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  • November 11, 2015
    9:15 AM
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OK We're going to go ahead and get started here we want to use our time as wisely as possible. Did anyone not get this resource list. From. First thing this morning recommended resources. Hang on to that as I said that's that's really. Got the most valuable information on it. OK Julia. I think we're ready to roll. Let's just have another word of prayer. Lord is Rican to new on this journey of learning. I pray that you will go with this break that you a quick in my mind and help me to think of the right things to say. Pray that those listening can learn and grow. And may all be for your honor and glory we pray in Jesus' name amen. OK We're going to talk about the market. Gardening model here making a living on a small piece of land. Now. I will just say that when when people think of farming. In our country. What comes to your mind when you hear somebody is a farmer or their farming. Yeah huge acreage most. Most conventional farms are thousand plus acres. You know huge tractors right. And all kinds of very very expensive equipment. Well that's not the kind of farming we're talking about I think you understand. And that's not the kind of farming that. At Agra is all about and I want to make it clear we're not we're not against that kind of farming per se Now there are things that a lot of those farmers are doing that we don't agree with. But just because you're big doesn't mean you're bad. I want to make that clear. But we're talking in here I want to give you a picture of a market gardening model that. I'm really excited about because well I think we're going to find out here and see if you get excited about it too so we're just going to define it first so. And of course there's no dictionary definition these definitions are a little vague. But I would say it's less than three acres of cultivated land. And many of the most successful. Market gardens are actually an acre and a half or less. So that's exciting to me because most people could afford a few acres in the country. You know that's a big barrier to all these people who are convicted on Country Living Well. We can't afford to buy. Farm where you don't need a farm five acres. You know. I think most people could come up with with that in if you. If you don't have the resources for five acres God will open the way. If he's calling you to do. I mean we've heard. Amazing stories of leading on that. So less than three acres. They're going to be characterized by intensive beds and multiple crops per bed per year. This is that's what makes it profitable is the intensity of the growing. You know this is not tractor farming where your rows are three four five feet apart whatever you know you kind of have to base your your layout on the wheels of your tractor and all that kind of stuff. This is intense of beds and we'll talk more about that as we go along. Most market gardens are going to take advantage of season extension. I'm sure it will be mentioned later but I just want to emphasize our experience is the money is to be made in the spring. If you can be first to market with your produce. You've got we sell out. Every market. In the early spring and we're able to get there early because we have lots of who pals was so we can plant. Things. A month ahead of everybody else. And so we literally. Somebody is going to catch on sooner or later and we're going to have some competition but for years now. You know we have tomatoes almost a month. Before anybody else. And everybody in spring is craving fresh produce. So that season extension getting a jump. Early. Now what we've found is in the fall we can extend the season we still have tomatoes and peppers and everything going into home even though we've had for us because they're in a hoop house. But the market isn't the same you know it's a buyout tomato Yeah I've had lots of tomatoes. There's something about that early spring. And then the other thing that is really good is the the winter. You know the pearly they're doing a winter C.S.A. that's actually how we started with the winters. We do everything. The hard way backwards you know. But there's there's so little fresh produce depends of course on where you live. But generally speaking in the US fresh produce in the dead of winter. Man when people open their C.S.A. boxes. You'd think it was Christmas. Oh mazing. You know it's cold and snowing or raining and they open this up and it's like spring pops out of the box. It's really incredible. Usually very diverse. You know. You don't want all your eggs in one basket. And we've learned this the hard way I wish we had more time to share our journey. But actually. We'll be telling you later on I'll just give you the heads up. My wife has written a book I helped her little bit. But of our personal testimony. And again it's all to God's glory. It's we're not putting ourselves as the model to follow but you know we've been there. We know what it's like to start with nothing to know nothing. We've been there. And the Lord broadest through. And so we want to share that testimony with people and we're taking pre-orders on the book it's starting the publication process. Anyway. Just back to the diversity. We started out just growing strawberries. And we have about lost our pants and are sure. Doing that and there were a lot of reasons you know. The biggest reason of course was that we didn't know what we heard him doing. That always helps. So some of the advantages of this market garden gardening model. Obviously we've talked about less land needed. Oh and I'll just apologize ahead of time there. There are missing pictures here. That's because my daughter is is my art director. And she's now got a lot of things going so whenever I come up with a new present Taishan. She has to make it look pretty and it doesn't always happen. So actually I think the next presentation. Is not going to have any pictures. But pictures just make it look pretty but you'll still get all the information. Less water needed. Now you know depending on where you live in the country that may or may not be an issue but you know you can imagine if you've got fifty acres that need irrigation that's a whole lot of water. But if you're growing only on an acre acre and a half. You know you can almost do that with a garden hose you know and some sprinklers. So that's a big thing if you don't have a good water source now we are blessed with an amazing water source so that's not important to us but this is a big one less equipment needed. You don't even have to buy a tractor. Now is it nice to have a tractor sure. You know the front end loader of the tractor I tell people that's the most useful tool. On a farm. Incredibly useful. But you don't have to have it. And Mr Richard Daley is here with B.C.'s has for a small market gardener a B.C.S. what they call a walking tractor. Is really all you need. And those are a whole lot less expensive than a four wheeled tractor. They're a whole lot less intimidating. You know you can change a clutch on those and it's not intimidating whereas trying to break apart. A full sized tractor and change a clutch that's that's intimidating to me. For some of you may not be so you have much less money in a quip meant less stress. Needed. You know everybody's different personalities some people can handle. You know their lives being a little chaotic. I don't like chaos you know I like things neat and orderly and course if you come to our farm. It doesn't always look neat and orderly like we wanted to but it's our goal that's what we're working towards. So you know if you have an acre. And you look at that in the weeds are really growing you've had a lot of rain in the spring and you have been able to cultivate. You know that it's like OK I can handle this. But if you've got ten acres. You know it's like what am I going to do. So it's just for me it's much less stressful. And as I mentioned already. More people can make a living off the land. That to me is exciting you know there's some Mrs white coats where she talks about there are thousands in the cities. That could make a living on a little piece of land have you read those kind of quotes and put in a little nother plug here I'm just finishing up an L.A. white compilation it's actually at the printers. We're hoping to have it for the conference here. But it's not quite ready. But if you read everything Mrs White has the say about agriculture you will be. Well I think you'll be convicted and you'll say man. Where do I sign on the dotted line. Because there's a lot. They're recommending this kind of lifestyle. So those are some advantages to me so I thought maybe you know go and get to slide. So just briefly and we'll come back and talk about some of these in more detail. But the end intensive production. You know you. You need to get more than one crop out of your land every year. And depending on what you're growing you should be able to at least get two crops and prefer Blee three or four. If you're going year round especially. So it's like one crop comes out. And you want the next one in there and man. I'm just thinking of all the things I should talk about that. I don't have you know my stuff here just because there's not room. But anyway that's that's a big reason for growing transplant. Because you can have a transplant that's already a month olds. Ready to hit the ground. As soon as you pull out your other crop. And you've just gained a month on your season does that make sense to follow me on that. If you had to plant the seed in the ground. You've lost a month or so beds rather than rose again it's all about intensity and you see in the picture here. You know. We have thirty inch wide beds. That's kind of an industry standard now and then of course you want to focus on the high value crops. You're not going to make a living on an acre and a half growing sweet corn I can promise you that you've got to focus on the highest return crops. And we'll we'll be looking at some of those. Of course if you're growing that intensively. You've got to have a highly fertile soil. You know you can't you can't take out of the soil. More than you're putting into it. Otherwise you're the loser. You know this is a spiritual principle as well. You always want to be giving it's the lobster of the giving to the soil. And then. The soil. Gives it back or the Lord gives it back. Of course we've got a whole session thirteen hours on soil health so I'm I'm not even going to go there because that's a huge area that I still feel like a novice at. But you know you need to get your soil tested that's important. And since you're here you're not in Whitmarsh McConnell's class I would really encourage you to either get the video or audio verse. Listen to that and you'll probably have to listen to or four times because it can get kind of deep. And takes a bit unless your chemistry major then maybe you can understand a little better. But you need to amend as recommended you know if you're low and protest C.M. were low and been tested. You got to get it there somehow. Grow cover crops of course that. That's the cheapest way to to improve your soil and make compost. Now I say make compost. We have run into some issues with with buying compost and we realise that when you're buying compost. You may actually in the long run and hurting yourself. More than you're helping. Because and less you know the specific nutrient analysis of that compost and you know the specific nutrient analysis of your soil. You know you can quickly add too much phosphorus too much calcium and actually throw your your soil out of whack and we speak from personal experience with this. We're trying to now. Correct. You know and just briefly I'll just tell you we started out with Elliot Coleman's books. We'll talk about those if you don't know Ellie. Coleman you need to know who else. Coleman is. He's just kind of been the pioneer of this kind of thing in our country. And he of course is on your recommended list there. But one thing where were we kind of have come to disagree a little bit is he kind he basically has the it's the traditional organic philosophy. Just pile on the organic matter pile on the compost the more the better. Well. Depending on your soil and you know that you can get away with that for a while and I don't want to denigrate compost because compost is a wonderful thing. But it's not the catch all solution because it's still made up of nutrients and if it's not what you saw needs. You're not doing yourself any good in the long run. So but. My theory and I think it holds true is that if you're making your own compost. You're never going to throw your soil out of whack does that make sense because it doesn't make sense. OK. Well the point is if it's coming off your soil. Of course you're going to have a little bit of kitchen scraps to come off your soil but for the main part you're recycling. So you're putting back what came out. So you can't get it too out of whack. Does that make sense. So I think as long as you're making it yourself. Keep putting it on. But you'll probably never put on too much because it's hard to make too much compost so that's another good thing about making it yourself. OK nother key to success again we kind of talked about this season extension again there's a class. My brother's teaching. I'm not sure if it's tomorrow or the next day. That will get more into this. But you can start with very simple things like floating row cover do you all know floating row cover is hopefully you do if you don't. That's one thing you get need to get to know because it's amazing just this thin dryer sheet. Material. You know that thin material can add a week or two to your season. And protect. I mean it's unbelievable I remember once. We had some row cover we'd taken out of a hoop house and we had a. You know it was a spring rush we had put it away and it was covering some clover. Outside. And when we took it off. The clover under the the road cover was blooming. You know whereas everything outside wasn't. So just that thin piece of material. Had made a big difference. Row cover is a pain. You know putting it on taking it off putting it away. It is a pain. But it's one of those pains that you and do or because it's definitely a blessing low tunnels. You know something low that you don't necessarily get under although I get under them when it gets really cold when it's cold and windy out and you're trying to harvest. It's a nice little shelter under there just crawl and there and. And then who passes of course. I should just make sure does everybody know what a hoop houses. It's below confusing because there's different terminologies some people just say. Greenhouse. But in my mind the greenhouse it can be the same metal structure. But it's going to have two layers of plastic. With air blowing in between for insulation. And it's usually heated. That's why you want those two layers of plastic. That's where you would want to start your plans. But a hoop house is usually just one layer of plastic. OK. Yeah. So I want to. There's a number of names high tunnel is another name. Depending on what part of the country and whatever. Tunnel who pouts same thing. And I'm trying to think there's another name. I think anyway. Again the somebody saying. Sometimes with open ends. That can be true. Depending on how much. Or what you're using it for basically. And of course we talked about transplants as a way to extend the season. It's all about being a fission that's where you make your money. The more efficient you can be. The more you can actually that's really the case with any manual trade. If you're low at it. You know if you're a lay floors or whatever. If you're slow you're not going to make money but if you're fast and efficient. Then you can make money at it. I just have to orient myself this. We started at nine thirty right. So this should go to jail ten thirty. OK. You want to make sure your layout is really efficient we'll talk some about that later. And of course you want to work smarter not harder. You can work super hard on the farm and not make as much as if you just work smarter and half is hard. You know what I'm saying it's really about developing systems and. There's a great new book that's come out this year. That's on your resource list called The Lean farm. Excellent book. That is all about efficiency. It's not a don't buy that book and expected to tell you how to grow a garden. Because that's not its purpose but it tells you how to make your farm. More efficient and profitable. OK of course. My wife touched on this a little bit. You know we like direct sales for two reasons. Number one as she said and really the biggest reason. We stick with C.S.A. and farmers markets. Is because we want to see the faces of those who are going to eat our food. We want to have that personal contact. But there's other reasons for it and that's just the reality that you. As I said earlier it's hard to make a living at this. So you need to get every penny out of that food dollar that you can. Does that make sense. And you hear how commercial growers you know. They only get pennies per dollar for the end product. You know because it goes through all these middlemen. We like farmer's market. We love C.S.A. high end restaurants. You know that. Not exactly direct sales but you can make some fairly good money that way. And then of course another big key to success is planning. You know. This doesn't just happen. It takes a tremendous amount of planning. And again we're going to touch more on this. The Safdar noon. But not touched on it is much as we need to. You know you can't just plant your garden in the spring and think that it's done. You've got to keep planting. All summer long. What they call succession planting to keep the garden coming on. OK. Size of a garden. I love this quote always tend to smallest amount of land possible. But tended exceptionally well you know there's a quote from Mrs White that says it's actually in in connection with farmers. Trying to do more and more. She says Don't you know that God can make twenty acres produce as much as one hundred. And I love that I think that's a really important principle. We keep thinking we've got to to add you know. Make. Well if we're not making enough money on one acre. Let's grow to acres. Well it doesn't actually work that way. And just another plug for that book the lean farm the author of that book was growing. Three acres of produce. They've leaned down to one acre. And they're making as much on the one acre as they used to make on three. So that's just pointing out this. This idea here. The less land you tend the better you can tend. A personal example for us. You know I told you we started out with with strawberries we were growing an acre of strawberries. Seventeen thousand plans. You know we planted. Every fall. Now. We keep cutting back we're down to five thousand plants. But we're making as much on the five thousand as we used to make on the seventeen thousand. Because we're able to take better care of them were able to keep the better pick. You know if you don't keep on top of the picking you can shut down the strawberries from producing. You know this is going to vary but. But I'm suggesting a half acre for pole. Per full time worker. If you try to do much more than that. In fact. You know some of the most intensive farms. It's like a quarter acre per person. Full time. If you're not doing it quite so intensively. You know Eliot Coleman talks about up to two and a half acres per person. But I don't know. I'd hate to try to manage to and AFAIK yours by myself. But you just got to kind of think about these things because it's easier to plan. Then it is to maintain right. So you can go out and. Oh man let's plan all this in this in this and then the weeds start coming up and. It's like what do we do now. So it's important to understand that there's the income potential of fifty to one hundred thousand dollars per acre. And that's not going to happen overnight I'll just tell you that. That's an experience grower that somebody who's got their systems down really well we're going to be very transparent with you. You know we we brought in about ninety five thousand this year. And that was. On roughly three acres. About three quarters of an acre is really intensively planted and then the others are more. You know we do have a tractor because we have a large piece of property we just need it for maintaining So we have you know. Two and two little over two acres in kind of field crops. You know that's where we plan our strawberries and melons and potatoes. And that kind of thing. That's our gross. We were hoping to hit one hundred thousand. Was our budget for this year but we ran into some challenges. Mid-season. So we didn't quite make it this year. But the encouraging thing is it goes up every year. So yeah. And it will talk more about that later. But I just you know I want to be up front with you and you know grosses a lot different than you do understand the difference. So we're making that you know that's not going in our pocket. By any means. Location Let's talk about the importance of location. Now notice the word ideally. Because I don't want to discourage anyone if they're not within an hour's drive of a major metropolitan area. But that's ideal. We're right at an hour from Nashville. Nashville is our main market and. So you know in the growing season we're going into Nashville twice a week. So you can imagine if you're jurist reorders away. That's a lot of time on the road every week. And that's time you're not in the garden and that's just not very efficient. You know you would like to be able to just support little towns but the harsh reality is little towns usually are not open to what you have to offer them. They don't value the. The premium that you need to get for quality produce. You know they're looking for the cheapest stuff out there. Well while Mart has it for dollar ninety nine. How come you're charging three dollars. Well. I guess. If you want it for a dollar ninety nine you don't have to go to wal mart to buy it. But you know this. I mean we try to be tactful. And I actually we get very few comments like that but you know. Well. If all you're concerned about is price. Go to Wal-Mart. If you want quality. We think we we have the best offer but it doesn't. You know that takes a lot of work and. Look at our car look at our house. You know. We can promise you we're not ripping you off here. So the point is just that for the most part and there. There are a lot of exceptions to this but for the most part. Your your market is. More the upper middle class. You know that's kind of the people and we're very open with that you know. We. If people complain about our prices and again and. It's rare but there are those that will say you know. We understand. We couldn't afford to buy our own produce. That's why we grow it ourselves you know if you can't afford it it's OK we understand will teach you how to grow it. OK. But if you don't want to grow it. You're going to have to pay us. What we need to get to do for you is that fair. Will Teach You we're not trying to be exclusive. Because we know we can't afford the good water source I can't say enough about this. You know if you're just relying on rain. And you live in California. You're out of business right course for those of us in the east. We're a little more fortunate but still rain doesn't always come when you want it. So if you don't have a good source of irrigation. That would be a big concern to me. Good sun exposure that I hope that's obvious. But it's not always obvious to everybody. You need to know where the sun is at all times of the year. If you're planning to grow year round or maybe eventually grow year around. You know. I think you all understand the. How that works in the wintertime it's lower and so if there's trees shading. You just need to think about all those things. Good soil. Well that's ideal. But the good thing about soil is soil can be improved it just may take a lot more work. So that wouldn't be the deciding factor but you want to weigh all these things fairly level. You know again. There's plenty of places in the world where they terrace health sides like this in Honduras. Well they weren't terrorists thing. They were literally growing on growing corn maze on slopes like this unbelievable. But you know if it's not fairly level you've got all the erosion issues that you have to think about. So the more level it is the better. You know the ideal is a slightly sloping Southern face. Southern slope. But we're not always in the ideal world. OK. Little Moron garden layout. So again. These these pictures are important in this one so I'm very happy that you can at least see what we're talking about here. As I said earlier. Thirty inch wide beds are kind of an industry standard. Because there's a lot of tools. And we'll be showing you some of those in a bit here. Tools that have been designed largely by Elliot Coleman he has kind of set the standard for bed with. But there's just. Things that are designed for a thirty inch bed. The other nice thing about a thirty inch wide is that you can straddle that. It's not too big a stretch to straddle it. And you can. I'm trying to stay close to this. But you know you can bend over and transplant or harvest straddling the bed. Which is certainly more efficient. It. You've got to work up to it with your back but you can easily step across that you can actually reach across it. If you're kneeling or whatever it's a bit of a stretch to get to the other side but most people can reach across a thirty inch bed so I would just recommend and let's you have a very good reason not to go with a thirty inch bed that you just stick with what works. And yeah as far as something easily that goes into a hundred. I don't even have it here but I will get it before the day is over. There's a book that I'm going to highly recommend to you it's called the market gardener. It's on your resource list there how many of you have seen that book. Wow. That's good quite a few of you. OK great you have it with you. That is. That's the closest thing that I have seen yet. To a manual that you can just take and read it and apply it. And succeed at it. So highly recommended and in there he's got all kinds of charts that are worth their weight in gold almost you know of how much. He gets off a hundred foot bed and. So that's very helpful to somebody starting out. Well how am I supposed to know how much lettuce I'm going to harvest one hundred. Well a course of its head lettuce that's a little easier to figure but baby lettuce. Well it's about forty five pounds if you've got a good sting and. Yeah. Having those charts is extremely helpful. Pathways twelve to eighteen inches wide again. Pathways. Our waste of space. Except for the fact you've got to get through there right so you don't want more than you need. Now. J M I call M J M. John Martin who's who's written. The market gardener. He he likes eighteen inch wide pathways and there are good reasons for that if you're squatting or kneeling in a twelve inch passageways very easy to be smashing the plants in the past behind you. So if you have the space. Eighteen inches good but again that's all space you've got to cultivate. So you want to. You want to weigh R.'s are at and even J.M. in is hoop houses he does twelve inch pathways. Because that's your most valuable real estate you want it. As intensively planted as possible. So. So tighten up. Those pathways and make a mistake. I've I've heard of people. There's one guy who's coming out with a book. The urban gardener it's called. Curtis Stone he has like trying to remember what it is my son's on here I think it's six inch pathways. You know. The only way you are you have to walk. You know with your feet and he's just doing it so intensively. Blocks of bed. And the reason for this and again. You know it's so much easier to just say go read. Jams book. The market gardener. You know. And then I can sit down and relax. You you grow. Are you all familiar with crop rotation. The concept at least that. Different plants have different needs from the soil as well as different pests and disease pressures and stuff so you want to. You want to mix them up and not grow the same thing in the same place every year. And I say that but whenever I say that there are people who will argue with me on it and I can't refute them because in nature. You know if you have a wild tomato plant it's going to grow in the same place every year right because that's where the tomatoes fall. But anyway there are there are good reasons and I've seen the benefits of crop rotation. So the point is if you don't have your things planted in blocks. You know if you have three rows of tomatoes and five rows of salad mix. Then when you go to rotate. It's all of us that all know now what do I do. Because I need five rows I'm putting salad mix remind tomatoes were. I hope that's obvious. But. So you know. You want ten rows of tomatoes and ten rows of salad mix. And you may combine things and that's what G.M. does in his book. You know you may have one plot that has two or three things. But they're always together there complimentary and. And you move those together. So you just know OK tomatoes are going here in this plot this year next year they're here. I hope that makes sense. It's hard when I don't have time to go into more detail. Infrastructure needs. And I notice I put a question mark there because you know we live. We don't live in an ideal world. If you had. If you had all the resources available to you that you know if you had the money to just go out and said just self up. These are things that I would recommend. But most of you if you're like us you're not starting in. You know with with all the resources you need so you manage to make do. And I don't want to discourage you if you're saying there's no way I can't get all these things. Well you can start your seeds inside. Under shop lights you know it's. It's a pain but you can do it. We've done it. But ideally a heated greenhouse for seeds starting and. Depending on years. You know what you want to grow into. You're going to have to decide what size green How are heated greenhouse is thirty by sixty and one end of that twelve feet is. Concrete floor that's where we do. Are we make our soil blocks make our potting mix and. So that's kind of our work area so our plants are in a thirty by forty eight area. And in the spring time. That is chock a block full of transplants. You know for much of the year it may not be totally full but for that early spring rush. So you know. And like is say we're growing on roughly three acres and when I say that you know. Part of that isn't covered crops. At any one time so we're not actually cultivating three acres at one time. You understand that probably two two and a half at from roles that were ever doing at one time. How many people do we have well it depends on when that varies. We have a lot of people that come and go. Because we're committed to trying to teach and he has been there. The last. How long week. Little over a week. He's from Latvia. But he came to. He's actually at Wildwood but he came up to spend some time on the farm so we have those kind of people coming and going in the summer. We have an apprenticeship program we're honored to have words analysts have been there see is back there. Two of our apprentices here from this year. Does anybody else here. Except for my son he was part of the British program. So in the summer. We had six apprentices. Plus myself and. You know it's kind of hard because you know my wife wears many hats so it's kind of. How much is she on the farm and how much is and she. It's kind of hard to divide. But we're blessed with lots of help I can say that if we were. If we were paying our premises what they're worth. We wouldn't have as many because we couldn't afford it. We make them work harder. But they are they are so we give them a stipend. And room and board and education that's the hope. So we figured that's worth something. And we don't pay them. You know. Fifteen dollars an hour. So I don't know if that answered your question kind of a little bit. Well that's a good question and that varies on the time of year because some of them are still in school and my son Joshua is pretty much totally on the farm now. Full time. The other the younger two are not full time because they're still doing school. My oldest son has his own business so he's basically not on the farm at all. So I would say. I would say for an operation our size. You could do with four people if they really knew what they were doing. So then when you start looking at the money you start saying whoa. OK. But if they're your children. You also don't have to pay them. Legal wages although where we're trying to be generous with our children were really. We don't ever want them to resent the farm. So we're trying to we're actually trying to cut back. What we have to earn and passing more on to them. OK. We're we've got a rush on here. Washing area. You know you've got to have an area for dealing with your your produce and if it doesn't have a cement slab. You know again you work with what you've got but it can become a muddy mess. Gravel of course would be a big step above mud and gravel. Can drain but you know. If you're washing a lot of dirty produce that gravel is vengefully going to fill up with dirt so it's not ideal but it's a step in the right direction. And you have to have some kind of you know we have a three basic thing. But you've got to have something to done through stuff and wash it. You know a lot of people use like metal or plastic the big feed troughs. You know a lot of people use bathtubs. You know the old bath tub kind of things. So you can be creative with this you work with what you've got walk in cooler. Again. You know if you don't have the money to start with you can manage. You just have to harvest the same day you're going to deliver and it may not mean getting up really early. Because you. Ideally want to harvest. When things are cool. So if you can afford a walk in cooler of course that's another advantage of winter growing that's not so much of a problem in the winter. But in the summer. If you want to spread out your harvest over a few days. You really need a walk in cooler. That's. There's no simple answers in farming that's the problem what's the temperature setting of the cooler. Well ours is usually about between forty five and fifty because we have a jury rigged kind of thing we use what's called a cool bought. And I think I've got it on a handout the reference. It basically takes a window air conditioner unit and turns it into a cooler. By just tricking to get colder than it normally does. So that's basically as cold as we can get it with our unit. But for a lot of crops. It would be much better fit was down very close to freezing. Thirty to thirty three other crops. And again. You know this is just other crops like it. Fifty. You know. Tomatoes and more of your summer crops like it warmer. Who pass or two or three. Once you start using hoop houses. It will spoil you. Because the difference but if the quality in a hoop house and outside of a palace is tremendous and. So it's hard to get too many hoops houses. But starting you know. Again you start with what you've got water for washing area near a Geisha and again we've touched on that. But you need water. Not only for growing the stuff for washing the stuff now we know growers in fact there's a very well known grower in our area. Doesn't wash. Anything. He harvests and it goes straight to the customers. He thinks that's a cent you know. For the food to come with the dirt on it. Well we've gotten quite a few His customers actually because they love the fact that our produce is so clean. So dear fencing. You know. You can often handled the little strode in sketches. You know usually they don't do a tremendous amount of damage but if you get a deer in your garden. They can do a lot of damage quickly. So you've got to come up with something for dear fencing. And I have a handout. This is a handout in progress I want to get it more detailed. But it's a start. It's a start for you with like. I think. I think I've actually didn't put a wagon. Website but I gave you the technical name for deer fencing that we use it's called ten X.. Sin to flex. And you can Google it online. Anyway so I've tried to give you some really practical information here. About specific equipment we use. And I wish. I don't know maybe later in the day we'll will be able to take a little more time on this. But you know there are some things you can buy a lot of different varieties of of of spreaders. You know for spreading. Soil amendment and cover crop seeds. But there's one particular one that I highly recommend and it's on here. Because just for many reasons. You know we've tried others. And we know what works so this is the kind of practical information I wanted to get in your hands. Brod fork I'm just looking at the time. This Julie. Is it OK if I move around a little bit here. This is a broad fork and. Again this is designed for a thirty inch wide bed. So that's another reason to stick to it. But once you've loosened your bed and I think you understand I'm kind of assuming that you have some level of gardening knowledge. And so I'm sorry for all the things I'm not talking about. But I'm trusting if you're thinking about doing it for a living that she wouldn't have some basic knowledge. But you want to loosen your soil and once it's loose. You don't walk on your bed. Except when you're broad forking. But you just use this push it in and pull it back in and walk backwards down the bed. Like this and it keeps your bed loose. And J.M. in his book. His farm is actually in French. It's. The Garden of the broad fork. That's what it means in French and the night. Another nice thing about his book is in the back. It gives descriptions on all the crops and certain tips that he has for you. And he'll tell you which crops in his opinion. And I think. I haven't disagreed with him. Which crops would benefit from using the broad fork before you plant. So you don't have to use that. Between every crop that you grow. But if it's obviously if it's going to be a deeper rooted crop. This loosens the soil and makes it better for that. B.C.'s with attachment. Again that's the walking tractor and we've got somebody here. I think on Friday he's going to do a demonstration I hope. So you can look at that. You know where you're talking. Some thousands of dollars to get set up with that. But again. It's going to save you a lot of time. We'll show. Man this is one of the best things ever. You know people pay a lot of money for a a gym membership. And you know this is like a rowing machine or something. It's a little hard to demonstrate this. But you know you go down the rows like this. And you can cover a lot of ground quickly with this. It's. If you're growing over half an acre you're want going to want to invest in one of these now. Richard Daley who's here. His daughter is in the back there. The one. The B.C.S. dealer also sells a wheel whoa it's. There's a kind of three main brands. And I have them listed on one of these handouts. Glace or. Hoss and Valley Oak. We'll hose those are the most popular ones. He has the hostage we'll hose here. I haven't had a lot of personal experience for them but they're very similar and. I think I could recommend them even though I haven't used the much. They're actually a lot cheaper than the one I have. But excellent tool. Quality hand tools. And we're not going to take the time to. To demonstrate man I just don't know. I'm not used to running out of time like this. I'm just trying to think about what to cut out perceptions seeders greens harvesters. My son manufactures those. And again I have all those things listed on here so that's why I'm not going to say a lot about them. But again these are specialized tools. They may seem simple. They're often. Priced at a price you're saying wow that's a lot of money for this. But in any kind of trade you go into you need tools of the trade to be efficient and. So you're going to spend a few thousand dollars to get set up with tools. Ideally if you don't have a few thousand. Just have to work a little harder with what you've got. OK. Well this is good. We are at the end. Start up costs. Elliot Coleman in his book The new organic growth or which is now twenty years old. Course a lot of gardening information never goes out of out of date. But pricing can go. He suggested that you could get set up to do what you needed to do. To Market Garden for fifteen thousand. JOHN MEAGHER ton. Forty A The market gardener. Gets a little bit more elaborate with that and a little more detailed and suggests. Ideally. Around thirty nine thousand now that's connected He's from Canada. So I'm not exactly sure. I assume that's Canadian dollars. But I think they're pretty similar I'm not playing the exchange rate. Pretty similar. You know that's getting pretty well set up. Now. You know I would just say. On the one hand for many of you you're probably saying. Forty thousand dollars. There's no way. You know. To start a business. That's not a lot of money would you agree with that. You know you can't open a Taco Bell franchise for forty thousand. But for many of you that may seem like wow there's no way. Well so. So I just say. You start with what God gives you if you're feeling. God Calling you to do this then start where you're at and he will. It's going to be a ride you better hang on because it's going to be. It's going to be a trip. But if he's called. You know Mrs White says his bidding czar enabling XR right. We didn't have forty thousand to start with I can tell you that. But God has blessed and multiplied and he'll work it out. So we had a question back here. Very good point. Yes. That is not including land purchase. So yeah. If you're living in the city. You've got to think about that as well. That's this is a quit meant infrastructure. Yeah very good point. OK. We're going to go ahead and stop any one or two quick questions here before we stop. Yes back you. Oh man. Start up time how long does it take before. Before you can be earning a living at it. Just don't quit the day job right away. There are so many variables and I would say the biggest variable is your level of knowledge. I'll tell you those people that have started up and started strong right off the bat. That I know about are all people who spent two three four years. Apprenticing on other farms they learned all the hard knocks. You know it to me it's like. I have to be careful what I say. On on the record here but it kind of boggles my mind that. So many people are paying eighty ninety one hundred thousand dollars for a four year degree. Is that too far off the bat. Hundred thousand dollars. And they come out with a hundred thousand dollars in debt. And they don't know much about practical life. Imagine what you could do. Starting a farm with a hundred thousand dollars. So you spend those four years. Saving that one hundred thousand dollars and getting an education on other people's farms. People who are doing it successfully. Man you'll be. You'll hit the ground running. You'll have the knowledge and you'll have the capital. And you can go for it. I know a farm. I get a magazine that I'm going to really push. And I've got copies for you there just come back we'll have them here. Called growing for market. Best magazine out there that I know it's in your resources. There's a guy up in Michigan near you Jim Traverse City. First year. He's going to gross one hundred thousand. But he you know that's his first year on his own farm. He is not his first year of. You know he's not a newbie. OK. So again. If my answers are not as straightforward it's just because there isn't a straightforward answer to a lot of these. But it's not going to happen overnight I'll tell you that it took me. I think there's something about ten years. When you hit the ten year mark you start feeling like you know the basics. You know it's kind of in there and it's like OK. Yeah. We got to do this we got to do this. But I don't want to discourage you with that because there's a lot more information available now than when we started. So you all have a big advantage. You've got these books we didn't have well I had Elliot Coleman's book that was all I had. I think that's a great amount to start with. For one person three or four hours a day that may still feel overwhelming. But it's a good start I would really maximize that. Before you think of expanding. It will talk more later. But it's always best to make small mistakes. Don't do like we did you know start by planning an acre of strawberries that's is a bad idea. OK let's stop. Their Lord we pray that the information. We covered was. Give me wisdom to know what. And what to leave unsaid so that we can cover as much ground as possible. 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