Farmers Markets, Farm Tours, On Farm Sales – Are they worth it? – The Steps and the Process – Grass Fed Life – Episode 13


Grass Fed Life

Many farmers like Darby work at least 60 hours per week – that’s 7 days a week, from May through September.

That’s a lot of hours. It’s much higher average workload during that time specific time frame than your average American.

But we can’t just focus on those numbers, because there’s more to the story.

Think about the off season. For many farmers the workload is seasonal. They spend a lot of time working in the summer and a lot of time not working in the winter.

That brings the year round average of total hours worked down, probably closer to the national average for the average Joe American work.

But there’s a difference between the two workers, the average entrepreneur and farmer own is also working for themselves. Their efforts are directly going towards something more than just money, they are building a business. It’s not just putting hours in for dollars; it’s also getting something that has the potential to have more longevity than they have. Both in the near term and the long term as equity is built in the business and a business can often work 24/7 for a long time, effectively working when you can’t. Meaning as the business owner you leveraged your hours now for longer term gain.

Another factor to consider is – where are those hours spent? If you are farmer then they are probably spent on farm which means on your land where you live.

You are spending a lot of hours working around your house. You aren’t leaving each day to go to work, other than walking out the door. There’s no commute. Which means you are around your family and any down time like breaks and lunch can be spent with them, or however you see fit. A far cry from the more family isolated hours of the average American worker.

There’s more to the hours worked per week, than just the hours worked per week. This is important to understand if you are thinking about getting into farming and these long summer work hours are scaring you. You need to look deeper; you need to look at where those hours of work are taking place and what those hours of working are going towards.

Because what on the surface appears to be insane hours, how insane is it really?

And at the end of the day is the average American worker the one who’s really putting in the insane hours week after week, year after year?

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Notes from pastured poultry processing day:

  • Darby’s poultry CSA pickup logistics:
    • There is one set pickup day for all bulk customers
    • He allows customers to pick up a few months of CSA pickups in one trip
    • He will sell CSA customers additional product at CSA pricing – depending on inventory
    • He sends out a simple reminder that the CSA pickup is coming.
  • When you CSA customers come to pick up their meat, make it easy for them to buy more product if they want.
    • They are already there, you might as well try to sell them something.
  • Consider opening up the farm to everyone on CSA pickup day to try to get a boost in on farm sales.
    • You are already doing the work and have the product and booth setup, you might as well try to do more sales.
  • Should I do farm tours?
    • Can you take on the additional work required?  There is a lot of work involved.
      • Marketing
      • Execution
      • Clean Up
    • Does that work justify the return?
  • Balancing out farm life with life, because there can be parts of the year that REQUIRE very long hours.
    • Farm is a lifestyle.
    • It’s a lot of work, but it ebbs and flows.  You aren’t always busy year round.  It is seasonal.
    • Don’t forget you are still working from home and for yourself, despite long hours.
    • “This is a lifestyle, this is not a job, it’s a lifestyle.”
  • What is your farm’s unfair advantage, and how can you exploit that?
    • You need to try to figure out what that is.
  • A diversification in sales (customers) is just as important as diversification in products that you are selling.  That protects you from market fluctuations.

Interested in transitioning into full or part-time farming?

If so, then check out Darby’s Farm Business Essentials 3 Day Intensive Workshop

Do you want to transition into livestock farming on a part-time or full-time basis? 

Or are you currently farming, but it’s stressful and challenging to manage the farm and life?

Or are you currently farming, but you are struggling to make the enterprise profitable or generate enough on farm income to farm full time?

The Farm Business Essentials Intensive was created to help addresses those concerns and challenges.

In this three day workshop we will take an in-depth look at where you are currently at, where you want to go, what do you need to put in place to get there, and what are some of the next action steps to turn the ideas into reality.

The workshop will take place on March 2-4, 2017 outside Indianapolis, Indiana.


Connect with Darby Simpson

Simpson Family Farm

Simpson Family Farm on Facebook

Have questions for Darby? He does consulting…

Whether you are simply someone looking to raise some or all of your own meat on a homestead, or are looking to follow your dreams of full time farming Darby can help you be a success and reach your goals. Your one on one consultation is tailored to fit you – not anyone else. It’s all about your farm enterprise or homestead, and will answer your questions on a myriad of farming related subjects. LEARN MORE.


Listen to all of the previous episodes right HERE


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