Don't you wish that it was that easy? I know that when I was in the beginning stages of my farm dream I was looking for the perfect/easy formula that would get me well on the way at making my living on the farm. I searched many websites, I read lots of books, and I attended agricultural conferences. The reality is though that there is no six step (or ten or twenty or ... well you get the idea) plan for starting a farm. It's not just something that you can create a formula for, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to try and make a six step plan for beginning a farm anyways!
On today's episode I've put together six basic steps that I would take if I were starting a farm from scratch (using the benefit of hindsight). This isn't the end all list (it doesn't even come close to covering everything you need to consider), but I believe it is a good basic plan for getting a beginning farm started out on the right foot. There is one thing though that would make this list better ... your input! If you have a step you would like to add or modify or even if you would like to tell how completely wrong I was I would love to hear your thoughts!
Step #1 :: Farm Location
Renting is the key on this one. I would look for a rural house with 2-7 acres and maybe even some buildings.
Step #2 :: Farm Enterprises
I've said it before, many people have done it/are doing it, and Joel Salatin has been saying it for years ... I would begin with chickens! Both laying hens and meat birds because I'm too impatient to only do one or the other.
Step #3 :: Farm Marketing
Know your story, share your story, get all interneted up (social media, website, etc.), partner with a local vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and attend a smaller farmers market.
Step #4 :: Farm Learning
Find a farmer ... any farmer ... and offer to work for them (and learn) for free! Oh yeah, and raise three pigs as well.
Step #5 :: Farm Goals
Do I need to say anything more than survive and then want to do it again next year?
Step #6 :: Farm Moving Forward
Year number one was great, but now it is time to think about moving forward so we will expand the poultry business and move into marketing pork.
As always, thank you so much to all of you who have taken the time to subscribe and listen to the show each week. I hope that I'm growing as a podcast producer and that as time goes along the show just gets better and better. If you do enjoy the show don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five start rating and review (by clicking the link or the image on the left) or on the Stitcher App on your smartphone. For those of you that have taken the time to leave a review on iTunes ... thank you, thank you, thank you! It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!
I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with The Beginning Farmer and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...
(if you are interested in the music in this episode check out my brother's record label, Historic Records)