Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

If you want to be better off in December 2016, then the planning for that starts now in December 2015. The biggest leverage point which for the farm season next year is right there in front of you. You just need to tease it out. That's what today's show is about. Doing some End of Season Reflection - Thinking about How Things Went This Year, to Alter Course and Plan for Next Year I hope that you can use some of the information that we talk about in this episode to reflect on your 2015 farm season, so you can get better in 2016. With the end of the year, comes the end of this show. This is Episode 40 of The Urban Farmer, the last episode of the show. Good luck with everything in 2016 and beyond. Keep growing, keep pushing forward, and keep getting after it. Learn more at

Direct download: TUF040-12302015.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

In today's episode Curtis and I will take a look back at the season of this show and talk about what's in store for the future for Curtis and this show. In regards to the future, you listening to this hold a bit of control on that in your hands. Because we want to hear what your thoughts are on this show - The Urban Farmer. This season what's resonated with you? What do you want to hear more about? And how has this show affected what you are doing? I don't beg a lot, but this is one case where I will, I am begging you, please send us your feedback on the show. Has it helped what do you want to hear more about, and are you using this information as a home grower versus a commercial farm? Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think. You can do so via email and/or leave a comment in the show notes for this episode at Thanks for listening to the show and supporting us this year. It means a lot to me. This show has been outlet for me, and a way for me to put something out there to make an impact, that I believe in and can stand behind. I hope that it has helped. Show Notes:

Direct download: TUF039-12232015.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

On today's show I am talking to Rob Kippel. Rob's not your typical permie. He's a paramedic, a real estate investor, and he owns a profitable franchise business that has nothing to do with farming, but his values align with the values that permaculture supports. And Rob likes the idea of regenerative agriculture, but he doesn't want to be the farmer. And when you hear this interview, I think you will probably agree, that Rob's skills are best suited for the other fields which he is already excelling at. Because he has accomplished a lot, and is doing a lot, and he's done it by age 31.

I hope that this episode gets you thinking. Because the permaculture path might not be for everyone, and some people might be better off supporting Your Permaculture Goals with a Career Outside of Permaculture....

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Direct download: CD009-12182015.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 5:30am PDT

How much work should you put into something before it gets to the point where it isn't worth it? At what point does the money, the effort, and the headache justify not doing it? With everything in business and farming, there is always a trade off, an opportunity cost. If you are doing one, thing, then it's at the expense of something else. Because you can't do it all, and regardless of the return, sometimes it's just not worth it. In this episode we spend a lot of time looking at how to decide if customers and crops are worth the effort. Learn more at

Direct download: TUF038-12162015.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

If you are going to succeed in any business then you need to be able to tell a good story. Your skill, services, and product are only going to get you so far. You need to be able to tell the stories that get people to get behind you and pay for your products and services. If you can't do that, then you won't succeed. This is where marketing comes in. And for right or for wrong, marketing has a sleezy image. Because at the core of everything, marketers are propagandists. They are using information to manipulate you and get you to do something that you may or may not realize that you actually want to do. And as my guest today, Hilary Bromberg, will say, is the propaganda for somethign good or for something less than good. Because even the most noble causes need propadana to get people to pay attention. This episodes is all about marketing and story telling. And it's a beast. There's a ton of great advice in here from Hilary. But the advice and tips are subtle. This isn't go make this type of post on Facebook everyday types of tips. She will be talking about the fundamental principles of what makes people do what they do. Timeless adivce, that doesnt' change, because people don't change. Pay attention, and get ready. Learn more at

Direct download: PV3-HilaryBromberg.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 5:30am PDT

In this episode, I want to talk about this idea of growing wings and flying. Not limiting ourselves from becoming who we are and maximizing our true potential. Because we live in a society where everything is comfortable, too comfortable. Where you more or less just plug into the system and get pulled along with it from grade school to college to job to social security... A society where today, if you have a full time job, and you tell someone that you are leaving your job, their likely first reaction is going to be what are you going to do for money. That’s what my parents feared in 1998 when I wanted to transition from a lucrative career with sure employment to a field that was saturated. And that’s the first question they asked when I told them I was likely leaving my job now. It’s part of our culture. The job. And we are all trained to be employees and we are believed to be dependent on that thing... the job. That’s our future and it’s with the company. And that guy, the the guy in the other room. That's where our retirement is sitting. Where our progress and future is in the hands of someone and something else. Not us. And that's great, because it absolves us of responsibility, and puts one layer of insulation between us and the harsh world of surviving on your own. A layer that makes us comfortable, and therefore vulnerable, more on that later. It’s comfortable because honestly it’s pretty damn hard to get fired once you have a job. With paycheck security, I think most people lapse into minimum viable effort, intended or not. I have worked around enough co-works to see that in reality very few people put in 40 hours of productive work a week despite being at 40 for 40 hours a week. It’s show up, do some work, surf the web, chat with co-workers, drink coffee, repeat, eat lunch, do a little work go, home. That is most of corporate America. It’s easy. It’s comfortable. And life is good when you just show up and collect a salary. But there is a cost to living in that bubble. Your price of admission is trading your time and freedom for perceived and temporary stability. Think about that one for a second. What makes that stable hourly or salary based job for the man so nice, meaning show up and get paid, is actually costing you time. Your life’s precious time. And what’s happening in your life during that time that you are missing. What life experiences and memories are you trading those dollars, be it small or large for? Spending 40 plus hours a week at a job week at a job which realistically likely requires less than 40 hours of actual focused and effective work to complete. Read more at

Direct download: CD008-12112015.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

All in Curtis produced about 17,500lbs of product off of his farm this year. That's a lot of food coming from a small space. Remember Curtis is only farming off of 15,000 sq.ft. which is spread out over 5 plots. And this year he made the most of it producing over 17,000lbs of produce on those 5 plots. And we aren't talking corn and potatoes here. For the most part many of the crops which he produced really aren't that heavy, he simply produced a lot of product. 3000lbs of tomatoes, 2500 lbs of radishes, 2500 lbs of spring mix, 2000lbs of turnips. Big numbers for a small farm. Curtis has grown better throughout the years and grown a lot of crops in the past. At one time he grew over 90 differnet crops. Ultimatley that easn't affective for Curtis and he learned to focus on the crops that paid, dropping the ones that didnt'. Now in 2015 he produced about 23 differnet products off of the farm this year. But even with only 23 different crops, not all crops are created equal. Because his top 5 crops account for over 60% of his total sales. In this eposde we start to dig a bit into those different products and really disect the numbers looking at metrics like which crops made up the top five in terms of sales dollars. And what you will notice when we go through taht exercise is just what we have talked about all season, 20% of the crops produce the majortiy of the farms sales. Given that we'll look at how Curtis is using this data to start to plan for next year. In a nut shell it's grow what works and more of it if there's demand, and drop what isn't working so well. The numbers are telling and the numbers don't lie. Regarding of what you what, some crops just grow well on your farm and sell well in your market, so focus on those crops. You can't grow it all, so grow what counts. Learn more at

Direct download: TUF037-12092015.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 6:53am PDT

Dan Brisebois will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016. Learn more about PV3 at Today’s episode takes us to Quebec, where farmer Dan Brisebois is doing some amazing things at the Tourne-Sol farm…. Dan Brisebois started out like a lot of other small scale growers, growing market vegetables intensively to sell to CSA customers. But unlike most other growers, Dan also had another plan in mind as he started his farm. A plan that would really distinguish him from many other small scale growers. Because from the beginning Dan’s plan was to integrate seed production into his small farm's operation. Seed which could be used on the farm, and seeds which could be sold. Dan's now about 10 years into the seed growing and selling business, and things are going well and he's producing a lot of seeds. Seeds that he uses in three ways. He's selling seeds which are being sold to through his own seed company and seeds which are being sold to seed retailers, and seed which is being used on his farm. It’s proving to be a lucrative and viable add on business for his small farm. And before starting thinking, I don't have enough room on my farm to grow seeds as well as market veg, thinking again, because Dan is dedicating less than 1/2 an acre to seed production. You don't need a lot of land to produce a lot of seeds. But it isn't just as easy as grow plants and get seeds. There's a lot of strategy, skill and marketing that plays into the small scale seed business. Some of which is intuitive and some of which isn't. Like why Dan grows his market tomatoes on supports in the greenhouse, but grows his tomatoes for seed outside on the ground. Find out exactly why in this episode, as Dan shares 10 years of seed growing experience. If you are looking to cash flow a small piece of land or diversify your farm operations, pay attention in this one... Learn more at

Direct download: PV3-DanBrisebois.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Christian Shearer will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016. Learn more about PV3 at Hopefully this episode will help shed some light on the long term design process, so you can approach you own long term project with the right mindset, expectations, and goals. Christian as has a lot of experience working on projects that have taken years to complete and evolve. For the past 10 plus years he has been the managing director of the Panya Project in Thailand, and he has taken on numerous long term projects as one of the founding members of Terra Genesis International. Through his work with Terra Genesis Christian has taken the lead on reforestation projects in the Philippines, regenerative farming practices in northeastern Thailand, and the broad regeneration of a sand quarry in Barbados. He's worked aroudn the world on a varitey of project over the past ten years, and he's gathered a lot of wisdom along the way. Learn more at

Direct download: PV3-ChristianShearer.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

In this episode we will be talking about real world issues and troubles with restaurant customers. How Curtis has dealt with customers who haven't paid in the past and how he has changed his procedures to help make sure that it doesn't happen again. Because Curtis has learned the hard way, when you're in the real world and restaurants don't pay, you can lose a lot of money. Learn more at

Direct download: TUF036-12022015.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 6:00am PDT