Categorymarket farming

Why I Chose Not to Farm (and Decided to Homestead)

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My exploration of the possibility of farming began as many people’s do. I had grown up in the suburbs and hadn’t ever given much thought to where my food came from. But we became friends with some people who had a garden and chickens. Then someone recommended Wendell Berry and Joel Salatin’s You Can Farm. It wasn’t an immediate conversion, but I was definitely intrigued. This was about ten years...

Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers with Dan Brisebois – Part 5 of 5

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Now that financial goals are set, crops selected, and seeds ordered, the next step is simple: follow through with the crop plan. After that, simply keep good records and analyze your crop profitability.  Crop Planning Step 8: Carry Out the Crop Plan Do the work!  Crop Planning Step 9: Keep Records As Allan Savory says in Holistic Management, the word “plan” is a 24-letter word:...

Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers with Dan Brisebois – Part 4 of 5

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After the initial planning for financial targets comes the field planning—crop choice, planting schedules, crop maps, and, finally, filling out seed orders for each crop.  Crop Planning Step 3: Make Field Planting Schedules  Two things to consider in this step are when and how much to plant.  When to plant. This is calculated by subtracting the days to maturity from your target...

Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers with Dan Brisebois – Part 3 of 5

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In the previous post, we examined the first of Dan Brisebois’s 11 steps for crop planning: setting goals. Today we’ll look at the second: developing a marketing plan. Crop Planning Step 2: Develop a Marketing Plan Your marketing plan will be based on your salary, budget, projected expenses, and financial goals. Since you’ll be aiming to meet your financial goals, it only makes sense to plan how...

Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers with Dan Brisebois – Part 2 of 5

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In the first post in this series with grower Dan Brisebois, we gave an overview of Ferme Tourne-Sol. Today we’ll examine the first of Dan’s 11 steps for effective crop planning. Before You Start  Dan can’t stress this enough: before you even consider beginning your own farming operation and growing for a living, get some training. Find a good farm with a system that works and learn the...

Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers with Dan Brisebois – Part 1 of 5

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In this blog series, we’ll be learning from farmer and Ferme Tourne-Sol co-owner Dan Brisebois about crop planning for organic vegetables. Hopefully, we’ll shed some light on how to increase productivity (and profit) with the use of a strategic plan, coupled with flexibility, to maximize our farms’ potential.  First of All, What Makes a Good Farmer?  Is it being able to grow multiple...

Designing the Market Farms for Success with Jean-Martin Fortier – Part 3 of 3

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In the last post, we covered features of JM’s design for his market garden, including his permanent bed system and some of the equipment he uses. In this final post, we’ll look at work-life balance, seeding, and weeding. Working Hours The farm’s 10-acre land constraint has been a blessing to JM and Maude-Hélène since it has forced them to prioritize, to determine which things they were and...

Designing the Market Farms for Success with Jean-Martin Fortier – Part 2 of 3

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In the first post in this series, we explored the factors that influenced JM Fortier as he began to design his market garden. Today we’ll look at several integral parts of successful farm design, including permanent beds and equipment. Purchasing Land for a small farm If you look around, there are lots of buildings that can be reclaimed and repurposed. One of those buildings in JM’s case was a...

Designing the Market Farms for Success with Jean-Martin Fortier – Part 1 of 3

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Market gardening is a vital part of the local food movement. If enough people become serious about it, market gardening could replace large-scale vegetable production. This has the potential to improve overall soil health as well as human health.  Many young people are interested in agriculture but have trouble entering the industry. For budding market gardeners, it can be nothing short of...

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