Show cover of Farm Small Farm Smart

Farm Small Farm Smart

Insights for vegetable farmers and market gardeners who earn, or want to earn, a living growing vegetables profitably. In each episode, 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 in-the-field farming. Soil preparation, weed management, post-harvest processing, appropriate technology, farm tools and equipment, and growing crops. Hosted and produced by Diego Footer's Modern Grower Podcast Network.

Tracks

Insights on Seed Quality & Prepping for the First Farmers Market
In this episode, Diego and Alec talk about what Farmer Alec is doing to prepare for Crop Culture Farm’s first farmers market of the season—from sending in applications to visualizing and laying out the displays to thinking about signages and slogans to put up on their stand. Afterward, Alec and Diego have an interesting discussion about Farmer Alec’s insights on just how important the quality of seed plays on production in a market farm.     Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
57:04 5/24/24
Knowing Your Operational Costs - Farm Startup - Episode 11
In this episode, Diego and Alec talk about one business lesson Alec learned from his previous entrepreneurial endeavor: the importance of knowing your operating costs and your margins and staying true to the price you need to charge to keep the business running. Farmer Alec also shares an account of how he learned that lesson, as well as some interesting strategies he employs to determine a good price to charge for his produce.   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
55:05 5/17/24
The Business Side of Starting a Farm - Farm Startup - Episode 10
In this episode, Diego and Alec step away from the field and dive into the business aspect of running a farm, zeroing in on admin work like bookkeeping, expense tracking, tax management, and even software tools. They also touch on crop planning, sales outlets, and leveraging personal connections for sales. Lastly, Diego and Alec explore the viability of aggregating products from other producers in the area to expand the business.   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
53:22 5/10/24
The Journey of Entrepreneurship - Farm Startup - Episode 9
In this episode, Diego and Alec delve into the winding journey of entrepreneurship. They touch on the excitement around starting a new business and the burnout that comes with crunching the startup phase. They also talk about Alec’s thoughts on the mental load of entrepreneurship, his hopes and expectations for the coming growing season, and his strategy for making adjustments on his farm in the future. Want to Venmo Farmer Alec so he could take a month off to work on his farm?   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
46:27 5/3/24
Managing Time & Balancing Personal Life and Business Life - Farm Startup - Episode 8
In this episode, Diego and Alec talk about balancing personal life and farm life, all while managing time and navigating a path toward full-time farming. They touch on potentials and hypotheticals for hiring out labor on the farm, whether or not to stay a part-time farm, as well as financial goals to be able to make the leap into full-time farming. Lastly, Diego and Alec delve into the motivation behind starting a farm as well as the personal fulfillment that comes from starting a business.   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
51:04 4/26/24
Equipment Challenges and Crop Pricing - Farm Startup - Episode 7
In this episode, Diego and Alec talk about equipment challenges and crops. Farmer Alec first shares his experience dealing with wash-pack constraints while preparing a wholesale order. Afterward, Diego and Alec into selecting which crops to grow, which crops Alec is excited for and crops that did interestingly well at the market. Alec also talks about his experience growing different crops so far, as well as varieties he hopes will do well this farming season.   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
43:56 4/19/24
Choosing a Farm Business Model - Farm Startup - Episode 6
In this episode, Diego and Alec delve into the thought process behind choosing a farm business model, going beyond and touching on market fit, other additional sales avenues, and pricing. Farmer Alec also talks about selling produce to a wholesaler for the first time, as well as his experience selling at his first farmers market of the season.   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
46:51 4/12/24
Budgeting - Farm Startup - Episode 5
In this episode, Diego talks to farmer Alec Smith about the budgeting aspect of building out a farm business. They go over time management when it comes to administrative tasks, budgeting for equipment and infrastructure, as well as the challenges of spending and investing wisely while operating within a limited budget.   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
46:45 4/5/24
Building Beds - Farm Startup - Episode 4
In this episode, Diego talks to farmer Alec Smith about how he planned the layout of his farm and built out his beds. Alec describes the initial state of the farm, including its flat terrain, low organic matter, and issues with weeds. Afterward, they go over the process of evaluating and adapting the property for market garden production, as well as the decisions Alec made on bed sizing, pathways, and layout, all while accommodating physical constraints.   Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
37:31 3/29/24
Expectations vs. Reality - Farm Startup - Episode 3
In this episode, Diego and Alec look back a year ago and compare Alec’s initial expectations of starting a farm versus the reality of actually starting a farm. Alec talks about the ups and downs of setting up a farm business, the successes and challenges, and the strategic decisions he had to make along the way. Alec also shares his future plans for the farm, the hurdles he anticipates, as well as his insights on how to approach farming as a business in order to farm full-time on his farm.     Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
47:34 3/22/24
Finding Land to Farm On - Farm Startup - Episode 2
In this episode, Diego and Alec talk about the process Alec went through to find suitable land to set up his farm. They go through factors worth considering before choosing where to farm such as accessibility to water and power, the cost of the property, proximity to the market and the home, soil condition, existing infrastructure, and even the relationship with the landowner. Alec shares his personal experiences and the lessons he learned while looking for a good property to farm on, as well as getting his farm started. Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
51:18 3/15/24
I'm a New Farmer Starting a Farm From Scratch - Farm Startup - Episode 1
In this episode, podcast host Diego interviews Alec Smith from Crop Culture Farm, a farmer starting his farm. Alec shares his experiences and challenges in balancing his farm startup with working part-time at another farm, the steps taken to set up his farm, improvements made over time, and their plans and expectations for their farm business. He also dives into the compromise between perfection and practicality in farm setup, constraints, and challenges such as time and resource management, recent achievements, and positive feedback that motivate and validate Alec's efforts. Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF  
44:14 3/8/24
The Agritourism Revolution: Pick-Your-Own-Farming (Carrot Cashflow)
Megan Neubauer from Pure Land Farm joins me to discuss her revolutionary you-pick farming model. The model is extremely profitable and gives her a lot of extra time each year to do things off the farm. Megan goes through her strategies for sales, marketing, and crop planning. You can learn more in Megan's book: Pick-Your-Own-Farming Get time and labor-saving farm tools at shop.modern grower.co Listen to other podcasts on the Modern Grower Podcast Network: Farm Small, Farm Smart Farm Small, Farm Smart Daily The Growing Microgreens Podcast Check out Diego's book, Sell Everything You Grow, which is only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF  
94:09 2/2/24
Lessons Learned Creating the Ultimate Farm Planning Software (Carrot Cashflow 38)
Paul Dysinger, co-founder of Seedtime, joins me to talk about his journey to build the best farm and garden software ever. He shares lessons that have helped him manage time, prioritize tasks, and balance work and life.  Learn more about Seedtime [Affiliate link] Shop all of our farm tools and equipment: https://shop.moderngrower.co/  
67:30 11/27/23
The $700,000 No-Till Farm with Mark DeRespinis - Carrot Cashflow 37
(0:00) Thanksgiving food talk. Is the food better the next day? Top 5 sides. Pumpkin pie is gross. (0:31:56) Farmer Mark DeRespinis describes how he has built a very successful no-till farm raising high-quality vegetables and selling them to restaurants in the Boulder, CO area. (2:05:35) Drunk Ideas - The Michelin Star guide for produce. Mark's farm: https://www.instagram.com/esoterraculinary/ Check out our Black Friday Sale: https://shop.moderngrower.co/  
130:29 11/24/23
Half-Million Dollar Market Farming and Dangerous Opinions - Carrot Cashflow 35
(0:00) Be careful who you take an opinion from. (0:24:00) Farmer Ian Jerolmack talks about how they are crushing it on their farm and will do $500k in sales. (1:27:15) Listener Q&A - Cut expenses or grow revenue? (1:39:47) Drunk Ideas - The Auto Warner Check out my new book, Sell Everything You Grow - only $0.99 on  Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sell-Everything-You-Grow-Homestead-ebook/dp/B0CJC9NTZF
109:38 11/2/23
Increasing Profits by Adding Crop Rotations and Winter Growing - The Profitable Mini-Farm E20
Adding additional crop rotations is one way to increase profits without adding more land. You can add rotations by extending your season into the spring and fall. You can also add rotations by turning crops faster. Additional rotations bring in more income, keep your customer base engaged, and live roots in your soil for longer.   10:30 Farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm discusses how he manages winter growing on his farm.    Kwik Hoops are eligible for NRCS low-tunnel grants. Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm
51:22 9/6/23
Perfecting Paperpot Beets and Not Comparing Against Others - The Profitable Mini-Farm E19
We often discourage ourselves by comparing our achievements against others to those we have no business comparing against. Set your own goals and measure against those, not others.   13:15 Farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm discusses their steps to perfect growing beets on their farm. They now grow all beets using the paperpot transplanter, which gives them a higher success rate while reducing labor.    Kwik Hoops are eligible for NRCS low-tunnel grants. Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm
66:57 8/30/23
Growing Salanova - How-To and Simple Farm Accounting - The Profitable Mini-Farm E18
In the first part of the show I try to simplify farm accounting by giving you an easy way to measure the profit per bed:  Total Revenue - $225 = Profit per 100-foot bed.   If you used this formula on most of your low-labor crops (not tomatoes), your profit margin will be fairly accurate.   14:19 Farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm talks about how they grow Salanova on their farm: direct seeding, soil preparation, amendments, and harvesting.   Kwik Hoops are eligible for NRCS low-tunnel grants. Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm
65:36 8/23/23
Determining Crop Profitability and Growing Amazing Carrots - The Profitable Mini-Farm E17
The metric Dollars Per Day (DPD) is a quick and easy way to determine if one crop is more profitable than another.  DPD is the revenue generated by a single crop in a single bed divided by the total days that crop was in that bed.   17:30 Farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm talks about how they grow amazing carrots on their farm: direct seeding, soil preparation, amendments, and harvesting.   Kwik Hoops are eligible for NRCS low-tunnel grants. Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm    
71:59 8/16/23
Direct Seeding with the Jang Seeder - Tips and Tricks - The Profitable Mini-Farm E16
In Episode 16 of The Profitable Mini-Farm, farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm discusses how he uses the Jang seeder on his farm. He also brings up several mistakes people make when using it.   Get the Jang Seeder: https://paperpot.co/product-category/jang/   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm   Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.
61:51 7/26/23
The Importance of a Great Potting Mix - The Profitable Mini-Farm E15
In Episode 15 of The Profitable Mini-Farm, farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm talks about why potting mix is so important and how you can make your own.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm   Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.
42:27 7/19/23
Composting for Maximum Farm Productivity - The Profitable Mini-Farm E14
In Episode 14 of The Profitable Mini-Farm, farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm discusses how he makes and uses compost on his farm. Why farmers can get tricked into thinking there is only one great way to make or apply compost. And how the best results come from a lot of trial and error.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm   Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.
47:17 7/12/23
Building Deep, Productive Farm Soils - The Profitable Mini-Farm E13
In Episode 13 of The Profitable Mini-Farm, farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm will discuss how they build up the soils when they first started their farm, how they maintain fertility, and how they handle the soil during steps like bed-turnover.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm   Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.
43:48 6/28/23
Low-Cost Crop Protection with Low Tunnels - The Profitable Mini-Farm E12
In the previous episode, we talked about greenhouses. They are great but big and costly, and they aren't for everyone at every stage of their farming career.  Given that, how do you protect your crops? Enter low tunnels. Low tunnels are low-tech but effective ways to protect your crops from insects, rain, snow, and temperature fluctuations. In Episode 12 of The Profitable Mini-Farm, farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm will talk about the role low tunnels play on Roebuck Farm.   Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm   Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using Kwik Hoops and InsectaNet.
45:04 6/21/23
Want a Greenhouse? Think about these things first. The Profitable Mini-Farm E11
In Episode 11 of The Profitable Mini-Farm, farmer Jodi Roebuck @roebuckfarm walks through the different considerations for getting a greenhouse. When is it the right time for your business? What benefits does it offer besides financial ones?    Learn more about Jodi: https://www.roebuckfarm.com/ @roebuckfarm   Protect your valuable crop from rain, wind, cold, and insects using  Kwik Hoops.
51:44 6/14/23
Standardizing Transplanting for Simplicity with Erich Schultz (FSFS265)
Today it's all about standardization when I speak with farmer Erich Schultz from Steadfast Farm.   Erich has been farming for over a decade now, and standardization is one of his keys to success.   In this episode, Erich is going to discuss standardizing paperpot operations on his farm. Why grows everything in 6" paper chain pots and 4 rows per bed. How he has standardized nursery operations and much more.   Get InsectaNet to protect your crops at Paperpot Co.
31:40 6/7/23
Cashing In - How to Successfully Market Your Lettuce Crop - The Lettuce Grower Series - Episode 10
There is no point in growing a crop if you can't sell it at a profit. Ray discusses cashing in on your hard work in Episode 10 of The Lettuce Grower Series. Ray will share some tips to market lettuce successfully and how they have increased sales and prices based on these techniques. Diego Footer hosts this 10-part series from @paperpotco, and the presenter is farmer Ray Tyler from @rosecreekfarms. Get Ray's book, The Farmers Guide to Growing Organic Lettuce. You can get the book here. Ray also has an online course dedicated to growing lettuce. Learn more about the course here. Grow a great lettuce crop with the Jang Seeder, Paperpot Transplanter, and Kwik Klik seeder. Find tools for direct seeding, transplanting, and the nursery at paperpot.co.
47:47 5/24/23
Harvesting and Packing to Maximize Sales - The Lettuce Grower Series - Episode 9
You've done all the work to grow a great lettuce crop. How do you get it from the field to the customer in the best condition possible? Episode 9 in The Lettuce Grower Series is a dive harvesting and packing. Ray will review strategies to get the most from your harvest and packing tips to help maximize sales. Don't do all the work growing the crop and falter at the end with a poor harvest and pack process. Diego Footer hosts this 10-part series from @paperpotco, and the presenter is farmer Ray Tyler from @rosecreekfarms. Get Ray's book, The Farmers Guide to Growing Organic Lettuce. You can get the book here. Ray also has an online course dedicated to growing lettuce. Learn more about the course here. Grow a great lettuce crop with the Jang Seeder, Paperpot Transplanter, and Kwik Klik seeder. Find tools for direct seeding, transplanting, and the nursery at paperpot.co.
23:41 5/17/23
Lettuce Pests and Diseases and How to Deal with Them - The Lettuce Grower Series - Episode 8
Like most crops, lettuce has pests and diseases that target it. Episode 8 in The Lettuce Grower Series shares his experience dealing with these issues. He goes over the most common pests and diseases while giving various solutions to help prevent and remedy problems. Diego Footer hosts this 10-part series from @paperpotco, and the presenter is farmer Ray Tyler from @rosecreekfarms. Get Ray's book, The Farmers Guide to Growing Organic Lettuce. You can get the book here. Ray also has an online course dedicated to growing lettuce. Learn more about the course here. Protect your valuable crop from insects with Kwik Hoops.
24:20 5/10/23

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