Farm Small Farm Smart Daily

Ethan Soloviev will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016.
Learn more about PV3 at

In today's show I'm joined by Ethan Roland Soloviev.  Ethan is an international expert on sustainable agriculture, permaculture, and eco-social entrepreneurship, and as co-founder of Terra Genesis International he consults on these topics for individuals, organizations and corporations internationally.

In our conversation we'll utilize Ethan's experience to explore this concept of what is regeneration.  But don't worry it's not all theory, and there is some useable and applicable information in here.

As you will find out Ethan view's regeneration as a process.  One that's always trying to improve.  And for many of us that's essential what our lives are.  An ongoing process where we try to improve the web of all things that is us.  It's a process that involves a lot of trial and error, successes and failures, and like a lot of you, and me, Ethan is someone who has said yes to a lot of things in his life and tried a lot of things.  And he is now hitting his strive and settling into one of his business where he feels that he can make the biggest impact.  And ironically it's a business that works with other business.

how he came to that conclusions is interesting.  Because he used something called nodal analysis to help refine down his direction.

It's an interesting concept and on that I hadn't heard about before.  Stay tuned to find out more about that in this one...

Learn more at

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

While Curtis and I were on tour we made a stop at Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol to visit with farmers Paul & Elizabeth Kaiser.

It's a pretty remarkable farm. The Kaisers are farming just over 2 acres and grossing over $100,000 an acre. They come from an agroforestry background and approach farming systematically as a business.

This episode is some of our thoughts from our visit.

To learn more visit the show notes at

Direct download: TUF041-01182016.mp3
Category:permaculture -- posted at: 10:03pm PDT

Greg Judy will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016.
Learn more about PV3 at

In the late 90's Greg was down to $9 in the bank. The way that he was farming, wasn't working.

Greg was grazing cattle using conventional methods at the time. And the costs were killing him, or should I say the debt was killing him.

Cattle loans, equipment loans, feed costs, seed costs, and other input costs drawing too much away from his top line, thereby shrinking his bottom line.

With an unprofitable farming operation and $9 left in the bank, Greg had two choices, roll over and quite, or try something new and effectively start over.

With gritty determination, a passion for cattle, and a need to grow more grass, Greg dropped all of his conventional ways and began grazing cattle that he didn't own, on land that he didn't own, and with less inputs.

The transition was nothing less than remarkable. Within a few years Greg had paid off all of his debt including his farm. He was adding new leases to his farm portfolio, and lessors were so happy they were granting him lifetime leases. But it wasn't just Greg's bottom line that was benefitting, the soil was as well.

Greg's high intensity grazing was speeding up the growth of grass. And with more grass, comes more cattle. All without adding more land.

Greg's methods have been widely successful and used for the last 15 plus years. And it all started when Greg's back was up against the wall and he decided to let the cows work for him, instead of working for the cows.

If it ever feels like things just aren't working, then look no further than Greg Judy as a remarkable example of someone who had the passion, the grit, and the wherewithal to make a change when he could have easily just quit.

Learn more at

Direct download: PV3-GregJudy.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 5:30am PDT

Gregory Landau will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016.
Learn more about PV3 at

If the current current method of business isn't working, then something more regenerative would be better right?

Then it's up to us to design it.

Only we can't.

Because a truly regenerative web is a living whole systems awareness of all of the decision makers.  Something that's a process.  An awareness that grows over time.  It's not something that happens overnight, and it's not something that we can design.

We can only start to put the connections in place.  Then it's up to all of the decision makers in the process to take the ball and run with it.  Working together towards a common goal knowing that it isn't instant change, it's a common goal that they are all working towards.

But seeding those connections can be tough.  Because sometimes the input producers like farmers, can't get a seat at the table with some of the decision makers who make the end product.   And that's where firms like Terra Genesis and designers like Gregory Landau come in.

Gregory has also founded a direct-trade chocolate business to help reforest tropical Latin America through regenerative trading relationships.

Today we'll be using his experience with cacao to to talk about Designing the Pathway to Regeneration, and Why We can't Do That.

Learn more at

Direct download: PV3-GregoryLandau.mp3
Category:permaculture,agriculture -- posted at: 5:30am PDT

"You have to be willing to fail. You have to be OK with failure."

That's what entrepreneur Jack Spirko told me. He's built a variety of businesses in his career. Some of which have been very successful and some of which have failed. One of his successes has been the hugely popular Survival Podcast.

You can learn a lot of Jack. Jack is a permaculturist, small scale farmer, and he knows a lot about running and marketing businesses.

If you want to run a farm based business, listen to today's episode. You'll see how important it is to take risks and put in a lot of hard work knowing that you could fail and it could all be for naught.

A big part of success really is that simple.

Eight years ago Jack started his podcast recording it in his car on his way to work. He didn't have grand plans of it being a business at the beginning. He just needed to figure out how this podcasting thing worked for a client. So he figured he would give it a shot and see what came of it..

He focused on content that he was interested in. Thinking that others likely would be as well, they were. He then focused on building his audience and then building the business around that.  

He started low tech, and low cost using some very cheap equipment, in the beginning putting out content consistently was more important.

And he put together his notes each morning getting up at 330AM before he left for work. He put in the time. Something that’s not always easy to do.

I think that you will really get a lot out of this interview.

You'll learn how to market your products.

How to come up with new products to sell.

And why the customer isn't always right, and why all customers aren't the customer that you want..

There's a lot in this one and at its core this interview gets into what it takes to build, grow and market a business. It might make you want to start a business; it might make not want to start a business. Both valuable conclusions.

Learn more at

Jack Spirko will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016.
Learn more about PV3 at

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

Mary Johnson will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016. Learn more about PV3 at What does success mean to you? Hopefully you know, because if you don't you might be chasing the wrong things. Success is different for everyone. For some people it's money and fame and for some people it's freedom of time and freedom of place. How do you define it? Once you define it and get what it means to you, you can then start to create a system to achieve success as quickly and happily as possible. That's what I am talking about today on the show with my guest Mary Johnson. Mary is a consultant and coach who has worked with hundreds of famers and entrepreneurs to try to help them improve their business, and their lifestyle. And one way that she does that is through the use of holistic management goal setting. Basically asking what makes you happy and is your business supporting that? Because for many people it isn't, especially farmers who don't think of it farming as a business and then end up not making any money farming, thereby leaving them unable to maintain the lifestyle that made them happy. It's a common problem, and hopefully this episode will fill in a few gaps with the problem and get you thinking. Learn more at

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

Mary Beth Storjohann will be one of the speakers at PV3 in March 2016. Learn more about PV3 at My guest today, Mary Beth Storjohann, is a certified financial planner and is the Founder of Workable Wealth, specializing in financial planning for Gen Y. She works as a writer, speaker and financial coach with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s across the country to help them to make smart, educated decisions with their money. I brought her on today to talk about financial planning, when it comes entrepreneurship. Something she knows a lot about as both financial planner, and an entrepreneur herself. Like many of you, she is young, married, and has a daughter, and she start her business on the side. In other words, she gets it. Learn more at

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