“How do I make this easier?”Chris Thoreau
Advice from Chris..
- Why microgreens? He could grow a lot of crops, given the value of microgreens, at one site in the city.
- “How do I make this easier?” Use what you can to your advantage to make your journey easier.
- Starting a business can be stressful. But once he moved ahead some of the stress faded because he had made the decision and he had to make things work at that point.
- Chris started his business with $10k and did $12k in sales his first year. He didn’t expect to make money his first year.
- The first year he spent building the foundation for his business.
- Running the system.
- Learning to grow the crops.
- Learning how to run the system.
- Building a reputation.
- Building a client base.
- Getting a presence at the market.
- When he started farming he wanted to do everything and worked himself into the ground because he was trying to do it all and be as sustainable as possible from the beginning. He later realized that building a business was a process and it doesn’t all have to be perfect in year one.
- Think about the sustainability piece that belongs to the farmer. Consider your own social, family, and recreational time.
- Chris focused on a diverse customer base.
- “You think about your revenue, but you don’t think about your expenses.”
- It’s not enough to just have good systems. You need to actually follow the systems and continue improving them making them better and easier.
“If in year five you are still working seventy hour weeks, and you’re not sure you are going to make it, then your model doesn’t work. You should be seeing improvements, or you just aren’t very good.”Chris Thoreau
About Chris Thoreau
Chris Thoreau has been engaged in urban food production since 2001 as a farmer, educator, community organizer, and advocate. Chris now is one of the farmer owners of the Vancouver Food Pedaler’s Cooperative.
Since 2008 Chris has been based in Vancouver, BC where he attended the University of British Columbia’s Agroecology program. He received his BSc. (Hons) in 2011 after focusing his studies on urban farming, soil management, and small-scale plant breeding.
Prior to his time in Vancouver Chris operated a certified organic farm in Victoria, BC for six years. While in Victoria he also served on the local certifying body’s (Islands Organic Producers Association) Board of Directors and Certification Committee for two years.
When he isn’t obsessing over seeds, soil, and harvests Chris spends most of his time with his four-year-old son doing everything from soccer to skating, running to wall climbing, and reading to wrestling!
Curtis Stone interviews Chris Thoreau at his Vancouver microgreen farm
Interested in growing microgreens profitably as a business?
Don’t have a lot of land?
Looking to make a living farming?
Microgreens might be a great place to start…
Microgreens are high value crop that can be growing intensively in a very small space with some crops selling upwards of $50 per pound.
It’s totally possible and it is being done everyday.
Microgreen grower Chris Thoreau generates over $200,000 per year in this space…