In this final look into Neversink Farm, we’ll discuss why Conor Crickmore broke with the market gardening convention and stopped using his BCS two-wheel tractor.
The BCS as a Legitimization Stamp
While Conor and Kate were a lot happier once they got rid of their BCS two-wheel tractor, they can’t deny that having it that first year did give them the confidence to walk out onto their plot of land every day. But knowing what they do now, just having a broadfork in hand would have been the way to go.
In a lot of ways, the BCS does serve its function on the farm. In most cases, though, it’s not really a requirement. More often than not, people look at a BCS as a sign of legitimacy. Market gardeners who don’t have one aren’t really “there yet,” in some people’s minds. That was part of Conor and Kate’s initial thought process: having a piece of machinery would help them beat the land into submission. Of course, this proved to be untrue after a while.
The Importance of Having Support
It’s integral, Conor says, to have someone on the journey with you who supports you and is as invested in farming as you are. This could be a partner, your friends, or your family. It doesn’t necessarily mean more manpower.
When you’re tilling from sun-up to sundown seven days a week, it’s going to help a lot to have someone to tell you that things will work out. If Conor had been alone, he wouldn’t have been able to do it by himself. After the first year, with all of the weed problems, Conor would have thrown in the towel if he hadn’t had Kate along with him.
Even after scaling back in size, Conor and Kate are quite confident they’ll be able to hit their half-a-million goal for total farm revenue. They were able to make their current number of $350,000 in gross revenue in much more difficult circumstances; they don’t see why they can’t go higher with better systems and processes in place.
Thanks for reading this series on starting a successful market garden!
We here at Farm Small, Farm Smart and at Neversink Farm are optimistic that many more people will take up the challenge of developing thriving small farms.
You can learn more by checking out our podcast with grower Conor Crickmore:
And you can find all our market gardening podcasts at Farm Small, Farm Smart—the longest-running podcast on market gardening in the world.