Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

Welcome to world of Farming Small and Farming Smart.

Today I'm talking to another small scale farming making a go of it, as we go to Omaha, Nebraska to take a look at how farmer Taylor Rogers started his farm.

It's an interesting story that takes Taylor from working behind the scenes in a restaurant kitchen to starting up a farm with no experience in a 3rd story apartment.  Being on the third floor dealing with all of the steps made for tough go of it initially, but Taylor persisted.

In hindsight he didn't start out farming in the perfect conditions or with the perfect setup, but the key was that he started and he never looked back.  

He back his enterprise in that 3rd story apartment by producing 6 trays of microgreens a week, then leveraging that production and the learnings that came with it to gradually scale up to doing 150 trays of microgreens a week.

He currently grows of 20 different crops, and it's that variety that has been one of the keys to his success.  In this episode he'll also talk about some of the other things that have made him successful such as growing what chefs want, how they want it, and bringing it when you say you’re going to bring it.

All keys to his current success and keys he learned before he even got into farming when he saw these problems first hand working behind the scenes in the kitchen.  Taylor's going to share a lot of information and insight in this one about working with chefs.

Today it's all about growing what chefs want with Taylor Rogers of In Season Omaha.

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Direct download: FSFS_87_2017_TaylorRogers.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Today is another episode where Curtis and I will be widening the scope, stepping back and zooming out from the tools and techniques and his 1/3 of an acre farm, to take a look at some of the macro issues surrounding agriculture.

The focus today is on employees.

Curtis will take about his thoughts on hiring employees, and what he looks for in employees.

We'll also get into some of the complications that having employees bring to a business owner and what other options other than hiring someone are available.

One of the options that we will look at is having fiefdoms or element partners on your land base.

An idea that sounds great in theory, but one that has some downsides in reality...

Today it's all about getting more done on the farm, by bringing in more people to do the work; it's all about this episode of The Urban Farmer.

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Direct download: FSFS_86_2017_CurtisEmployees.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

When you start your farm business, one think that you need to think about is your business structure.

Sole proprietorships and LLCs are common ways to go, but there are also other options, like co-operatives...

That's how farmer Chris Thoreau of Food Pedalers structure his business, and that's the subject of today's show...

Today I'm going up to Vancouver to talk to microgreen farmer Chris Thoreau about a topic that you don't hear discussed a lot in small scale farming circles - how he organized his business..

Chris initially started his business as a sole proprietor, but as he began to grow, both in the size of the business and the amount of people working in the business, he realized he needed to change that.

After looking at all of the options, Chris decided that he wanted to do something different, something that went more against the status quo, and something that was equitable for everyone involved - so Chris organized his business as a co-operative.

It's an interesting business structure and it's one that most people wouldn't think of when organizing their business.

If your business is growing, or if you are thinking about expanding your team, then a coop structure might make sense for you...

Today Chris will talk about why he chose that structure, the advantages and disadvantages of it, and what it takes to have a successful member-owner business.

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Direct download: FSFS_85_2017_ChrisThoreau5.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Today I am talking with Dr. Ross Mars, author of The Permaculture Transition Manual.

A book that covers a wide variety of practical topics including: permaculture design principles, soil building, nutrient-dense food growing, and greywater systems.

In the book Ross also dispels a number of well accepted permaculture myths, such as comfrey being a dynamic accumulator.  I think we have all hear that one before, plant comfrey because its roots mine and accumulate nutrients deep within the soil.  A great concept, unfortunately one that's just not true.  As Ross found there's no scientific evidence to back that claim up.

It's this scientific approach to permaculture that makes Ross's approach unique. In his book and in this interview he talks about what's worked for him and what's scientifically plausible.

Today Ross and I will use that practical and realistic lens to take a look at home scale rainwater harvesting and waste treatment.  

Ross will use his 20 years of industry experience to talk about the insanity of bathtub reed beds, and the need slow water down as it moves through the system.

It's all about home scale greywater and blackwater with Dr. Ross Mars.

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Direct download: VOC_E152_2017_RossMars.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

This week I'll pick up where last week left off with market gardener Ray Tyler of Rosecreek Farms.

While last week's episode was more inspiration, this week’s more of the perspiration side of things as Ray talks about some of his production methods and big changes that he made turn go from grossing $35,000 in 2015 to $120,000 in 2016 on less land.

Ray's going to go talk about some of the big changes that made that huge increase in gross sales possible.

He'll also get into how he controls weeds on the farm, and how he established a market for his product early on given that he only lives in a town of 2000 people.

Today it's all about production and sales, with Ray Tyler of Rosecreek Farms in Selmer, TN.

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Direct download: FSFS_84x_2017_RayTyler2.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT