Hello, Garden Gals and Guys! In the interest of keeping my word and keeping this blog going throughout the winter months, I decided to share with you a very exciting next step in my farming career: selling to the public. Let me explain to you how this seed was planted (pun intended).
To the left is a picture of me watering some of my seedlings a few years ago. This was on a 5,000 square foot piece of land that was leased to me. I LOVED having that much land. It was a lot of work, but it didn’t feel like work to me. I had more produce than I knew what to do with. One day, when I was giving some of my tomatoes away, someone said “you should really think about selling your extra produce.” The seed was planted (there’s that pun again).
I have finally decided to take this very natural next step this coming growing season (2015). I found an acre of land to lease, have been talking in depth to my farm mentor, and have the idea all mapped out. To start, I am going to sell at a fairly new farmer’s market that I found. I have been speaking with the person who runs the market and she has agreed to give me a table at next year’s market. The great thing about this market: it’s pay as you go, meaning I pay for my space each week, and not a hefty price up front. Score!
The next phase in my plan involves having a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). What’s that you say? What is a CSA? I’m glad you asked! You can read about what it is here. I have decided to try a very small, 3-person CSA. Why so small? It will allow me to get my feet wet and give me a chance to talk to my CSA members and really get an idea of what types of vegetables they would like me to grow. When I participated in the Maryland New Farmer Trainee program, I learned all the ins and outs of running a CSA (as well as selling at a market), which is another reason why I am starting small. It takes a lot of planning and work.
What are my next steps? Glad you asked. Well, I have to get incorporated and raise the capital for a little seed money (darnit! there’s that pun again) to buy seeds, the solar-powered electric fencing needed to keep the deer out of my plot, rent a bush trimmer and tiller to get the land ready (it needs just a bit of work), get liability insurance (a requirement to sell at a farmer’s market), seed trays, seed starting soil, grow lights, and purchase supplies I need to sell at the market (bags, tables, canopy, crates for the produce, etc.). I have all these things priced out.
Am I scared? Yes. But in a really good way. Now I just have to figure out how to raise the capital. I tried Kickstarter when I was going to build my chicken coop, but that didn’t work out. I don’t think I will try that again. In the meantime, I’m going to keep this in prayer and continue to search for ways to raise the capital.
So, that’s it! I’m pretty excited. If any of my blog readers would like to help me get started, please send me an email ! I am looking into gift ideas for anyone that helps get Fat Earth Farm up and running.
I’ll be posting my progress along the way. So if you’d like to see what’s been accomplished, or just want to be moral support, keep on coming back to my blog!
Until next time garden gals and guys…..
Happy garden thoughts ….or should that be farming thoughts?!!