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.
Thanks for the support through the first 100 episodes, much more ahead!
Highlights from Past Guests:
- Understanding that a desire to farm isn’t about growing food:
- This is about career change
- Redirecting one’s life path
- A decision to live deliberately
- Farming is secondary and a skillset that can be acquired later
- “Utilize experimental techniques in moderation.”
- “Understand why others are utilizing the technique and what the appropriate technology is for your particular biome / environment.”
- Knew he wanted to farm, but didn’t want to be broke, so he had to make money at it.
- “We are going to close the shop in two months…” “OH SHIT!” “I don’t have anything.” But that date warning was the catalyst to change and a few days later he was in action with a plan.
- Same worries that everyone has. How am I going to pay my bills?
- Has another job on the side now, 40 hours per week, so doesn’t have to take an income off the farm right away.
- Have a plan and know that the plan can change, but if you don’t have a plan you may struggle to get stuff done.
- “We weren’t making money at it, wasn’t fun, we were already busy, why do it?
- “It’s either adding value to your customer or it’s not.”
- “Do you want to grow everything, or do you want to farm?”
- “If our customers are 1 or 2 hours away, we’re driving baby.”
- Originally worked in the restaurant industry, saw a niche, and went for it to fill that niche – producing a better product than what was flown in.
- Started while in a 3rd story apartment and glad he did, because if he had waited until he was out he may have never started.
- Dealing with restaurants:
- Show up on time, when you said you would.
- Bring what you say you were going to bring in terms of quantity or at least communicate ahead of time if you are looking to be short.
- “Farming is as much about growing yourself as it is about growing vegetables.”
- Did $6000 in sales his first year.
- When he was making nothing before, that should be viewed as a success.
- Chris continues to evolve his farm to his lifestyle being a stay at home dad.
- “My work on the ground is the tangible work that moves things forward.”
- “The work on the ground is the heart of the work.”
- The movement needs the work on the policy side and the work on the ground.
- Realize how valuable it is to farm in a place where you already have community.
- “Having community where you are is just a huge benefit and has been a huge benefit for me.”
- Don’t be afraid to get rid of stuff that isn’t enjoyable.
- “It’s always better to be really good at one thing.” Then you can invest in that, learn about it, become an expert in it, and become more efficient at it.
- “It’s better to have half an acre of really nice beds than an acre and a half of problems.”
- “Growing your own lightbulbs.” If I can buy it off the shelf, then I am gonna buy it off the shelf.
- “You have to really love your hobby. You have to be willing to put 40 hours a week into your hobby.”
- Hobby to business – how serious are you about this?
- “When it comes to people buying from my farm, I want them to have the greatest experience possible.”
- Getting away from plastic mulches and row cover.
- Trying to use the cash crop as the soil cover, always having the soil covered.
- If you change your perspective. You will have to flex versus having the world flex to you.
- Income levels, not a obstacle.
- Land prices, not an obstacle.
- “I’d rather make less money than have my life feel frenetic and overly busy, just ot try to make more money for needs I don’t have.”
- He markets and brands his farm and his products very well.
- He is extremely efficient and effective with everything that he does on the farm.
- He approaches farming as a business with a strict adherence to the bottom line.
- He takes meticulous records, analyzes them, and implements changes based on that analysis.
- He has the ability to solve problems on the fly and quickly adapt.
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