Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

Whether it’s MMA or becoming a freelancer or business owner, the punches will be thrown, and they will hit you.

But as Mike Tyson said, "Everybody has a plan until they punched in the face. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze."

When life hits you in the face what are you going to do?

Are you going to freeze like a rat, or are you going to come back like Mike Tyson and be that baddest man on the planet?

The hard reality of that question, is that it truly is up to you to decide.

What would you do?

Let’s find out what a former MMA fighter turned farmer did, and find out from out what's it's like to get punched into the face by life, and someone else...


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Direct download: TUSOY2-2017-REPLAY.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

If customers keep asking if you have certain crop, and you don't, should you grow it?

It depends.

And that's the focus of today's show: When, How, and Why to Start Producing A New Microgreen Crop

Today microgreen grower Chris Thoreau and I are talking about new crops - specifically how do you start growing them?

On the surface that may seem like a simple and straightforward question, but there's a lot of specifics involved in answering that questions, and the specifics are where profits are made or money is lost.

You have to consider things like can you actually grow the crop - meaning can you get a good yield from in within your system that's already setup to grow other crops; or does the crop's harvest schedule fall in line with your other crops and your current harvest schedule.
If you plan on scaling the crop, can you actually buy enough seed?  And can that seed be bought at a price that makes the crop profitable.

All legitimate considerations which need to be considered, anytime you take on the decisions to grow a new corp.

If you are thinking about starting a farm or adding some new crops to the mix, then this episode is for you.

Chris will put the theory to reality and talk about his experiences and failures introducing new crops, like basil.

What his methodically and thought process was and why.

As you'll hear, not everything always works, regardless of how much experience you have, and sometimes some crops are just better off not grown.

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Direct download: FSFS_96_2017_ChrisThoreau7.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT

In honor of Earth Day, today's show is a replay of the interview with the original Earth Day lead organizer Denis Hayes.

Denis Hayes talks about a lifetime of work in environmentalism - the challenges, successes, the changing environmental problems since the 60's, and how he has endured numerous political changes in Washington.

Denis was the organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, headed the Solar Energy Research Institute under President Carter, and is now president of the Bullitt Foundation. In 1999 Time Magazine named him Hero of the Planet.

In this episode we go through his early life in a polluted Washington paper milling community to how he became an environmental activist. We also discuss the creation and organization of the first Earth Day in 1970 and how the scope of the environmental problems have changed since then.

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Direct download: CD3-DenisHayes-REPLAY.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 11:59pm PDT

Today I'm going to be talking to another small scale farmer who's greatly benefited by growing smaller, not larger.

A few years ago farmer Alex Bertsch started farming on half an acre.  Not a ton of land, but enough to make it hard for one person to manage.  Add in the fact that the half an acre was being farmed part-time, and that half an acre seems a little more daunting.  Then place that half an acre 40 minutes from where Alex lived, and you now have a hard farm to manage for anyone.  It was a situation that was further complicated by growing a large variety of crops.  

Despite these first year challenges, Alex persevered and came out the first year ahead.  Then he did something wise, he accessed the situation and he scaled back.

He cut his farm down from half an acre to just 500 square feet and some indoor growing space, and he moved the farm from the remote location to his back yard.  Also, as part of his strategy he dramatically reduced his crops selection down to just salad greens and microgreens.

It was a big change of going smaller and simpler that changed everything for Alex.  It made his life and his farm more manageable, and it's one that he continues to grow today.

Growing Better by Growing Smaller - Going From Half an Acre to 500 Square Feet with Alex Bertsch of Epic by Nature Farm.

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Direct download: FSFS_95_2017_AlexB.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Welcome to world of Farming Small and Farming Smart, it's The Urban Farmer.

When you are starting any new business it can be very overwhelming.

You have a lot to do all at once - building infrastructure, creating your brand, marketing, cultivating a customer base, customer service, and of course producing a product.

All essentially full time jobs, but full time jobs that need to be done all at once, by one person, you.

It can be very overwhelming.

Where do you start?

After all you can't just focus on producing good product without cultivating a customer base or you have no one to sell that product to. And you can't start producing product without having some way to clean and store that product.

Given that you really need to start everywhere, doing it all in parallel.

For a lot of new farmers this is where analysis paralysis sets in, and it's the topic of today's episode.

Here it is Conquering Analysis Paralysis By Starting a Whole Farm at Once in this episode of The Urban Farmer.

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Direct download: FSFS_94_2017_CurtisWhereStart.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture,farming -- posted at: 3:00am PDT