean-Martin Fortier (FSFS104)
01:02:35

When it comes to this world of farming small, what is this world?

Is it a bunch of small farms each operating independently?

For the most part, I think the answer is yes.

Given that, what's the next step.

Is it more small farms operating independently or is those small farms growing to be larger small farmers.

Now I am not talking 1.5 acre farms scaling to 100 acres, I am talking about 1.5 acre farms scaling to 10 acres.

If small farms do that, what does that look like, both for this world of farming small and for each independently operated farm?

Is that scale manageable on a people powered biointensive level? Or does this style of farming not scale?

It's a question being asked by one of the leader in this movement, JM Fortier.

A few years ago JM Fortier left his 1.5 acre farm behind to start working on an experimental 10 acre farm to test the idea and validity of scaling these types of farming methods.

It's project which has produced some answers, but one which has also produced a lot of questions, some of which are the focus of our show today.

It's all about the future of market gardening in this episode with farmer JM Fortier.

Get JM's audiobook version of The Market Gardener at www.permaculturevoices.com/audiobook

Aug 16, 2017
Inside the Organic Inspection Process with Organic Inspector Laura Murray (FSFS103)
52:03

What’s the organic inspection process really like? It’s probably a big hassle, right?

Let’s find out straight from the source, in this episode with independent organic inspector Laura Murray

Last episode with Scott Murray covered the topic of why organic and what goes into getting certified. Today’s episode builds on that episode and we go a rung higher on the ladder taking on questions such as:

Once the inspector shows up on your property the first time, how does that process unfold?
What should you have in order when you have the inspector show up?
Explain the annual inspection process?
Would a property ever be inspected more than once a year?

To answer these I am going straight to the source to talk to someone who deals with this every day. I’ll be talking with independent organic inspector Laura Murray. Laura does organic inspections of all over the country for organic certifiers. Her inspections span all types of farms and all types of organic product production facilities. She’s seem a lot over the years, and today she shares what the inspection process is really like both for the initial inspection and annual inspections.

If you were thinking about getting certified by the inspection process made you a little uneasy, maybe that will change after you hear what it’s really like.

This show is brought to you by CoolBot. Get a discount coupon for CoolBot at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Looking for more? There are over 100 episodes in the archive at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Aug 16, 2017
Is ORGANIC CERTIFICATION worth it with organic pioneer and farmer Scott Murray (FSFS102)
01:18:31

Organic certification.

We all know what that is, seeing that green stamp on products in the grocery store and on signs at the farmers market.

But, is it worth it?

Is it only for large farms?

I use organic methods, do I need the stamp?

What goes into getting certified?

Should I get certified organic?

These are all common questions that I hear being asked with the small scale farming community. They are also questions that my guest today Scott Murray gets a lot, and helps a lot with.

Scott’s a 40 year organic farming veteran who’s been around the organic farming movement since the beginning, before it was a big thing. Today he will share his knowledge of what he’s learned about the organic movement and how he views organic certification in terms of who it’s right for, when it makes sense to get, and what goes into getting it.

If you were thinking about getting certified, but had some reservations, this episode will address those common reservations and leave you with a clear idea of what’s involved in the process. And it just might not be as expensive or cumbersome as you think it is after all.

This show is brought to you by CoolBot.  Get a discount coupon for CoolBot at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Looking for more?  There are over 100 episodes in the archive at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Aug 16, 2017
How to Grow Microgreens Consistently All Year with farmer Chris Thoreau (FSFS101)
55:15

When you are only growing a 10 day crop, how much of an affect does light quality and temperature have on the crop?

A lot.

Chris is in Vancouver where he sees day lengths change from 8 hours at the winter solstice to 16 hours at the summer solstice; a large change which affects how much light crops get to grow. Less light in winter means slower or no crop growth. If you are a farmer, you get this. It makes sense, at least for field crops.

But what about microgreens? Crops which spend only half of their life in the light, a life that might only be 5 to 8 days.

Does seasonality really affect those crops over those 5 days?

Yes, and more than you think.

In this episode Chris will talk all about the change of the seasons and how it affects microgreen crop growth - specifically the effects of changing temperatures and light conditions. Two factors which can dramatically affect crop growth, yield and quality.

How to Grow Better Microgreens All Year - Adapting for Changing Seasons, Temperature, and Light Conditions with microgreen grower Chris Thoreau.

DOWNLOAD the show notes at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart and CLICK on Episode 101

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 16, 2017
The Future is Now – Celebrating 100 Episodes of The Urban Farmer & Farm Small, Farm Smart (FSFS100)
01:22:54

To celebrate episode 100 I take a look back at the 100 combined episodes of The Urban Farmer and what is now Farm Small, Farm Smart focusing on the highlights, some backstory, and where the show is headed in the future.

See some of the highlights from the first 100 episodes at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Thanks for listening!

 

Aug 16, 2017
Farming When the Game Changes - Balancing Being a New Parent and the Farm with Curtis Stone (FSFS99)
49:53

There's one event that happens in many people's lives which instantly changes their life forever.

Overnight, instantly, everything is different.

Your life, your approach to life, how you view life, and how you go about living life all change.

It's an event that some people aren't ready for and one that others are ready for, but one where no one is ever REALLY ready.

It's the birth of a child.

A beautiful event that instantly makes live more worth living and richer, but one which also makes life harder and more challenging, especially for entrepreneurs.

If you thought running a business or starting a farm was hard without kids, try doing it with kids, because it's exponentially harder.

Curtis is a brand new parent experiencing some of those challenges first hand.

Today, we'll explore what those challenges are like in terms of life and farming, and how Curtis is dealing with them as a brand new inexperienced father, while being a seasoned experienced farmer.

It's never easy, and as you'll hear it's always a balancing act.

But it is one Curtis, me, and most other fathers wouldn't trade for anything else in the world.

Get the audiobook at www.permaculturevoices.com/audiobook

Download the show notes at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart and click on Episode 99.

Aug 16, 2017
Profitable Market Farming in The Middle of Nowhere with Blake Cothron of Peaceful Heritage Farm (FSFS98)
01:18:40

While the prospects of starting a small market farm that grosses over $100,000 is lucrative and attractive, it's not for everyone or possible in every location.

And that's the topic of today's episode with Blake Cothron of Peaceful Heritage Farm....

A lot of what you hear about in the small scale farmer movement are the uber-successful small farmers that are grossing 1, 2 or $300k per acre.  They are inspiring stories, but those stories all share one thing in common, their markets.  Typically small farmers grossing big dollars are able to do that by selling their produce into larger, higher end urban market streams - market streams which will pay top dollar for microgreens, salad mix, and baby root veg.

What if you don't live near one of those large urban markets?

What if you don't have high end farmers markets and restaurants to sell product too?  

What do the prospects of your rural farming career hold?

Today, I am talking to a farmer who faced that exact problem, making farming work in very rural Amish Kentucky without high end restaurants and with a sleepy farmer's markets.  
 
In this episode Blake Cothron of Peaceful Heritage Farm located in very rural Crab Orchard Kentucky will share his story.  

It's an inspiring story about a husband and wife making a small farm work, by approaching farming in a very smart way.   A necessity, when your local customer based is used to buying vegetables at prices like 3 for $1 or $1 per dozen sweet corn.

If you're interested in farming, but you are nowhere near a large city, then this episode is for you.

Learn more at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 16, 2017
Growing a $100,000 Farm - Elliot Seldner of Fair Share Farm on No-Till, Farm Efficiency, and Balancing Life (FSFS97)
01:29:17

Today I'm talking to a grower who's admittedly "I'm a little bit obsessive about growing high quality produce."

It's an obsession that's fueled his farms growth, and an obsession which is a bit necessary to fuel the farm's growth to bring his fiancé onto the farm full-time.

And while Elliot Seldner of Fair Share Farms' obsession may be on growing high quality produce, it's not only on growing high quality produce, because Elliot realized the importance of work life balance and the need to have a time and place to enjoy the other things created on the farm.

Today Elliot is going to talk specifically how they do that, in part by focusing intentionally on making the farm more efficient through appropriate technology, no till, and optimizing equipment.

Elliot's also going to talk about how he and his fiancé are approaching farm transition. Because she's current employed a schoolteacher, a necessary step in their farms evolution, but one that's only a step, where the long term goal is to get her onto the farm full time.

Looking into the future, it's the farming methods that Emma and Elliot use which will make this all possible, a farm that provides multiple incomes on just over half and acre...

Let's get into it, with one of the masters of farm efficiency, Elliot Seldner.

Learn more at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 16, 2017
Do New Crops Pay? - The When, How, and Why of a New Crop with Chris Thoreau (FSFS96)
56:39

If customers keep asking if you have certain crop, and you don't, should you grow it?

It depends.

And that's the focus of today's show: When, How, and Why to Start Producing A New Microgreen Crop

Today microgreen grower Chris Thoreau and I are talking about new crops - specifically how do you start growing them?

On the surface that may seem like a simple and straightforward question, but there's a lot of specifics involved in answering that questions, and the specifics are where profits are made or money is lost.

You have to consider things like can you actually grow the crop - meaning can you get a good yield from in within your system that's already setup to grow other crops; or does the crop's harvest schedule fall in line with your other crops and your current harvest schedule.
 
If you plan on scaling the crop, can you actually buy enough seed?  And can that seed be bought at a price that makes the crop profitable.

All legitimate considerations which need to be considered, anytime you take on the decisions to grow a new corp.

If you are thinking about starting a farm or adding some new crops to the mix, then this episode is for you.

Chris will put the theory to reality and talk about his experiences and failures introducing new crops, like basil.

What his methodically and thought process was and why.

As you'll hear, not everything always works, regardless of how much experience you have, and sometimes some crops are just better off not grown.

Learn more at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 16, 2017
Growing Better by Growing Smaller - Going From Half an Acre to 500 Square Feet with Alex Bertsch of Epic by Nature Farm (FSFS95)
01:03:55

Today I'm going to be talking to another small scale farmer who's greatly benefited by growing smaller, not larger.

A few years ago, farmer, Alex Bertsch started farming on half an acre. Not a ton of land, but enough to make it hard for one person to manage. Add in the fact that the half an acre was being farmed part-time, and that half an acre seems a little more daunting. Then place that half an acre 40 minutes from where Alex lived, and you now have a hard farm to manage for anyone. It was a situation that was further complicated by growing a large variety of crops.

Despite these first year challenges, Alex persevered and came out the first year ahead. Then he did something wise, he accessed the situation and he scaled back.

He cut his farm down from half an acre to just 500 square feet and some indoor growing space, and he moved the farm from the remote location to his back yard. Also, as part of his strategy, he dramatically reduced his crops selection down to just salad greens and micro greens.

It was a big change of going smaller and simpler that changed everything for Alex. It made his life and his farm more manageable, and it's one that he continues to grow today.

Growing Better by Growing Smaller - Going From Half an Acre to 500 Square Feet with Alex Bertsch of Epic by Nature Farm.

Stay tuned every Monday, for a new episode at www.permaculturevoices.com/grassfed

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 14, 2017
Conquering Analysis Paralysis By Starting a Whole Farm at Once - The Urban Farmer with Curtis Stone (FSFS94)
58:03

Welcome to the world of Farming Small and Farming Smart, it's The Urban Farmer.

When you are starting any new business it can be very overwhelming.

You have a lot to do all at once - building infrastructure, creating your brand, marketing, cultivating a customer base, customer service, and of course producing a product.

All essentially full-time jobs, but full-time jobs that need to be done all at once, by one person, you.

It can be very overwhelming.

Where do you start?

After all you can't just focus on producing good product without cultivating a customer base or you have no one to sell that product to. And you can't start producing product without having some way to clean and store that product.

Given that you really need to start everywhere, doing it all in parallel.

For a lot of new farmers this is where analysis paralysis sets in, and it's the topic of today's episode.

Here it is Conquering Analysis Paralysis By Starting a Whole Farm at Once in this episode of The Urban Farmer.

Learn more at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 14, 2017
The Five Things That Made My Farm More Profitable and More Enjoyable with Farmer Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm (FSFS93)
01:15:11

Today it's Part Two of the series with Conor.

As you heard last week, along with his wife Kate, Conor Crickmore is grossing over $350k per year at Neversink Farm in upstate NY. A lot of money for a very small farm, and the amazing thing is, they still think there's room to grow.

In today's episode we'll focus more on production as Conor gets into the why and how, of how future growth is possible for Neversink.

He'll talk about some of the challenges that he sees many struggling farms facing, and how in many ways the answer to those problems is simplification and standardization.

Two base principles that run through everything that they do on the farm.

Conor will also discuss in depth the five things that have made their farm as profitable as it is, while simultaneously making their quality of life better.

And we not just talking gear here, or buy this or that. Again, it's base principles that have really made Neversink successful, and those base principles are ones that you could apply on your farm today.

With that, let's get into it with Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm.

Learn more at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 14, 2017
$350,000 on 1.5 Acres and Still Growing with Farmer Conor Crickmore of Neversink Farm (FSFS92)
01:03:56

Today I'm going to be talking to another small scale farmer who is absolutely crushing it on an acre and half. Along with his wife Kate, Conor Crickmore is grossing over $350k per year at Neversink Farm in upstate NY.

It's truly inspiring story, and one that didn't start out with a farm making anywhere near what it makes today.

It started out as a homestead with chickens and pigs and a rocky filled weed patch that almost had Conor and Kate throwing in the towel their first season.

But they persevered, and slowly got rid of what didn't work, while focusing on what did work.

It's a theme that's made them successful - removing steps and pieces that make the job harder, less efficient or more time consuming.

As you'll hear in this episode, a lot of this current success is due to as much what they aren't doing, as what they are.

It started out slowly and morphed into a market garden that's incrementally gotten better over the last few years - both in terms of financials and quality of life.

In this episode Conor will talk about what the journey has been like and what specifically they have done to make things improve dramatically since that hard first year; and one of the those things, might surprise you, because it's very much against the norm of what you typically hear about in this sector.

Let's start at the beginning, in Brooklyn, NY.


Learn more at www.permaculturevoices.com/farmsmallfarmsmart

Support the show at www.permaculturevoices.com/support

Aug 14, 2017
Growing More Crops and Making More Money in the Same Space with Interplanting f. Curtis Stone (FSFS91)
01:01:26

Today it's back to Kelowna and Green City Acres as Curtis and I take a look back at his experiences with inter-planting, planting multiple crops in the same space .

It's something that he's done for a few years now, and something that he's doing again this year with his tomatoes.

We first stated talking about this subject back in 2015 when we did an episode touching on the subject in Season One, then we hit on it again almost a year ago in Season Two.

Today we are going to take a look at what Curtis is doing now when it comes to inter-planting and how that's changed since we first started talking about it two years ago.

It's a technique that Curtis has a lot of experience with, but one that's continually evolving as he uses it more.

It's a technique that he uses, because it allows him to earn a lot more in the same space over a given year.

For are going example he made and additional $1100 last year, by inter-planting Salanova lettuce in with his tomatoes. That's an extra $1100 that most farmers wouldn't captured.

That's the benefit of inter-planting. Getting multiple yields out of the same space over the same time period.

But be aware going in, this technique isn't for everyone.

There's a lot of constraints and complications that come with inter-planting. And it's a technique that doesn't make sense if you have a lot of land.

None the less, it's a technique that can be a game changer for those of you who do feel like you have a limited amount of land.

For you all, this is just another way to get more crops and more money, without adding land.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Mar 22, 2017
Farming For A Change with Advocate Farmer Caiti Hachmyer of Red H Farm (FSFS90)
01:05:39

Today I'm going to be talking to another small scale farming making a go of it as we go to Sebastopol, CA to talk to Caiti Hachmyer of Red H Farm.

Caiti's a farmer who started out her farming career on the advocacy side of things.  She was living the Bay Area advocating for farmers and looking to play her part in changing hte food system.  But after a while she felt something was missing.  And she felt like she needed to get on the ground and see what life was really like for some of the farmers that she was advocating for.  So she picked up her California roots and moved to Minnesota to spend some time working on a production farm.  

It was step that would change her life forever.  Giving her perspective of the on the ground side of things which helped her on the policy side, and one that would give her a nice experience ot have in her back pocket.

One that she would need to draw on when she moved back to California and needed work.  

Caiti's gone on to continue her work on the ground and policy side of things.  

It's the dual nature of her work that we focus on today.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

Mar 15, 2017
10 Base Principles For Successfully Growing High Quality Microgreens with Farmer Chris Thoreau (FSFS89)
01:11:23

Today I'm going up to Vancouver to talk to Microgreen Farmer Chris Thoreau with the goal of focusing in on 10 base principles for growing high quality microgreens.

Think 10 things that are critical to growing a good crop regardless of where you are growing them, when you are growing them or how you are growing them.

These base principles help ensure that you get a successful crop that is free of disease and of high quality.

It’s not enough just to go through a successful process without knowing why you are doing what at different parts of the process.  

Because if you don’t know, and a variable changes, you need to be able to know how to react and adapt.

While everyone’s process is likely different based on the crop that they are trying to grow, today’s show it’s all about what’s the same, the base principles.

Learn how Chris grows microgreens in his online course: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Mar 08, 2017
Growing Vegetables and Growing Yourself with farmer Chris Gilbert (FSFS88)
55:12

"Farming is as much about growing yourself as it is about growing vegetables."

One of the big lessons shared in this episode with farmer Chris Gilbert from Bettendorf, Iowa.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

 

Mar 01, 2017
Growing What Chefs Want with farmer Taylor Rogers of In Season Omaha (FSFS87)
01:05:58

Today farmer Taylor Rogers talks about how he started his farm and sells to restaurants - his primary market.

He currently grows of 20 different crops, and it's that variety that has been one of the keys to his success.  In this episode he'll also talk about some of the other things that have made him successful such as growing what chefs want, how they want it, and bringing it when you say you’re going to bring it.

All keys to his current success and keys he learned before he even got into farming when he saw these problems first hand working behind the scenes in the kitchen.  Taylor's going to share a lot of information and insight in this one about working with chefs.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Feb 22, 2017
Considerations and Constraints with Hiring Farm Employees with Curtis Stone (FSFS86)
01:01:11

Today is another episode where Curtis and I will be widening the scope, stepping back and zooming out from the tools and techniques and his 1/3 of an acre farm, to take a look at some of the macro issues surrounding agriculture. The focus today is on employees.

Curtis will take about his thoughts on hiring employees, and what he looks for in employees.

We'll also get into some of the complications that having employees bring to a business owner and what other options other than hiring someone are available.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Feb 15, 2017
Why Microgreen Grower Chris Thoreau Set Up A Co-Operative Business Structure for his Farm (FSFS85)
56:22

When you start your farm business, one think that you need to think about is your business structure.

Sole proprietorships and LLCs are common ways to go, but there are also other options, like co-operatives...

That's how farmer Chris Thoreau of Food Pedalers structure his business, and that's the subject of today's show...

Today I'm going up to Vancouver to talk to microgreen farmer Chris Thoreau about a topic that you don't hear discussed a lot in small scale farming circles - how he organized his business..

Chris initially started his business as a sole proprietor, but as he began to grow, both in the size of the business and the amount of people working in the business, he realized he needed to change that.

After looking at all of the options, Chris decided that he wanted to do something different, something that went more against the status quo, and something that was equitable for everyone involved - so Chris organized his business as a co-operative.

It's an interesting business structure and it's one that most people wouldn't think of when organizing their business.

If your business is growing, or if you are thinking about expanding your team, then a coop structure might make sense for you...

Today Chris will talk about why he chose that structure, the advantages and disadvantages of it, and what it takes to have a successful member-owner business.

Learn how Chris grows microgreens in his online course: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Feb 08, 2017
How Farmer Ray Tyler Tripled His Sales by Farming LESS Land and Focusing on Base Principles (FSFS84)
01:12:24

This week I'll pick up where last week left off with market gardener Ray Tyler of Rosecreek Farms.

While last week's episode was more inspiration, this week’s more of the perspiration side of things as Ray talks about some of his production methods and big changes that he made turn go from grossing $35,000 in 2015 to $120,000 in 2016 on less land.

Ray's going to go talk about some of the big changes that made that huge increase in gross sales possible.

He'll also get into how he controls weeds on the farm, and how he established a market for his product early on given that he only lives in a town of 2000 people.

Today it's all about production and sales, with Ray Tyler of Rosecreek Farms in Selmer, TN.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Feb 01, 2017
Farming Against All Odds with Ray Tyler of Rosecreek Farms (FSFS83)
01:17:12

From laid off and in debt to grossing $120,000 on one acre.

Ray started out like a lot of people who get into farming, he was inspired by to get into farming by Joel Salatin's You Can farm...

He started raising livestock, and then life got real...

Imagine yourself as a new farmer running a full time livestock operation raising 50 pigs and a few thousand chickens a year.  

And then imagine running a two acre market garden on top of that...

And along the way the, your 5 year old daughter gets caner...

It was a moment that put Ray's farm and life on the ropes... it's the story of Ray Tyler or Rosecreek Farms.

 

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 25, 2017
Interns - The Good and The Bad - The Urban Farmer with Curtis Stone (FSFS82)
01:00:19

Today, we are going to start out by taking a look at interns and farms.  What's good, what's bad, and what could be improved upon.

It's an issue that's really relevant and timely, because it's one that Curtis is dealing with right now, doing something that I never, ever, thought he would do, get an intern.

Let's find out why, in this episode of The Urban Farmer.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 18, 2017
From the Suburbs and Skateboards to The Country and a Broadfork - The Journey of Jean-Martin Fortier (FSFS81)
51:25

Today I will be talking with someone who likely inspired many of you to get into farming, to consider farming, or to farm better, not bigger.

I'll be talking to market gardener, Jean-Martin Fortier.  

We'll start out talking about his days before he farmed and how he figured out exactly who Jean-Martin Fortier was and what he was about.  And we'll end up in the fields talking about something that still gets JM excited today, the soil.

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 11, 2017
The Niche Farm - Experiences Selling to A Diversity of Market Streams Without a Diversity of Crops (FSFS80)
55:47

When you think about what your selling, don't forget that what you are selling isn't just what's in the cooler behind your booth.

You're selling yourself, your story, and the role that you play in a bigger movement; all intangible assets that can allow you to succeed without having a diversity of products.

But if you want to grow, and you don’t have more products to sell to customers, then you need to find more customers, and that likely means diversifying beyond the farmers market.

That’s the subject of today's show where farmers market is one of the market streams that we dig into as Chris talks about his experiences selling to a diversity of market streams without a diversity of crops.

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Jan 04, 2017
Thinking About Growing Microgreens as a Business - The Tedious, Detail Oriented Reality of Growing Microgreens (FSFS79)
57:35

Chris has shown what's possible. And given that and the relatively low capital investment required to start a microgreens business, it's a business that attracts a lot of people.

People that likely focus on the high dollar value per tray, and people that dream about how much money they can make.

This is where it gets dangerous, because you can't just look at the income side of the business. You have to look at the expenses as well.

When you do that with microgreens that high dollar per tray, isn't as high as it might appear.

There are a number of cost that need to be considered - the soil, the seed, and the big one - the labor.

There's a decent amount of labor that goes into producing each tray of microgreens. Labor that needs to be priced into the product, and labor that might turn some people off from growing microgreens.

When over 60% of your time will be spent harvesting, cleaning, and sanitizing trays, some of the allure of that $50 tray goes away.

Add in the need for rigorous observations and recording keeping, and you will find yourself in a position that Chris describes as part automaton and part scientist.

Not for everyone.

Especially when people enter the business looking to make a quick buck.

If you are thinking about starting a microgreens operation, there's a lot to consider, especially the negatives.

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Dec 28, 2016
Tips and Tricks for Growing, Harvesting, and Selling Microgreens as a Business with Chris Thoreau (FSFS78)
01:01:41

"They weren't just buying the product, they were buying the whole package."

That's how Chris Thoreau was able to go to a farmer's market selling one crop.  Just one.  Sunflower shoots.  He was able to go to market with just one crop because he was selling a product that had a great story.  

 

There's a lot in this one and at its core this interview focuses heavily on core success principles - relentless testing and experimentation, constant record keeping and analysis, and knowing what to focus on.  

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

Dec 21, 2016
Increasing Revenue, Dropping Crops, and Growing 14,500lbs of Vegetables on One Third of an Acre - A Year End Review – The Urban Farmer – S2W35 (FSFS74)
01:05:29

About one year ago Season 1, Episode 37 aired. It was us taking a look back at Curtis production for the 2015 season.

Today we will do something similar for 2016, because a lot has changed.

Let's start by rewinding the clock and go back that previous episode from December 2015...

"We are officially out of the main season and for the most part, Curtis is now done producing crops off of his farm.

In this episode we will take a look at what Curtis produced on the farm in 2016, and how much of it he produced.

And as a hint, he produced a lot.

All in Curtis produced about 17,500lbs of product off of his farm this year. That's a lot of food coming from a small space. Remember Curtis is only farming off of 15,000 sq.ft. which is spread out over 5 plots. And this year he made the most of it producing over 17,000lbs of produce on those 5 plots. And we aren't talking corn and potatoes here. For the most part many of the crops which he produced really aren't that heavy, he simply produced a lot of product. 3000lbs of tomatoes, 2500lb. of radishes, 2500lb. of spring mix, 2000lbs of turnips. Big numbers for a small farm."

That was then.

Now let's go to present day of December 2016.

And while a year ago the production season was over, this year, it's not. We are still in production season, because Curtis's farm now produces year round, with sales every week of the year.

That's just one of the many changes that took place at Green City Acres this year.

As we look back at 2016, it was a year where Curtis farmed less land than 2015, cut back on certain crops, and added others. Part of those changes came as a result of changes in his market streams as he cut back on restaurant sales, eliminated the farmers market, and started selling a lot more to local grocers.

Big changes, that have had a big effect on what he's growing and how much he's producing...

Let's jump into it and take a look at Curtis 2016 farm production... what was produced, what wasn't, and why it changed.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Dec 21, 2016
How Chris Thoreau Started, Built, and Grew a Thriving Microgreens Business (FSFS77)
50:56

Today we are going to start the series, by going back to the beginning.  This is the story of how urban farmer Chris Thoreau started his microgreens farm almost 10 years ago.

Chris will take on questions such as:

Why microgreens?  Why did he start with microgreen?

Who did he model and how much did he start with?

And how did he handle startup and work life balance.

As you will hear it was tough at times, because Chris started his farm at what on paper looks like an inopportune time.

He started this part time while in school full time and 2.5 months into his first semester his son was born.

Despite life presenting challenges that some people would say aren't worth the risk, Chris made a go of it taking on these early challenges he has managed to grow his operation to  one that will do around $200,000 in sales in 2016.

And all that sales are coming from a farm that's in a shipping container taking up 320 sq. ft.   

That's where Chris is at today, but it didn't happen overnight, let's get into it and find out how it all started.

Growing Your Microgreens Business Course with Chris Thoreau: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/microgreens

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

Dec 14, 2016
Staying Motivated Pursuing Your Own Path – Be it Growth, a Cause, or Freedom – The Urban Farmer – S2W34 (FSFS73)
01:06:53

Anytime that you do something for a long time, over and over again, how do you keep it fresh?

Let's be honest, any time that you do something for weeks and years, eventually that honeymoon phase wears off.

As should be expected, things changes, life changes, and you change.

If that think that's getting old is your farm, and your livelihood is dependent upon it. How do you battle this evolution of getting stale?

One way is to branch out and do other things.

Maybe that's research and development, maybe that's teaching, maybe that's furthering a cause and maybe crowdsourcing inspiration globally as you try to get more people interested in farming.

That's where Curtis finds himself now. After seven seasons of full time farming his farm has changed dramatically since day 1, and even going back to the beginning of 2016 things have changed quite a bit.

It's those changes and the desire to grow and innovate that's helped Curtis stay motivated and keeps things fresh when it could just as easily get old...

That's the topic of today's show on The Urban Farmer.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Dec 14, 2016
Making Your Farm Better Without Spending Much Money – The Urban Farmer – S2W33 (FSFS72)
54:51

A lot of people who want to start farming, don't start because they focus too much on what they don't have and not enough on what they do have.

Land's too expensive.
Lack money to start a farm.

Common complaints that you hear about starting up a farming enterprise.

And I will fully acknowledge that those constraints are very real. But let's put those constraints aside today, and focus on what is possible.

Possible by all of us.

Everything that we are going to talk about today deals with getting better and NOT spending money.

If you stop and think about it, there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your business, make your business more competitive, and attract more customers that's free.

If you ever feel like you are at a disadvantage because of what you don't have, start looking at the situation in terms of what you do have, and what you can do, because it's a lot of those things that will make the difference and give you a leg up on the competition, money or not.

Today's episode is us exploring this idea - of what are some of things that you can do to make your farm better, without spending any money.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Dec 07, 2016
Building Soil - Where Bio-intensive Growing and Market Farming Collide with Jodi Roebuck – The Urban Farmer – S2W32 (FSFS71)
01:19:23

Curtis is on vacation, so I am joined by bio-intensive farmer Jodi Roebuck.

Jodi's been farming and studying under the originator of the Grow Bio-Intensive form of farming, John Jeavons, for 18 years.

Jodi's well known for using Jeavon's bio-intensive method to build soil. Soil that's deep and loose enough to literally put your arm into up to your elbow.  It's a soil that well known grower JM Fortier has called some of the best soil that he's ever seen.  It's from this rich soil that Jodi farms, growing his own fertility, his own food, saving seeds, and educating the next generation of farmers.

He's traveled the world studying under the masters and visiting a lot farms along the way.  This summer Jodi made a stop in North America where he visited the home farms of both JM Fortier and Curtis.  As a result, he's very familiar with their market gardening style.  The question then becomes how can he apply his knowledge of bio-intensive practices to the context of market farming, and that's where we pick up the conversation today.

Where do the worlds of bio-intensive growing and market gardening collide, and what's possible...

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Nov 09, 2016
Why not add more land - How much land should YOU farm? - The Urban Farmer - S2W31 (FSFS70)
50:09

Today Curtis takes on the question - Let's say you are starting a a new farm.  And I gave you a bunch of land, 15 acres.  All pretty flat, all pretty usable.  How would you go about deciding how much of that land you would farm? We get into the ideas around how much land he would farm and why.

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Nov 02, 2016
Going For It and Failing Above Other Peoples' Heads - The Urban Farmer - S2W30 (FSFS69)
01:11:57

Whenever you do something why are you doing it?

Are you doing it because that something is pulling you towards it, is it the opposite, are you forcing yourself to do something and pushing yourself towards it.

There's a big difference there.  And depending on the answer to that question, it mean the difference between doing big things and setting out to do big things, but never really getting anywhere.

To further explain this concept I turn to the brilliant personal development specialist Anthony Robbins...

“I think you have to have something larger than yourself that you are after because [otherwise] you will let your fear dominate you. But if you have something—your children, your mom, your dad, a friend, a mission—something you want to do that really pulls you [the fear disappears]. Because push never lasts. ‘Push’ motivation is I’m going to make myself do that. You can do that for a while, but you are eventually going to [regress]. When you are pulled toward something larger than yourself, you’ll make the sacrifices; you’ll do what’s necessary because it’s not just about you. I really believe life supports what supports more of life.”

This is what we are focusing on today.  It's a loose conversation based around this idea of push and pull.  And finding something that meakes it easy to choose to be great. Something that you feel compelled to do, and you feel off when you aren't doing it.

When you hear about someone like Curtis putting in a ton of hours working in the farm, and you think, why does he work so much, you are missing the point, because maybe that thing that you think is work isn't work after all...

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Oct 26, 2016
Making More Money With Less Land – Maximizing The Farm versus Growing the Farm – Part 3 – The Urban Farmer – S2W29 (FSFS68)
40:05

Today is part three in our series focusing on more money, less land, where we are brainstorming ideas to make more money off of your farm without, without adding more land.

Over the last few weeks we have focused on a variety of ways to sell more product and produce more product without adding more land.

Today we will get into the last primary concept...

Raising Prices

Specifically how can you do that?

What are the different ways that you can change what you are selling to justify a higher price?

There's a lot of ideas in here. Some easier to implement than others.

Each with has their own costs and benefits.

As with the previous episodes, there's a lot in this one.

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Oct 19, 2016
Making More Money With Less Land - Maximizing The Farm versus Growing the Farm - Part 2 - The Urban Farmer - S2W28 (FSFS67)
45:32

Today is two in our series focusing on more money, less land, where we are brainstorming ideas to make more money off of your farm without, without adding more land.

Last week we focused on two of the primary concepts that had a lot of ideas under them:

If you aren't moving all of your current product, sell it all.
Selling all of your current product, but you know there is more demand...

Today we will focus on a third primary concept:

Change Your Product Profile and Crops

It's all about making more just by changing what you grow and when you grow it.

There's a lot in here, enjoy it...

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Oct 12, 2016
Making More Money With Less Land - Maximizing The Farm versus Growing the Farm - The Urban Farmer - S2W27 (FSFS66)
51:54

Say you're a vegetable farmer and you want to make more money.

How do you do that?

How would you do that?

If this was an episode of Family Feud one of the top answers on the board would likely be ‘grow more products’.

And if we took this line of question on iteration further the asking how do you grow more crops? One of the top answers would be ‘get more land’.

More land means more vegetables can fit in that space. A more vegetables means more to sell. Simple enough right.

What if you couldn't get more land?

Because it wasn't available or it was too expensive or it would change the dynamic of your farm... what would you do then?

You want to make more money... but you can't add land. What are your options... you could raise prices or lower input costs, those would work, but there are a lot of other options available.

That’s the topic that we are taking on in this multipart series – more money with less land.

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Oct 05, 2016
Growing to Get Better - Not Just Bigger - Changes Coming to Green City Acres - The Urban Farmer - S2W26 (FSFS65)
49:35

It's currently September 15, 2016 and the end of the regular farming season is near. Along with it is Curtis's tenure at the Kelowna Farmers Market.

After 7 seasons at the farmers market, Curtis is moving on. It's part of a larger effort to simplify the farm and match the farm to his lifestyle.

At this point in his career Curtis is trying to simplify his farm. Not grow bigger just to be bigger. Instead choosing to grow better becoming more efficient and effective. That means focusing on the market streams that work, the products that sell, and moving to plots located even closer to his homebase.

Part of those changes involve dropping things like the farmers market which has done since the beginning of his career. But it's a market stream that requires getting up on Saturday for 8 months of the year and it's a market stream that isn't growing anymore.

And It's one of the many changes taking place at Green City Acres, resulting in a farm that will look very different come April 2017.

Today we will take a look at the many changes coming to Green City Acres, along with they why behind those changes.

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Sep 28, 2016
Hustle - The Biggest and Most Powerful Tool on The Farm, And It's Free - The Urban Farmer - S2W25 (FSFS64)
59:39

The last few episodes have focused on stuff. The tools of farming. Today we are talking about the flip side of tools, the opposite of the physical. The mental side of things, in particular hustle.

The best tools and the right stuff without the business sense, hustle, and effort won't mean anything. The tools make the job easier. Just owning them doesn't mean anything. You have to do the work.

And it's that hustle to do the work form preparation to production to sales that can give you the advantage over people who just have the money and the stuff.

As Stephen C Hogan said. "You can't have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic."

Because if you do, where's that going to get you. Left with an unsuccessful business and collection of expensive stuff.

A lot of success isn't quantifiable with a dollar sign, instead being measured in pure blood, sweat, and hard work. And the beauty of it is that none of this costs any thing and can be applied by literally every person on the planet regardless of their particular situation.

Today, we will get into the importance of the hustle, and the areas like sales and preparation, where hustle makes the difference between you and the person who isn't hustling as hard.

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Sep 21, 2016
Small Scale Farming on the Cheap - What's the least you could spend to start a farm? - Part 3 - The Tools - The Urban Farmer - S2W24 (FSFS63)
55:55

Part three of our series on Small Scale Farming on the Cheap - What's the least you could spend to start a farm?

Last week in Episode 23 we started going through the equipment needed, or perceived to be needed, when you start a farm along with the costs and advantages associated with that equipment.

Given that this is Part 3 it probably makes more sense to listen to Part 1 and Part 2 first.

Last week we left of the talk on equipment wrapping up with the tiller.

We'll start today with a little bit of warmup on macro business talking before jumping back into the list discussing hand tools.

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Sep 14, 2016
Small Scale Farming on the Cheap - What's the least you could spend to start a farm? - Part 2 - The Tools - The Urban Farmer - S2W23 (FSFS62)
57:33

Part two of our series on Small Scale Farming on the Cheap - What's the least you could spend to start a farm?.

Last week in episode 22 we covered the base principles costs and equipment associated with farm startup.

We established the point that tools are simply one leg on the stool of success.

The tools should never hold you back. It's never going to be just the tools that make you successful. Yet, good tools can make job easier.

That show focused on the concepts and the ideas behind the why.

Today's show focuses on the what. What do you actually need and how much does it costs.

This episode is the first of a few digging into that question.

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Sep 07, 2016
Small Scale Farming on the Cheap - What's the least you could spend to start a farm? - Part 1 - The Base Principles - The Urban Farmer - S2W22 (FSFS61)
57:49

Farming... is it expensive to start, or not?

A lot of people want to get into farming, but they stall out when it comes to the money side of things.

The common cause of that stall out is land. Land is expensive to purchase. So most people immediately dismiss the idea of farming because they can't afford land.

But people like Greg Judy, Joel Salatin, and us on this show, have shown that you don't need to own land to farm.

There's a lot of land available to farm. Land you don't need to own, and land that you can gain access to through options like leasing..

If you can lease land either for free or inexpensively and if you are in a market where you can move product, then the potential upside to small scale farming is pretty attractive given the low start up costs and low infrastructure requirements?

How low?

Very low compared to other businesses.

In his book Curtis gives an initial start-up estimate for a 1/4 acre farm at $7k to $17k.

Curtis started his farm with just $7k.

That's $7k that buys equipment and infrastructure which is portable and resellable.

In good markets, the risk reward of small scale farming is usually favorable because small scale market farming startup costs are very low compared to many business out there.

Yet, despite the minimal start up costs, the costs are still prohibitive, or at least perceived to be prohibitive by some people.

Given that we'll dig into the farm start up numbers and see where costs can be cut and what costs are just unavoidable.

And we'll also bring in some rationale to these numbers discussing why certain items are worth the cost, and why others aren't.

Today we'll begin a multi-part series discussing the minimum that you could spend to start a farm, and we will begin with the base principles, what are the things that you need to think about before you spend any money, that's coming up on Season Two Episode 22 of The Urban Farmer.

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Aug 31, 2016
Adapt or Die - The Importance of Being Flexible with Ideas and Expectations - The Urban Farmer - S2W21 (FSFS60)
58:15

"At too many companies, and in too many hapless careers, the number one imperative is to avoid failure and embarrassment associated therewith at all costs. My take, failure, supported by wildly imaginative hypotheses and incredibly hard work, is something that companies and individuals must embrace. Frankly at all costs. Unless you’re stretching... wildly, you're not going to reach that brass ring called hyper success amidst a brawl with no rules." Tom Peters

The market and nature of small scale farming is too dynamic.

To succeed you have to be dynamic as well.

That will mean trying things that don't work, and trying things not knowing if they will work.

You're going to have to make assumptions and best guesses. You're going to have to adapt.

And that's what today's episode is all about... adapting and switching it up on the fly...

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Aug 24, 2016
How to Keep Weeds from Overtaking Your Farm, and How to Manage Them If They Do - The Urban Farmer - S2W20 (FSFS60)
58:15

If you are a single worker farm then you only have so much time and energy to spend on the farm. If you spend a massive amount of that working with weeds then that's time take away from other farm tasks or other non-farm tasks like spending time with your spouse or kids.

What are the weeds worth?

For most people, they aren't worth enough to deal with when you zoom out, and take all of the factors into account, and therefore the weeds get cut, literally.

That's the focus of today's show. Weed management, where we discuss various methods of preventing weeds from establishing themselves on the farm in the first place, and how to deal with them when they do.

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Aug 17, 2016
Real World Challenges and Concerns about Starting Up a Farm on Half an Acre - How to Make it Happen and What to Think About - A Case Study - The Urban Farmer - S2W19 (FSFS59)
01:12:53

Farming, it truly is a lifestyle. And one that a lot of people seek out.

This leads people down the road of thinking about how can they start or transition into small scale farming.

And when they go down that path they inevitably run into issues. Because startup isn't always clear, or easy, and there are always unique challenges.

Today we will take take a look at one listeners plan to transition into farming and startup an urban farm of his own.

This is the story of Michael from LA, and Michael wants to be a farmer.

He has a lot of resources, constraints, and questions.

And that's what we'll be digging into today, in Season Two, Episode 19 of The Urban Farmer.

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Aug 10, 2016
Selling to Restaurants is Great! Maybe, Maybe Not. A look at the Pros and Cons of Selling to Restaurants - The Urban Farmer - S2W18 (FSFS58)
48:50

This is Part 2 of that series and today we specifically focus on the pro’s and cons of selling to restaurants taking into account high maintenance versus low maintenance.

Given that this is Part 2 it probably makes more sense to listen to Part 1 first, Episode 17 - All Customers ARE NOT worth Selling To, An In-Depth Look at High Maintenance versus Low Maintenance Customers.

But you won’t be totally lost in this one if you haven’t heard that episode.

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Aug 03, 2016
All Customers ARE NOT worth Selling To, An In-Depth Look at High Maintenance versus Low Maintenance Customers - The Urban Farmer - S2W17 (FSFS57)
52:33

“Put another way, you are more upset about losing $50 than you are happy about gaining $50,” the paper states.  In addition, bad events wear off more slowly than good ones."

Hopefully know this can help you do a few things. Try to force yourself to really think about the positive things more and have more gratitude for them, bounce off of the negative situations quicker, and rid yourself of the negative relationships that produce negative emotions.

That’s the focus of today’s episode as we explore the differences between high maintenance customers and low maintenance customers.

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Jul 27, 2016
It's REALLY Hot Out - Dealing with Summer Heat on the Farm For the Farmer and the Crops - The Urban Farmer - S2W16 (FSFS56)
43:53

Heat causes issues on the farm.

Not just with the farmer, but with the crops. Crops bolt quickly, pest pressure increases, water usage goes up, seeds dry up, transplants fry.

How do you deal with those issues?

How do you raise the crops that your customers want in a way that works and gets you a saleable product, and in a way that doesn't cause you to burn out?

There are a whole bunch of active and passive strategies that you can employ to

From harvesting early in the morning to harvesting and late in the day, there are options, and this episode is all about dealing with the heat on the farm for the farmer and for the crops...

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Jul 20, 2016
Sit Back and Count the Money - Observations and Advice for Improving Your Time at a Farmer's Market - The Urban Farmer - S2W15 (FSFS55)
47:32

Today's show is all about farmers markets. And a big part of the conversation is dedicated to free samples.

Are the beneficial or are they a waste?

Do samples work in every case, with every product? No, but they are one way of tackling issues that every product has.

Highlighting product quality, unique product attributes, getting feedback, and telling your story are all things that you need to figure out to do somehow.

Free samples are just one of the ways to do it.

Samples aren't without their negatives either. They cost money, they take up time, they get in the way of doing transactions, and they may require additional levels of compliance if you are handling food.

But like anything and everything, it comes down to do the positives out weight the negatives for your particular context.

If they do then free samples might be the way to do. And as you will hear today, for some farmers market vendors samples work really well and they are one of the many tools in the salesman’s toolbox to help you sit back and count the money.

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Jul 13, 2016
Your Journey to You - Following The Dream and Following Opportunity Too - The Urban Farmer - S2W14 (FSFS54)
48:17

We all have this great chance to go great places.  Yet we all don't take it.  Today's episode is a look at the opportunity and why some people squander it, and why some people don't.

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Jul 06, 2016
How to Sell More (by specializing in something) - The Urban Farmer - S2W13 (FSFS53)
01:08:16

Think about an established farmers market with an established customer base.

Everyone shopping at that market has their preferred vendors.  They buy lettuce from this guy and they buy tomatoes from that girl week after week.  They don’t switch it up.

If you then enter that market as a new vendor, how do you knock someone out of the preferred vendor spot in a customer’s mind? How do you get the customer to switch to buying lettuce or tomatoes from you instead of that guy or that girl?  Because that’s really what you need to do.  Either you need to get existing customers to switch or you need to pick up market share from new customers. The bad news is that once a person commits to a particular product or brand in their mind it’s very hard to get them to switch.  

Look no further than you own habits.  How often do you go to different grocery stores or gas stations by your house or how often do you change brands of laundry detergent or ketchup?  Probably not very often.  You made a decision long ago, and as long as things do change, why switch.

Given that, how do you compete in a crowded farmers market?  Why is a farmer’s market customer going to choose your booth versus the booth that they always shop at?

You have to be unique..

Again, look at the landscape of the market, if there are already 5 vegetable vendors at your market more or less growing what you grow, and they are established, then you either have to be unique enough to go in and compete with them hand try to knock one of them out of the top 5 in terms of market share, which is hard, or you have to be unique enough so you don’t actually have to compete against them.  Instead positioning yourself in the customers mind as the preferred choice.

How do you do that, make yourself unique?

One way is to specialize in something.  

Part of that specialization might mean differentiating your product so you position yourself as the category leader; a category that you own; one that you create.

For example, say a lot of vendors are selling loose leaf lettuce.  There’s already an established hierarchy there in terms of market share for the category of loose leaf lettuce.  How do you compete?  

You don’t, avoid competition, and you create your own category. Maybe that category is head lettuce or romaine.  Or maybe it’s organic lettuce.  Or living lettuce with the roots still attached.  You differentiate your product just enough to move it to its own category.  Then you become first to market in that category and have an competitive advantage.  That’s a far cry from going into a competitive market and competing on price.  And when you think about it it wasn’t really that hard.  You didn’t have to create or invent anything new. You just supplied an in demand product to a market that wanted it, but didn’t have anyone to buy it from.

That’s one of the many benefits of specializing in a product.  And it’s that benefit and the many others that we will be talking about today, on The Urban Farmer.

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Jun 29, 2016
17 Things You Need (or Don't Need) When You Start Farming - The Urban Farmer - S2W12 (FSFS52)
01:01:41

Today we will be looking at 17 different things that you think you might need or might need when you start your business.

Even though we will be looking at each of the items on this list through the lens of someone in their first 6 months of farming, this information extends to established business owners.

Maybe you have been in business for a while and you are thinking about redesigning your website. Should you? And does that matter? Our analysis and methodology for breaking down each of these items can be applied to many aspects of business at any time, regardless of how old the business.

There are a lot of distractions that come into play when you are running a small business, hopefully this episode will help you focus on the distractions that matter, and forget the ones that don't.

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Jun 22, 2016
Killing Busy So You Can Live - A Productivity Episode - The Urban Farmer - S2W11 (FSFS51)
01:08:13

It seems like a lot of people that get into farming and starting their own business are busy, all the time.

Is that a good thing?

Is busy a sign of success or is busy a sign of planning?

I think it's more the later, than the form.

"To me, 'busy' implies that the person is out of control of their life." - Derek Sivers

Some of you might here that and think, what, that's crazy. I am in control and I am busy.

Are you really?

After all, what is busy in the first place.

Is busy really a think or is busy a state of mind or is as Derek Sivers says the inevitable result of losing control and poor planning?

If you consider yourself someone who's busy a lot think about that.

Are you busy because you actually have a huge list of urgent and important things to do, or are you busy because you are just doing a lot of stuff.

Outside of the Emergency Room most of us are more likely are the latter. Not many of us have a lot of urgent and important things to do each day. We might have a couple things that fall into that category and then we have a lot of other stuff that we do because we need to, because we think we need to, because we've never really thought about it, and because we don't have a plan in place.

Busy might actually be in your control.

As Henry David Thoreau said, it's not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

If you find yourself constantly busy. Ask yourself why. And ask yourself what are you busy about?

Remember, it's your life, and being busy all the time might not be optimum. Is that you really signed up for - being busy all the time? If not, then this episode may help you reframe what you are actually being so busy about.

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Jun 15, 2016
Farming For More Than Dollars - A Look at The Multiple Forms of Income from Farming - The Urban Farmer - S2W10 (FSFS50)
53:09

Most people don't get into farming to get rich.

Does that mean that you can't get rich farming, no it doesn't. But if you only motivation to farm is to get rich, then you better buckle up because you have rocky road ahead.

Because when it comes to amassing monetary riches the road hasn't historically been paved by good soil and a tractor.

That's not to say that there aren't rich farmers, because there are, but it's not the norm.

If are getting into farming only for the money, to get rich, then you better think about how you are going to do that, and why you are going to do that.

If money isn't your only motivator for getting into farming, then you better think about why you are getting into it, and how you are going to do it.

Either way it won't be easy. But either way can make you rich, it all comes down to, how you define rich.

Today's episode is a look beyond the bank account. It's a look at all of the other benefits and reasons to be an entrepreneur and to be farmer.

This episode is us kicking around ideas and brainstorming to broaden the idea of what being rich, truly means.

It's a definition that’s different for everyone. And it's one that you need to define when you get into this. Because if you define it, it makes it a lot easier to become rich, and if you don't then it makes it a lot easier to stay poor.

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Jun 08, 2016
How to Sell More Vegetables - Options Beyond The Farmers Market, Restaurants, and CSA - The Urban Farmer - S2W9 (FSFS49)
55:09

What if you are already selling at farmers markets, but you don't have enough of a diversity of products to design a CSA around?

If that's the case one option might be create a collaborative CSA.

The collaborative CSA allows you to expand your crop variety with competing with other farms and without diluting down your efforts on your farm. You grow what you grow best in your context, and source everything else from other farmers who are better setup to grow those specific products. It creates a win/win situation for you and the other farmers. Everyone grows what they grow best, and in theory sales go up. It's also a win for the consumer because they now have concentrated access to more local products, without having to sourcing these producing individually from each farmer.

Aggregators, collaborative CSA's and food broker models, are these models perfect? No. But if they give you options. And if you are having issues moving product, then more options might be better than less options. You just need to look at everything and figure out which combination is the best fit for you and your market.

In today's show we'll look at some alternative market streams for selling your vegetables, so to help you start thinking outside the box, so you can sell more boxes, of vegetables.

It's currently May 2016.

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Jun 01, 2016
Expanding the Farm with Social Capital – The Urban Farmer – S2W8 (FSFS48)
59:33

To set the stage...

Curtis had a next door neighbor.  That neighbor used to own Curtis's house, and he rented that house from them and farmed in the back yard.  When his neighbor decided to sell the house, Curtis then purchased the house from his neighbor.  Subsequently that same neighbor went on to move to another house in the neighborhood, and began renting out the house next door to Curtis.

In the process a conversation began about Curtis farming his neighbor’s backyard now that it was a rental.

The conversation eventual led to an agreement, one where Curtis would take down the fence between his yard and his neighbors, and extend his farm into his neighbor's back yard.  

It's a process that was built on the back of respect and social capital, and facilitated by old fashioned conversation.

Today we'll take an extended look at the transition of that back yard from lawn to production farm, and all of the challenges and successes that went with it..

It's currently May 11, 2016.

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May 25, 2016
Tomato Mania - How to Get More Total Crop Production by Inter-planting Tomatoes with Other Crops - The Urban Farmer - S2W7 (FSFS48)
58:21

Most of the tomatoes that Curtis grows fall into the cherry and saladette category - the smaller tomatoes.  These types of tomatoes offer several advantages - they are pretty vigorous, they have a relatively short DTM, and because chef's like them.  And when much of your sales are for restaurants, you grow what they want to buy.

Over the years Curtis has evolved his system for tomato culture.  And he now looks at them as a bit of a bonus crop given the way that he grows them.

Many home gardeners dedicate full rows to tomatoes and give the plants wide spacing’s.  

Curtis does the opposite.  He interplants his tomatoes; dedicating most of his bed space to another crop, while squeezing his tomatoes into the out 2 edges of each bed.  

This strategy works for several reasons.  It takes advantage of more of the soil strata.  The tomatoes are planted deep, so their roots occupy the deeper layers of soil.  While the main greens crops in the beds have shallow root systems.  So while the plants are planted in the same space competition is minimized.  Another reason why the competition is minimized is that the tomatoes occupy more of the vertical space.  If you time the plants strategically during the year plant growth and sun angles allow you to get more plants in the same space with no shading.

Overall, inter-planting has been huge for Curtis's farm.  It's what's allowed him to hundreds of pounds of greens and hundreds of pounds of tomato, in same relative space.  

Not a bad bonus yield in a situation where most farmers would simply leave the tomatoes out.  

Look around your garden at the extra space and think about that next time you plant your tomatoes.

It's currently May 4, 2016.

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May 18, 2016
Early Seasons Greens Production - Tracking and Managing One of Curtis's Biggest Crops - The Urban Farmer - S2W6 (FSFS47)
52:38

Greens are big business for Curtis' farm.  Both in terms of volume of product, and dollars generated for that product.

His customer base, which is mainly made of restaurants, buys a lot of greens.  And they pay good money for them.  But like many things on the farm there is a seasonality that goes along with restaurants and the products that Curtis sells to restaurants.

Typically spring is a slower time of year for restaurant sales, and thereby farm sales.  Things just aren't as busy.  

But this year is a bit of an anomaly, because Curtis's revenue is way up for the season.   

That increase in revenue can be attributed to a couple things.  First, he has picked up a few new wholesale customers outside of restaurants, and second, he is selling all of his customers more high value product, specifically greens.

More demand, means more production, so Curtis' production of greens on the farm is way up this year.  

But it's not just as simple as planting more beds of greens.  There's a lot of nuance involved...

When the beds were planted, how far apart the successions are, when do you harvest whole beds versus halves.

Logical considerations, but not always the simplest to wrap your head around.

That’s what we will be focusing on in today's episode.

It's currently April 26, 2016.

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May 11, 2016
Creating The Minimum Viable Farm - $20,000 on a 2000 Square Foot Micro-Farm - The Urban Farmer - S2W5 (FSFS46)
53:17

What would the 2000 sq.ft. farm, let's call it a micro-farm, look like?

How could you best utilize that space and take many of the techniques that Curtis uses on his current 1/2 acre urban farm, to make the micro-farm generate some decent cash flow.

How much could you make on a micro-farm of just 2000 square feet?

Really it depends on what you are growing and who you are selling it to. But grossing 20,000 on that 2000 square feet isn't crazy talk. And even half that, $10,000, is a realistic target to shoot for.

When you think about that, that's a pretty lucrative given the space involved. I think most people can get access to 2000 sq.ft.  That's essentially fits well within your average American lawn.

The 2000 square foot micro-farm has a lot of things going for it.  It's manageable, yet scaleable. It's big enough to matter to start you thinking and implementing a lot of these systems, yet it's not over whelming. It makes a great transition plot for someone looking to transition into farming or just get their feed wet.

Given that today will be a case study looking at the 2000 sw ft micro farm.

We'll break down what this farm might look like. How you would want to manage it. What types of crops you would want to focus on, and put some a basic framework in place that you can build off of.

As, you see, you can do a lot with 2000 square feet, and it might not be that small after all.

It's currently April 19, 2016.

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May 04, 2016
If you don’t succeed it’s your own fault. Stop blaming people and get to work. - The Urban Farmer - S2W4 (FSFS45)
01:07:36

It's currently April 12, 2016.

We start off today talking about whether you should start farming with a greenhouse or not.

The conversation quickly turns into reasons why people succeed and don't succeed.

Hopefully this episode is a welcome kick in the ass for those who need it.  And motivation to keep kicking ass for everyone else.

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Apr 27, 2016
How To and Why To Start Lettuce in Micro Soil Blocks - The Urban Farmer - S2W3 (FSFS44)
47:45

It's currently April 5, 2016.

Today's episode focuses on starting and transplanting Salanova via micro soil blocks.

Curtis will talk about how he starts Salanova lettuce using the blocks and the advantages for doing so.

We also run a quick time and cost analysis of starting lettuce in blocks versus cell trays to show the comparison.

At the end of the episode I go over a recipe to use for the micro blocker and some basic techniques for using it.

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Apr 20, 2016
Scaling Up The Market Garden - A Visit to the Farm of the Future - The Urban Farmer - S2W2 (FSFS43)
46:14

It's currently March 30, 2016.

And over the past few months Curtis has literally been all around the world.

I today's episode we'll look back at some of the places that he visited and what he took away from those visits.

From the high tech innovation being done at Jean-Martin Fortier's Le Ferm de Catra Taaamp in Quebec to the low tech soil building techniques used by Jodi Roebuck to build soil in his bio-ingestive garden in New Zealand.

It's not just all fun and stories, there's a lot of good information in this one such as do these techniques scale, how can you build soil, and how can you combine tarps and soil to really build soil.  

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Apr 13, 2016
Taking Advantage of Time with the Passive Techniques of Over-Wintered Crops and Stale Seed-bedding - The Urban Farmer - S2W1 (FSFS42)
46:44

If we go back to where we left of Season One of the show, it was December and there really wasn't any crop production happening on the land itself for Green City Acres. At that time some of the land was sitting fallow waiting for future planting in the spring, and some of the land was occupied by dormant crops that had been planted a few months earlier in the fall. Let's find out how much Curtis' total farm has been quietly in production throughout the winter, with beds holding overwintered crops, and why.

This episode also covers overwintering crops, prepping beds with tarps and stale seed bedding, and dealing with the shoulder season day length changes.

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Apr 06, 2016
"I am now on the path to starting my own farm!" - TUF Listeners Share Their Stories - The Urban Farmer - S1W45
42:55

All of the guests for this episode are listeners of the show.  Listeners just like you.  

A few months ago I asked for feedback on the first season of the show, and I received a ton of it.

Today, I will share some of it with you.

If you submitted feedback for the show and gave me the OK to read it, thank you, this episode is yours.  

As humans I think we live in a guru culture.  A culture that puts people on a pedestal.  

And that can be dangerous because it creates limiting beliefs.  

Beliefs that we could never be like them.

Beliefs that we aren't good enough.  

Beliefs that we have some sort of unfair disadvantage.  

Beliefs that we can't do what they do.  

Because they are an expert, and we aren't.

A lot of people view Curtis as that expert and put him on that pedestal of knowledge.

They create limiting beliefs in their mind and tell themselves, I could never do what Curtis does.

I have sat in workshops with Curtis and heard it first hand, time and time again.  

And if you believe that, that you could never do what Curtis does, then Henry Ford said it best...

Whether you think you can, or think you can't - your right.  

This episode today is for the people who think they can.

If you ever feel stuck or stalled or find yourself struggling and wondering if you can actually do it, then here’s an episode for you.

An episode full of stories of “ordinary” people doing the hard work to go after what they want in life, and showing that it might not always be easy, but it is possible.

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Feb 03, 2016
Farming in the City – The Presentation – The Urban Farmer - S1W44
01:01:38

Today's episode is actually a rebroadcast of a presentation that Curtis gave in January in San Francisco.

The presentation is called Farming in the City.

In this presentation, Curtis will take you on a tour of his one third of an acre urban farm, where you will get an inside look at the day to day operations of the farm from vegetable production to sales.

Curtis will show how he farms commercially, and profitably, in backyards and on small plots of land in the city, land that he doesn’t own. You’ll learn about the methods and techniques that Curtis has used over the last six years to grow his sales and profits.

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Jan 27, 2016
What Nobody Told Me About Small Farming: I Can’t Make a Living - DISSECTED - A Case Study – The Urban Farmer - S1W43 (FSFS41)
01:05:01

In this episode Curtis and I dissect an article that was published on Alternet on January 1, 2016 by farmer Jaclyn Moyer.  

An article titled....

What Nobody Told Me About Small Farming: I Can’t Make a Living - People say we're "rich in other ways," but that doesn't fix the ugly fact that most farms are unsustainable

This one is a good one and we cover a lot of business basics such as...

  • Who is your customer? What is their demographic? And what do they want?
  • What are you selling?  Is that the right crop?
  • What are you focusing your time on?  Is that the right thing?
  • And are you the right person to be doing this job.

We will break down the article to hopefully help a lot of you avoid some of the troubles that Jaclyn talked about in the article.   

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Jan 20, 2016
Six Months of Transition Into Farming – A Conversation with New Farmer Scott Hebert – The Urban Farmer - S1W42
56:23

Scott Hebert started farming in June 2015 when his family business shut down. At that time he didn’t have anything to fall back on. But he had always had an interest in farming, and within a few days of getting the income shock warning his wheels had been put in motion and he was putting a plan into place to transition into a career as a farmer.

He contacted Curtis to visit his farm, so he could start leveraging Curtis’ experience to plan his farm and his future. Because he knew wanted to farm, but didn't want to be broke, therefore, he had to make money at it, and that meant he had to have a plan and a strategic approach.

And it’s that approach that we will be talking about in today’s show.

It’s currently February 2016 and this episode was recorded with new farmer Scott Hebert a couple of months ago in December 2015.

Let’s get into it and see what a transition into small scale farming is really like...

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Jan 13, 2016
Profitable Small Scale Farming in Sebastopol – A Visit to Singing Frogs Farm with Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser – The Urban Farmer - S1W41
31:32

While Curtis and I were on tour we made a stop at Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol to visit with farmers Paul & Elizabeth Kaiser.

It's a pretty remarkable farm. The Kaisers are farming just over 2 acres and grossing over $100,000 an acre. They come from an agroforestry background and approach farming systematically as a business.

This episode is some of our thoughts from our visit.

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Jan 06, 2016
End of Season Reflection - Thinking about How Things Went This Year, to Alter Course and Plan for Next Year - The Urban Farmer - S1W40 (FSFS40)
49:25

If you want to be better off in December 2016, then the planning for that starts now in December 2015.

The biggest leverage point which for the farm season next year is right there in front of you. You just need to tease it out. 

That's what today's show is about. Doing some End of Season Reflection - Thinking about How Things Went This Year, to Alter Course and Plan for Next Year.

I hope that you can use some of the information that we talk about in this episode to reflect on your 2015 farm season, so you can get better in 2016.

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Dec 31, 2015
The Urban Farmer Season Wrap Up and Looking Ahead - Thanks for Listening - The Urban Farmer - S1W39 (FSFS39)
47:37

In today's episode Curtis and I will take a look back at the season of this show and talk about what's in store for the future for Curtis and this show.

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Dec 23, 2015
It's Not All About the Money - Keeping What Works and Getting Rid of What Doesn't - The Urban Farmer - S1W38 (FSFS38)
54:51

How much work should you put into something before it gets to the point where it isn't worth it? At what point does the money, the effort, and the headache justify not doing it?

With everything in business and farming, there is always a trade off, an opportunity cost. If you are doing one, thing, then it's at the expense of something else. Because you can't do it all, and regardless of the return, sometimes it's just not worth it.

In this episode we spend a lot of time looking at how to decide if customers and crops are worth the effort.

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Dec 16, 2015
17,500lbs of Vegetables Produced on One Third of An Acre - A Closer Look at What Was Produced on the Farm this Year - The Urban Farmer - S1W37 (FSFS37)
44:42

All in Curtis produced about 17,500lbs of product off of his farm this year. That's a lot of food coming from a small space. Remember Curtis is only farming off of 15,000 sq.ft. which is spread out over 5 plots. And this year he made the most of it producing over 17,000lbs of produce on those 5 plots. 

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Dec 09, 2015
Dealing with Real World Troubles and Issues with Restaurant Customers, and How to Prevent Problems from Arising - The Urban Farmer - S1W36 (FSFS36)
47:16

In this episode we will be talking about real world issues and troubles with restaurant customers.

How Curtis has dealt with customers who haven't paid in the past and how he has changed his procedures to help make sure that it doesn't happen again?

Curtis has learned the hard way, when you're in the real world and restaurants don't pay, you can lose a lot of money.

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Dec 02, 2015
Your Business Model Sucks, or You're Not Very Good at It... (and what to do about it) – The Urban Farmer - S1W35 (FSFS35)
43:12

Where do you draw the line between this isn't working, but I can figure it out, and this will never work?

Let's just accept the fact that farm start-up is going to involve it's fair share of struggles. How long should those struggles continue? Because there is no sense wasting your time, your life's energy, sacrificing the relationships in your life, as you pile on monumental amounts of stress if you don't have the skill, the will, or the resources to make it work.

At some point should you draw the line and just say, maybe this isn't right for me, it's not working? When you find yourself scraping by ask yourself why, and what you can do about it, and just maybe you will realize that your model doesn't work, or you're not very good at it.

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Nov 25, 2015
Ask The Urban Farmer – Curtis Answers Questions – From Startup to Restaurant Sales to Record Keeping – The Urban Farmer - S1W34 (FSFS34)
49:41

It's currently November 2015 and the main farm season for Curtis is pretty much over. And along with, so is this season of the show. For the remainder of the episodes we'll be wrapping up everything that happened on the farm this year with Curtis and tying up a few loose ends. With things very slow on the land, Curtis is taking a few weeks off from the farm. Given that today's episode is Q and A episode. These questions were actually answered last winter on via Curtis on his YouTube channel.

If you want to watch him answer these questions you can do so in the show notes at permaculturevoices.com/tuf34.

In this show Curtis will be answering questions on time management, farm startup, finding land and securing land, converting land to urban farm land, approaching restaurants, and record keeping. The nice thing about these questions is that they cover a wide variety of topics which will help to help tie together the season as we look to wrap it up. There's a lot here, enjoy it.

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Nov 18, 2015
Improving Processes to Be More Time, Energy, and Labor Efficient AND more Profitable – The Urban Farmer - S1W33 (FSFS33)
48:47

What's your time worth as a farmer? How much should should you be charging yourself to do tasks on the farm?

That's an important metric to think about when you are a small operation. Because for a lot of farmers in this space, the labor force is a force of one, you. And you only have so many hours in a day to get everything done. Your time is very valuable. Knowing that, are you spending your valuable time on tasks that actually return a greater value than the time that you put in?

Today we talk about the way that Curtis used to do certain tasks and contrast that with how he does tasks now. And why he changed how he did things.

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Nov 11, 2015
Post Harvest Crop Processing and Small Farm Equipment That You Wouldn't Think Of – The Urban Farmer - S1W32 (FSFS32)
43:19

In this episode we talk about post crop harvest processing, including how Curtis has changed some of his techniques over the years.

We also talk about some of his farm equipment and infrastructure like his flame weeder and walk in cooler.

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Nov 04, 2015
Being Realistic with Your First Year Expectations - Work to Learn, Not to Earn – The Urban Farmer - S1W31 (FSFS31)
40:33

Set yourself up for success by having realistic plans and expectations for the first year. Match your lifestyle and your budgeting to those realistic expectations.

If you are going to start out farming with a gun to the head survival mentality then it makes things very hard. Long term learning gets displaced for the need to put money into the till today.

Work to learn, not to earn.

The goal is to farm for a career. Not make a bunch of money this year and then do something else next year. And the only way to do that is day after day for the long run, learning as much as you can in the process.

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Oct 28, 2015
When to Expand the Farm By Adding More Land and When NOT TO Expand By Maximizing What You Have – The Urban Farmer - S1W30 (FSFS30)
45:43

Big isn't always better. More just for the sake of having more is pointless.

Just because you have access to more land doesn't mean you need to take it.

If you are getting bigger then you better have a reason why you are getting bigger...

If you are thinking about expanding stop and ask why? Does it fit within the overall plan that you have for your business, your farm, and your life?

If not, then don't do it.

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Oct 21, 2015
Increase Profits and Get More Done.. by Doing Less Work - The Urban Farmer - S1W29 (FSFS29)
51:15

Think about how much work you do on the farm now. How much of that work is actually being done efficiently and effectively?

Are you making the best use of your time by focusing on the 20% of the tasks that generate the most return?

Getting rid of crops can actually be a good thing. It allow you to work more efficiently and effectively by focusing on the task at hand instead of always trying to keep you head above water. It's very hard for any one person to do many things well, but each of us can do a few things really well. Crops are no different. And odds are you can grow a few crops a lot better than you can grow a lot of crops.

Take a look at your farm and the crops that you grow. Which crops generate 20% of your revenue? And how would your farm and life look if you just focused on those?

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Oct 14, 2015
The Importance of Record Keeping: You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been. – The Urban Farmer - S1W28 (FSFS28)
47:56

How can you a lot mistakes and wasting valuable resources by overproducing a crop, and the inverse of that, not producing enough?

Good record keeping.

Records on the farm are extremely valuable. When you start to get a few years of records and can notice trends, those records become very valuable because the records are what dictates your future action.

Action that can save you work down the line and put the right amount of product in your walk in so you can sell it.

This type of planning directly translates to maximizing your farm income.

And it's not actually that hard to do. Don't over-complicate it. Start by keeping simple records and get into the habit of doing it, then expand and adapt your records as time goes on.

If you want to be successful as a farmer, then this is something that you need to do. It's one of the principals that has made Curtis as successful as he is.

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Oct 07, 2015
What You Are Doing May Not Work... Do It Anyway - The Urban Farmer - S1W27 (FSFS27)
48:35

Can you accept in the beginning that what you are doing may not work?

Because, guess what, it might not.

But as long as you keep trying something will..

You just have to be willing to continue on until then. And if you are willing to accept that, then save yourself the time, money, and stress and quit now.

This path isn't for everyone and that's fine.

Regardless of what decision you make, just be content with you own decision.

Do yourself a favor and think about this long and hard, because it is a life changer. 20 years from now, do you want to look back and say you went for it, or regret not going for it.

Hopefully this show will lead you down the path of no regrets, and make your journey a little bit easier.

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Sep 30, 2015
More Common Reasons Why Many Farmers Struggle, and Practical Advice On How You Can Avoid Those Struggles – The Urban Farmer S1W26 (FSFS26)
57:26

Understand where you want to go, understand why you want to get into it, figure out a smart systematic way to get there, and work hard in the process.

And give yourself the forgiveness to make mistakes, but have the wherewithal to analyze those mistakes so you can adapt going forward.

That's what this episode is all about.

Taking the time to think long term and setting yourself up for long term success in the beginning.

Part of setting yourself up for success is knowing some of the common pitfalls, so you can avoid them.

In this episode we delve into more common reasons why many farmers struggle.

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Sep 23, 2015
Tips for Dealing with Hot Weather and Planning Your Crop Production for the Cooler Days of Fall – The Urban Farmer - S1W25 (FSFS25)
48:41

It's August 25, 2015 which means we are at the tail end of summer and shorter, cooler days are coming as fall nears.

We are in one of those unique periods in the year known as the shoulder season, the transition periods at the end of one season and the beginning of another.

They can be tricky time periods for farmers to navigate.

Day lengths start getting shorter, temperatures start getting cooler, and the weather starts to change.

As a farmer this is one of those time periods where it critical to be able to adapt.

You need to be able to understand the changes that are taking place in your biome and plan your crop rotations accordingly.

With an ever changing climate each situation is different and each climate is different, making these shoulder seasons tough to explain.

This episode should shine some light on the topic and give you a general approach that works.

It's this approach, and methodology, that lies at the core of every farmers ability to adapt.

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Sep 16, 2015
Solving the Sales Problem – Optimizing Your Fresh Sheet to Increase Sales – The Urban Farmer - S1W24 (FSFS24)
55:05

As a farmer, how do you communicate what you have to sell each week, how much it costs, and when you need orders placed by, so you can deliver it on time?

You use what is called a fresh sheet.

At it's simplest a fresh sheet is a list of what you are selling currently on the farm, and for what price.

A fresh sheet is more than a current inventory list. It also reminds ever-busy chefs that you have product that they probably want.

If you've never made a fresh sheet before, this episode may prompt you to make one.

It's a whole bunch of little tips and tricks to help you design, create, and maintain an effective fresh sheet.

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Sep 09, 2015
Successful Farmers Think - The Importance of Information, Mentors, and Adaptation – The Urban Farmer - S1W23 (FSFS23)
56:54

This episode is all about the art of farming.

Creating a framework, and understanding the overlying philosophy about why you do what you do, and leaving yourself some room to maneuver within that philosophy.

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Sep 02, 2015
Tips on Selling Into New Markets and Sourcing Products from Other Farmers – The Urban Farmer - S1W22 (FSFS22)
01:03:13

This episode is all about being a better provider to your customers...

In this episode we dig deep into sourcing products from other farmers, breaking into new markets, working with chefs and soliciting feedback.

It's currently August 4, 2015 and the inevitable has happened. Curtis is short product, and he is having to source those products from other farmers to keep his restaurant customers happy.

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Aug 26, 2015
Transitioning Into Farming from the Corporate World - A Conversation with New Farmer Rob Kaiser - The Urban Farmer - S1W21 (FSFS21)
01:21:52

In this episode Curtis and I are joined by new farmer Rob Kaiser.

Rob is a few months into his farming journey. And like Curtis he didn't come from a farming background. He came from the corporate world. A few years ago Rob realized that the path that he was on, wasn't right for him anymore, and he needed to change. One part of that change was an entry into farming.

In this episode Rob will talk about his transition into farming and the plan that he has put into place to make the transition. He'll touch on how he has dealt with not knowing everything. And how he has dealt with the good times and the really bad times that are unavoidable when you start any new business venture.

One key to Rob's progress has been to surround himself with successful people to make his go a little easier by leveraging their experience. And it's worked because progress is being made and Rob is slowly making the change that he not too long ago dreamed about. The idea, the dream, has become a reality. It's happening.

For all the new farmers and aspiring farmers out there, this episode will shed some light on the early parts of the journey, showing that you are aren't alone, even though we all feel like we are at times. There are others out there trying to do what you want to do. Keep at it and and be the change. And as Rob will say in this episode, "You may not be able to change the world, but you can change yours."

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Aug 19, 2015
Taking a Smart Approach to Farming. Having the Right Mindset to Save Yourself Time, Money, and Mental Trauma - The Urban Farmer - S1W20 (FSFS20)
59:37

You need to ask yourself - Are you approaching farming as a hobby or as a livelihood?

There's no right or wrong answer.

But you need to be clear with your decision and set your expectations accordingly.

Because approaching farming as a business is dramatically different than approaching farming as a hobby.

To sum this all up be clear in your own head of the distinction between farming as a hobby, and farming as a career. No BS. Know what the answer is and make all, all, of your choices on the farm accordingly.

It is week 20 of the urban farm season - July 28, 2015.

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Aug 12, 2015
Hacking the Farmers Market. Tips and Tactics for Selling Your Farm Products Through Farmer's Markets and CSAs – The Urban Farmer - S1W19 (FSFS19)
53:41

This romantic notion of farming - working outside, hands in the soil, sowing seeds, and then nurturing those crops to harvest. While all great, and all true, they are just a piece of the farming pie. And this is where problem's start to arise.

The romantic view pulls people into farming, on just that, a romantic view, not a realistic full picture. And one part of reality is sales and moving product.

Many people don't think about how they are actually going to sell these crops that they harvest. Maybe just assuming someone will want to buy them, everyone needs to eat, right?

A dangerous assumption. And it is no doubt one of the reasons why you hear about so many small scale farmers struggling. They invest a lot of time in the dream, but not how they can actually make that dream a successful and sustainable reality.

Today we will take a look at that idea as we discuss how to sell your farm products, so you can keep working on the farm.

This episode is detailed dig into CSA's and farmers markets. What's worked for Curtis, and what hasn't. Strategies that can help you succeed..

It is week 19 of the urban farm season - July 21, 2015.

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Aug 05, 2015
Creating On Farm Systems to Increase Your Efficiency and Chances for Success – The Urban Farmer - S1W18 (FSFS18)
01:07:43

As a farmer and as an employer it is important to have systems in place. To know why and how you do something. This helps you understand what you do and it allows you to communicate what you do to an employee.

When you have clear, defined systems in place it takes most of the guesswork out of the equation. This allows you to produce a consistent product quickly and efficiently. And it also allows you to troubleshoot problems when they come up. Because if everyone does things the same way, and something goes wrong then you can quickly tell whether it was operator error or system error, and fix the problem.

When you have an employee that understands why you do what you do and how you do what you do, then it comes down to when you do it. Time can be tight on a farm and things can get hectic, so it pays to take a little extra time each day to schedule out the upcoming day.

This episode is all about setting up and establishing systems to make the work that is done on your farm more effective.

It is week 18 of the urban farm season - July 14, 2015.

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Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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Jul 29, 2015
Streamlining Tasks and Being More Efficient. Tips for Maximizing Effort and Time on the Farm – The Urban Farmer - S1W17 (FSFS17)
58:12

There are all sorts of things that Curtis does to make his efforts more efficient and more effective. Some are complex and involve a lot of time studying spreadsheets, and others are simple like minimizing you transit time.

Growing the business while working less hours. That's something that we all want. It isn't always easy or straightforward, but it is possible. it's something that comes with experience if you take the time to analyze all of your processes and see where you can make them more efficient.

Interplanting is a good example of this. Interplanting has allowed Curtis to grow more crops in the same amount of space. This maximizes the use of his land by growing more in the same space.

Curtis has also figured out how to optimize tasks on the farm that pay. Think sales related tasks like ways to harvest product quicker and more efficiently, and ways to package product in a way that satisfies customers and saves prep time.

But, there are a lot of tasks on the farm that simply don't pay. Things like weeding. And as a farmer you don't get paid to weed. Yet it has to be done.

Using Landscape fabric to prevent weeds and using tarps for stale seed bedding are two passive systems that Curtis uses to prevent weeds from germinating. There are also more active preventative measures than be done to help mitigate weed pressure. Things like pre-emergent flame weeding and no-till bed preparation. While these activities require work, they work in your advantage by using some time now, in order to save a lot of time later.

Those are the types of things that we're talking about today Streamlining Tasks and Being More Efficient. Tips for Maximizing Effort and Time on the Farm.

It is week 17 of the urban farm season - July 7, 2015.

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Jul 22, 2015
Different Farms, Different Markets, Different Models – Differences Between Farming Two Acres and a Quarter Acre – The Urban Farmer - S1W16 (FSFS16)
51:04

Farming in the city is something that Curtis has done ever since he started farming 5 years ago. But he hasn't always farmed, just inside the city. At one point in time he actually farmed a two acre plot outside of the city with another farmer. He did this in addition to farming his urban lots. So he had a multi location farm with small plots inside the city and one large plot outside of the city. As a result he saw first hand the differences between farming more land and less land - because there are a lot of differences.

In this episode we will dig into those differences and hear what it was like farming two acres and how it was different than farming a third of an acre.

We will touch on the various different models for selling products off of a farm - think CSAs versus selling directing to restaurants. We'll talk about the differences between each of the models.

As you will find out each market, each farmer, and each farmer will have to experiment to find the best fit for them. What works for one farmer and in one market, might not work for the next.

It is week 16 of the urban farm season - June 30, 2015.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

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Jul 15, 2015
Tips for Finding Land to Farm in the City – What Works and What Doesn’t – The Urban Farmer - S1W15 (FSFS15)
48:11

This week we will get into how Curtis went about getting his very first piece of urban farm land over 5 years ago. We will talk about what worked and what didn't work when he was just starting out and trying to gain access to land.

The unique part here is that this was all happening in the beginning. Before Curtis had built any social capital from being an active urban farmer. There were no demonstration sites or track record to refer to, it was only one person saying this is what I am gonna do, are you interested in helping.

As you will hear Curtis eventually found his first piece of land to farm. That got the ball rolling and from there he never looked back.

It is week 15 of the urban farm season - June 23, 2015.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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Jul 08, 2015
5 Common Reasons Why Many Small Farmers Fail and How You Can Avoid These Pitfalls - The Urban Farmer - S1W14 (FSFS14)
58:36

To be successful as an urban farmer you need to be able to quickly adapt and solve problems on the fly.

In this episode we talk about how Curtis has had to adapt in the past and how his system allows him to change his production quickly.

I also talk to Curtis about five mistakes that I see a lot of farmers make when they get into the farm business. Together we discuss these common mistakes and how you can avoid them. We will give you straightforward, honest, actinable advice that you can put into use today and hopefully keep you out of trouble and increase your chances of farming success.

It is week 14 of the urban farm season - June 16, 2015.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

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Jul 01, 2015
Harvesting Products, Delivery to Restaurants, and Crop Planning – The Urban Farmer - S1W13 (FSFS13)
47:44

It's June 9th and the farm is in full production. As you heard last week a big part of that production comes from greens. Greens that are being cut and cut and cut.

That's resulting in a lot of product that is being sold to restaurants, distributors, and farmers market customers.

This we we talk about deliverying that product to restaurant customers and how that day looks from harvest to delivery.

We also talk a lot about crop planning. How do you know what to plant now so you have it harvest later, and how do you know that you will have a market to sell that product to later.

It is week 13 of the urban farm season - June 9, 2015.

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Jun 24, 2015
Greens: A Powerful Economic Driver of the Urban Farm that Keeps on Giving and Giving - The Urban Farmer - S1W12 (FSFS12)
44:27

It's June 2nd and the farm is in full production. As you heard last week a big part of that production comes from greens. Greens that are being cut and cut and cut.

That's resulting in a lot of product that is being sold to restaurants, distributors, and farmers market customers.

This week we get into sales, crop planning, planting density, and the ability to cut greens multiple times.

It is week 12 of the urban farm season - June 2, 2015.

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Jun 17, 2015
High Production Tomato Growing - How to Grow a lot of Tomatoes in a Small Space - The Urban Farmer - S1W11 (FSFS11)
51:26

In this episode Curtis talks about:

- How his no till beds are working out and performing.

- His strategy for what types of tomatoes to grow.

- How he grows his tomatoes. What cultural practices is he doing.

- How he interplants other crops between his tomatoes.

It is week 11 of the urban farm season - May 26, 2015.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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Jun 10, 2015
How Much Money Can You Make as An Urban Farmer? - The Urban Farmer - S1W10 (FSFS10)
40:04

In this episode Curtis answers questions on..

-How much land you should start with your first year?

-How much you could expect to make your first year of farming?

-How he does his harvesting?

-How he deals with crop residue in his no till beds.

-Raised beds. A fit or not?

-Does he thin his seeds?

-Are pelleted seeds worth the cost?

-How you should start a relationship with chefs when production is inconsistent?

-Is he subject to food handling regulations?

 It is week 10 of the urban farm season - May 19, 2015.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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Jun 03, 2015
Urban Farm Land - Gaining Access to Land and How To Convert the Land from Lawn to Mini Farm - The Urban Farmer - S1W9 (FSFS9)
47:44

In this episode we talk about acquiring new farm land. What it takes to get new land, how land deals are structured, and what information you want to know from a land owner before entering a land deal.

We also discuss how you convert a conventional lawn over to a production urban farm plot. What are the steps involved?

It is week 9 of the urban farm season - May 12, 2015.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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May 27, 2015
Hacking the Seed, A Not So Obvious Look at Direct Seeding Crops – The Urban Farmer - S1W8 (FSFS8)
48:21

It is week 8 of the urban farm season - May 5, 2015.

In this episode we take a deep dive into direct seeding. When is it appropriate, how Curtis does it, and how he optimizes his direct seeding to maximize production for yield and quality.

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May 20, 2015
There’s a Party In The Greenhouse?!?!? – The Urban Farmer - S1W7 (FSFS7)
55:47

It is week 7 of the urban farm season - April 28, 2015. The setting for this show is Kelowona, BC, Canada.

This episode focuses on the role of the urban farmer in the community.

Problems Curtis has had with people in the city and how he has dealt with them.

And what skills it takes to be an urban farmer.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

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May 13, 2015
Transplanting and Interplanting. Getting the Most Out of Limited Space – The Urban Farmer - S1W6 (FSFS6)
50:17

Welcome to The Urban Farmer show. It is week 6 of the urban farm season and it is April 22, 2015. The weather is beautiful in Kelowona, BC and urban farmer Curtis Stone is setting the farm up for the forth coming season.

In this episode we talk a lot about nursery, transplanting into the field, and the concept of inter-planting.

Currently on the farm transplants are going in, irrigation systems are being setup, and the end is in sight for the setup phase.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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May 06, 2015
Protecting and Manipulating Crop Growth Using Poly Low Tunnels – The Urban Farmer - S1W5 (FSFS5)
47:47

It is week 5 of the urban farm season - April 14, 2015. The setting for this show is Kelowona, BC, Canada.

Urban Farmer Curtis Stone is going gangbusters in what he calls the setup phase on his farm - getting all of the major things done on the farm plots before the season gets underway. Things like preparing the soil, starting plants in the nursery, putting down weed control measures, and getting infrastructure in place. Part of that infrastructure involves getting your irrigation systems in order.

This we talk about setting up irrigation systems, poly low tunnels, and trying out new crops.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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Apr 29, 2015
Pricing Products & Bringing On a New Employee – The Urban Farmer – S1W4 (FSFS4)
44:36

It is now April 8 and we are another week into the Urban Farm season with Curtis. What's happened on the farm so far.

At this point in the season Curtis has prepared most of the growing beds on his various plots for the upcoming farm season and that includes switching a lot of his production methods over to more of no-till style. He has been spending a few hours each day on farm related activities. This season is just getting underway and this year he isn't doing it alone. He is doing it with the help of a new full-time employee. A move that Curtis hopes will allow him to work more on the business, not in the business.

This week we will be talking about his new employee and how the onboarding and training process is going.  We will also talk about the financial impacts of hiring someone - when do the additional costs make sense?

In this episode we will talk a lot about pricing and how Curtis prices his products. He has found a pricing system that works and has kept his prices consistent since he started farming a few years ago.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

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Apr 22, 2015
Going No-Till - The Urban Farmer - S1W3 (FSFS3)
50:58

It's Tuesday, March 31st, and the first farmers market is coming up in four days. What's Curtis up to?

In this episode we are talking about how Curtis maximizes his efforts on the farm by staying organized. And how he is switching his beds over this year to a no-till strategy.

This show is the story of urban farmer Curtis Stone.

Curtis is an urban farmer who farms on 15,000 sq.ft. in Canada. He has been farming in an urban setting profitably for 5 years. We are going to follow Curtis on a journey through a full farm season, taking you behind the scenes each week to see what being an urban farmer is really like. It isn't always glorious, but it's real.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Apr 15, 2015
The Setup Phase - The Urban Farmer - S1W2 (FSFS2)
50:33

It's mid-March and the farm is now in what Curtis calls the setup phase. He has started selling some overwintered crops and he is adding to his restaurant customer base.

This show is the story of urban farmer Curtis Stone.

Curtis is an urban farmer who farms on 15,000 sq.ft. in Canada. He has been farming in an urban setting profitably for 5 years. We are going to follow Curtis on a journey through a full farm season, taking you behind the scenes each week to see what being an urban farmer is really like. It isn't always glorious, but it's real.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

Apr 08, 2015
It's Winter, Know the Farm Numbers - The Urban Farmer - S1W1 (FSFS1)
54:55

It's mid-February and the farm season is just beginning. Most of the work on the farm is preparing for the warmer months ahead. A lot of time is spent planning and preparing for the year ahead.

This show is the story of urban farmer Curtis Stone.

Curtis is an urban farmer who farms on 15,000 sq.ft. in Canada. He has been farming in an urban setting profitably for 5 years. We are going to follow Curtis on a journey through a full farm season, taking you behind the scenes each week to see what being an urban farmer is really like. It isn't always glorious, but it's real.

Stay tuned, and enjoy the journey.

Listen to past episodes at: https://www.paperpot.co/podcast

Increase farm efficiency with the Paperpot Transplanter and Other Small Farm Equipment at https://www.paperpot.co/

Follow PaperpotCo on Instagram:http://bit.ly/2B45VKQ

 

Apr 01, 2015