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

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

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

CSA Farmers – CSA Online Conference Coming Up On March 15

The CSA Expert Exchange is an online conference for CSA farmers (or those interested in learning more about running a CSA) Friday, March 15th, from 11am – 4pm EST (8am – 1pm PDT).  Topics include community involvement, strategies for increasing member retention, certifications, equipment, finding the right scale for your CSA operation, and legal issues Research indicates that many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms are experiencing... Read More

Bootstrap @ Hartwood – Finding Time to Make Changes

The crops are mostly out of the ground, the fields and yard are picked up for winter, and our off-season project list has grown to seemingly impossible lengths.  We don’t want to praise anything too much though—last month’s blog where we celebrated our equipment making it through the season may have jinxed us.  Two days after writing that, our tractor engine blew, requiring complete rebuilding, including machining.  It was a tortuous... Read More

Bootstrap @ City Grown Seattle – What I am Learning: Continual Improvement

City Grown Seattle’s first “real” year in business included a lot of learning, adapting, and improving.  As the year nears its close, I am left thinking about the things we did well and the things we can adjust and further improve in 2013. Starting up this year was a huge challenge.  It took a lot of time and mental and physical energy from all three of us running the business when everything was new and untested.  It’s... Read More

CSA Legal Practices Online Webinar

Beginning farmers – here is a free class for those interested in learning more about the legal aspects of running a CSA: Building the Base of Your CSA: Legal Best Practices, Including Member, Volunteer, and Intern Agreements Monday, December 10th, 2012 from 6-7:30pm, Central   Do you have a CSA program or are you planning to start one? Would you like guidance on how legal documents can help you achieve your CSA goals?    Farmers are invited... Read More

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