Bootstrap @ Lemonade Springs Farm – The Tough Reality of Marketing the Start-Up

Marketing is the worst part of farming. Contrary arguments and examples exist, I suppose, outside my wallowing amidst the misery of my chosen profession. But this is a known truism; that the dirt-farmer’s is a challenging existence, a rough lot, made worse by the gristmill of the soul that is “sales”. I doubt anyone gets started in farming to get rich, nor do I think most farmers much care for marketing their products. Most of us would rather... Read More

Bootstrap @ Wild Ridge Farm – Developing a Market for the New Farm

Wild Ridge Farm relies on three converging streams of revenue: CSA membership sales, Farmer’s Market sales, and Restaurant sales. Approximately half of our revenue comes from CSA membership, which provides an essential preseason financial boost allowing us the crucial funds to buy seeds, potting mix, compost, and all the other bits and pieces necessary to get plants started early and ready to transplant as soon as soil and air temperatures allow.... Read More

Bootstrap @ Nightfall Farm – Marketing and Sales for the Animal CSA

Marketing and sales – I’m all for them. I’d like to do a bit more marketing and a lot more selling. In our first season, we’ve built our budget on the assumption that we will sell every animal that we raise. Man do I love that assumption. Our focus is on the CSA model. We offer a chicken share, which includes a chicken every month. We offer a poultry share, which adds to the chicken share a Thanksgiving turkey. These two options have been... Read More

Bootstrap @ Forager Farm – Marketing the Start-up Farm

I’ve always viewed marketing as telling a story and there’s no better story to tell than the one of growing food and community. I feel a bit biased discussing marketing in farming. Before I decided to be a farmer, I was a marketer. I have a degree in Public Relations and Advertising and have done a lot of self-teaching on graphic design and web design. Therefore, I knew from the beginning that we’d have to create a feeling of community via social... Read More

USDA Launches Local Food Directories, but Still Needs More Listings

Jubilee Farm, a biodynamic vegetable farm in Washington State, hosts an on-farm market. Image courtesy: Dennis Lussier / PCC Farmland Trust Building on the success of its on-line Farmers Market Directory, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is creating directories for CSAs, food hubs, and on-farm markets (such as farm stands). Farmers or marketing managers can upload information on their market, CSA, hub, or farm to the respective directory.... Read More

Introducing Rose Robson and Robson’s Farm LLC of North Hanover, NJ

We’re excited to publish a new Farmer Profile of an inspiring beginning farmer every few weeks on the NYFC blog to help showcase the breadth and vision of the next generation of agricultural leaders.  This one is from Rose Robson of Robson’s Farm LLC of North Hanover, NJ. My mom had originally thought I would build a house and board some horses on the 40 acres of preserved farmland she kept from my family’s original 1,200 acre fruit and vegetable... Read More

Bootstrap @ Forager Farm – On Equipment and Capital

Unlike many other young farmers, we had access to land even before we made a concrete decision on whether to grow vegetables or not. We were fortunate enough to have family and friends willing to rent us a slice of land. Ultimately, we decided to rent land from some of our friends. This option allowed us access to some equipment as well as a place to live. Renting versus buying, whether land or equipment, allows us to get a feel for what works and... Read More

Innovative Farming in the Face of Climate Uncertainty

If you look at recent predictions about how climate change will affect farming in the driest third of the United States, you might at first feel as though everything is working against young agrarians.  Water levels of reservoirs behind dams on Western rivers are at the lowest levels since the dams were built; and the fossil fuel prices associated with pumping groundwater are rising as the aquifers are dropping. Urban water demand is squeezing out... Read More

Bootstrap @ Lemonade Springs Farm – Welcome to our 2014 Season!

Lemonade Springs Farm is run by myself, Seth, and my partner, Kathleen. We are in our second full season. The farm is located in Watsonville, California, about a mile inland in the heart of the central coast’s commercial strawberry growing country. Read More  Read More

Bootstrap @ Forager Farm – Welcome to the 2014 Season!

My name is Hannah Sargent and I am a marketer turned farmer turned marketing-farmer. My fiancé Jonathon Moser and I own and run Forager Farm, a vegetable CSA in central North Dakota and are in our first season!  We are on a mission to revive our food culture by providing fresh, local produce directly to our members. In January 2013, we jetted off to Australia to live and work at Captain’s Creek Organic Farm, an organic vegetable farm located one... Read More

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