I farm like I cook, always learning as I go

By Maggie Bowling, Old Homeplace Farm One of my absolute favorite pastimes is cooking. I recently realized that one of the reasons I like spending time in the kitchen is the continual experimentation and learning, as well as the satisfaction when I finally get a certain dish “just right.” I have become a much better cook than I was in my college days, and I often tell Will that my goal is to be an exceptional cook by the time I’m an older... Read More

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

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

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

BOOTSTRAP @ NORTH COUNTRY CREAMERY – DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN

By Ashlee Kleinhammer of North Country Creamery Speaking with a customer at the farmers market.   This year we took a multi-prong approach to marketing. I was striving toward an ideal that we would sell most of our products through a CSA. We managed to serve around a dozen members locally, and twenty-eight members through Juniper Hill Farms’ Farmigo share (a CSA service managed completely online). The local CSA operated like a pre-paid credit... Read More

Good old-fashioned innovation in the Ithaca meat market

How do you increase farmers’ profits and consumers’ meat consumption without asking farmers or consumers to break the bank? The Meat Locker Project logo In Ithaca, NY, Matt LeRoux, an agriculture marketing specialist at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, and Keri Bartlett of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County, set out to find answers, and the Meat Locker Pilot Project is one of them. Two 10 foot by 14 foot lockers,... Read More

New Marker Bill Promises Local Food Support

We are happy to announce the release of the new Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013!  The bill, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine, addresses a range of farm bill titles, from extension programs to processing and distribution as it works to aid farmers and consumers on the local and regional level.  As you’ll recall, NYFC promoted the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act (LFFJA) introduced... Read More