Here’s what I need you to know about farming

By Maggie Bowling, Old Homeplace Farm As I begin my third year as a farmer, I find most of my thoughts divided between two major categories: farming is really hard, and farming is really rewarding. But it might help if I break those ideas down a little more. Here are the top five things I want you to know about being a farmer: 1) Local food advocates often tell people to get to know their farmer, but it is really nice for farmers to know their customers... Read More

Dismantling injustice in the food system: An interview with Elizabeth Henderson

By Sara Black, NYFC Development Coordinator and Organizer Last year I had the privilege of chatting with Elizabeth Henderson, a pioneer of the CSA model in the United States and an agrarian leader committed to resisting the many injustices of a cheap food system with the power of cooperation! Liz co-founded the Genesee Valley Organic CSA in Rochester, NY in 1989, and later Peacework Farm in Newark, NY in 1998. She’s the author of Sharing the Harvest:... Read More

Building a business plan that fit our community

By Maggie Bowling, Old Homeplace Farm When coming up with our business plan, we put a lot of thought into what would work best in our community. While most of the country is a decade or more into the local food movement, it is just beginning to take hold here in eastern Kentucky. Two of the most common direct-marketing strategies—farmers’ markets and CSAs—didn’t feel right for our community or our farm. When we were first making a marketing... Read More

The veggie girl marries the meat man: Bootstrap at Old Homeplace Farm

By Maggie Bowling, Old Homeplace Farm Some of my earliest memories involve playing in soybeans in the bed of a grain truck. I thought sliding around in the loose beans was the most fun a kid could have. My parents’ transitioned from raising row crops and running a small confinement hog barn to selling certified organic vegetables, cut flowers, eggs, and pastured broilers during my childhood. My parents instilled in their children that it was possible... Read More

Bootstrap at Old Homeplace Farm: Meet Maggie

Welcome to our 2015 Bootstrap Blog series! Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to our four Bootstrap Bloggers, who are all in their first or second year of running a farm. Throughout the season, each Bootstrap Blogger will write about the highs and lows, glory moments and curveballs that come with farming.   I remember processing chickens on my parents’ farm and scowling. At sixteen, I sometimes resented the fact that I had... 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

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

Farmer Profile: Introducing Rock Paper Scissors Goat Dairy of Cummington, MA

Partners Angie Arahood and Lee Lewis are launching Rock Paper Scissors Goat Dairy, a goat micro­dairy selling Certified Grade A raw milk in Cummington, MA.  Read More  Read More

Resource Spotlight – Kiva Zip Helps Connect Supporting Communities with Entrepreneurs

Beginning farmers know that one of the biggest obstacles we face is access to capital and credit as we build our farms.  While there are a lot of commercial and governmental loan programs for farmers out there, many don’t have the flexibility or reach to assist those just starting their businesses.  We are lucky, however, to be seeing a growth in outside-the-mainstream resources available.  Kiva Zip is one such program. Kiva?  That Sounds... Read More

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