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The What & Why of Market Gardening

John Dysinger

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John Dysinger

Bountiful Blessings Farm

Conference

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  • January 14, 2021
    9:30 AM
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Dear Heavenly Father we just thank you for everything the good in the bad the. Lord your on your throne high in lifted up and we just say Praise the Lord. So now as we get into some nuts and bolts here I just pray for your spirit I pray that you would help me to know what to say and what not to say there's a lot I'd like to cover but just help me to do it in a way that would be encouraging and practical to those who are listening to these things we pray in Jesus name Amen. Before we dive in I just want to point out to you that I assume by faith I believe that I have to hand outs on the Agora website for this class has anybody seen them. So I don't like to say by faith they're there. And they're really important ones in my opinion one is on resources for the market gardener and I've actually put in quite a bit of time I updated every year you know with books with websites with blogs are what do you call a pod cast. With online courses there's there's actually an end an incredible amount in fact in my opinion it's getting too much information out there you know when I started you had to you were just information starved and now you're kind of it's information overload and so you have to try to sift through it so I've done that in a way by just saying these are our favorites these are the ones that we really like Kate Cavell says it's on there so good so there's that's the one resource and then the other one is. I don't remember what I called it but tools and equipment what is it. Ok market gardening tool kit and again I've tried to be as detailed as possible giving a lot of you know specific brands of scales and and tools again not that we have all the knowledge and this is the one right answer but at least this is what we have found helpful so I would encourage you to take advantage of those resources also the other thing that I realized when. As as I was. Looking at the program was that I really didn't talk a lot about the why of market gardening and so I want to just take a few minutes I think in a way I'm preaching to the choir here I don't think you would be here at Agra or be in this session if you weren't convicted on the importance of it so I'm not going to say too much but well I'd like to read a quote in encourage you to to get this book if you don't have it counsels on agriculture this is a compilation of Mrs White's writings on agriculture there's a whole chapter entitled a call for Christian farmers so read that if you want to know why we should be doing this. But the clincher quote for me is from ministry of healing page $183.00 in God's plan for Israel every family had a home on the land with sufficient ground for tilling thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful industrious and self-supporting life I love that useful industrious and self-supporting life and no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. You know what other reason do you need for going into market gardening no other no devising of man has ever improved on God's plan. God created us to live in the garden I could spend an hour easy just telling you all the reasons why I think you should get into it I mean it's incredible for the family it's incredible to grow your faith it's incredible for so many reasons incredible opportunity for outreach it's just such a natural bridge to people you don't even have to work at outreach you know it's not something you have to check off every check off your list every week it just happens as you meet with your customers. I would say I want I wrote it down because I thought this was kind of profound but I I really believe this I believe market gardening is the world's greatest hope for the future. That's a pretty broad statement notice though that I said the world's greatest hope for the future Ok we have a greater hope for the future but as far as those who aren't seeing that greater hope I truly believe and we don't have time to really dive into that but I believe market gardening is the world's greatest hope for the future of this planet. So is that enough reasons why. If not you can talk to me afterwards and we can so let's dive in to the. How are well let's start with what is a market garden you know I don't think there's an official definition so this is what I define it as less than 3 acres of cultivated land and most market gardens that I'm aware of are an acre and a half or less very intensive characterized by intensive beds and multiple high value crops per bed per year this is not planting your corn in the spring and harvesting it in the fall and. Sitting back all winter this is a very intensive use of your area takes advantage of the season extension and often goes year round with with Eliot Coleman's the winter harvest handbook that kind of opened up the reality that for pretty much anywhere in the United States almost anywhere in the world you can grow year round with very simple techniques it doesn't take fancy high tech gadgets and market gardens are usually very diverse that your eggs are not all in one basket and that's the beauty of it you know every year I think we could ask any market gardener in here every year they have crop failures. But you've always got enough other things going that it's not like a major hit you know when we started out we had all our eggs in one basket we were a strawberry farm and when we got hit with. Weeks of rain which led to a major and track nose out broke break we were like down for the count you know if it weren't for God's goodness that would have been the end of our market gardening so we know about diversifying Now I do want to just say this you know I'm always sensitive because is this the only model for agriculture that is got approved I don't think so there's no one size fits all and you know I don't know how the agric can bridge the gap between market gardening and big scale agriculture because I know there's many advantages or at least quite a few adds an acim big scale agriculture and there's nothing wrong with that now of course I have personal convictions about organic in those methods. But that can be done on a large scale I read an amazing book recently from dirt to soil have any of you read that book about gay Brown up in right think he's in North Dakota. Gabe Gabe Brown it you know it didn't a lot of it didn't apply to me personally but it was just kind of a neat overview and of how he's turned his 5000 acre farm into this incredible. Incredible place of diversity and regenerative agriculture so there's no one size fits all if you have access to lots of land and tractor availability that go for it you know most people trying to get into agriculture that's a huge barrier you know I mean these big farm thousands of acres who could afford that in this day in age you know and the big equipment is just incredibly expensive you know hundreds of thousands even millions of dollars for pieces of equipment but if that's the way you want to go I know most young men you know they love the tractor the power the noise right Clayton. But I think the market gardening model fits very nicely with the Spirit of Prophecy model so again I'm not saying this is the only model but I think it's a very good fit for advantage. And just you know families working together you don't have to hire a lot of outside help that better together Thien is amazing you know to work with your kids every day and not have to just see them before you go to work and after you come home. As as we already mentioned just the opportunities for agricultural evangelism you know Mrs White talks about the the thousands and tens of thousands living in the cities that if they could just have a little piece of land in the country they could. Make you know they could survive and that's what market gardening is all about and we want to be teaching that others those thousands and tens of thousands of others so the advantages of the market gardening model as compared to other models of Agriculture number one less land needed you know most people when they're thinking of moving to the country they're thinking man you know I got to have money for for 20 acres for 40 acres for 100 acres Well you know if you have the money great I mean land is in my opinion the best investment out there and it's always nice to have a buffer but as far as what you actually need to be to support yourself I mean 2 acres of land you can easily support yourself on 2 acres of land so that that lowers the barrier for people getting into this which is huge less water needed obviously you know if you're growing that intensively You can't always wait for the rain to plant you know you've got a plant as soon as the other crop is pulled out so you need a good source of water. And obviously if you're irrigating less acreage you need less water so you don't have to get such a huge well or pump or whatever less equipment needed some of the most successful market gardens I know of don't even own a tractor just using hand tools. Less stress you know this may depend on your personality but you know we used to at what at one time we were farming about 7 acres. And you know you can't keep 7 acres looking like the Garden of Eden I'm just going to say it. It's hard enough to keep an acre and a half looking like the Garden of Eden but you know if you have well defined fields and you know who piles does have boundaries it's much easier to kind of surround that and it's like I did it I've got my little piece under control but when you're doing a Kers you know unless you're spraying around you're not going to have all your weeds under control I mean even with ground up now they don't but. For me it's just I can surround it better. And then I love this you know let's share share the love share the why does one farm need to feed. Thousands of people when you could have 10 farms each feeding 100 people 100 families you know it just. You can have so many more farmers doing it if you go if you stick with this model. And then you're not shipping across country and all these unsustainable things that we do with these big farms Ok so those are some advantages and then I'm just going to go through this quickly what I think I think I counted there's 6 things I have what I consider keys to success in market gardening and number one is the intensive production again there's very few crops that will make enough money to just have $1.00 crop per year you know you're talking about multiple crops you know I was counting last year you know some some fields some of our plots just in the summer the spring summer had like 5 different crops on them you know so we're talking about really fast turnarounds in intensive production. Tight spacing you're not leaving a lot of space you know and this is something that takes some experiment thing and you know looking at what other people are doing but you want your plants close enough that they're helping to shade out the soil sheet out the weeds but not too close or they get cramped and. And you start having more disease issues and stuff just the simple example cabbage you know traditionally cabbage has been grown like on 24 inch spacings and you know you do it at that spacing and you can get grow mammoth cabbages but have you tried to sell matte mammoth cabbages nobody or I should say nobody but very few people want big cabbages what am I going to do with this. It's just me and my 3 kids you know and I'm thinking well that's a meal you know. But anyway the point is we do it on on 12 inch spacing and there are certain varieties that do better at small head so we have little little heads of cabbage like this get him 3 rows to a bed so we can get $300.00 cabbages where normally at 2 rows per bed $24.00 inch spacing I guess they'd be getting a 100 cabbages so 3 times as many and they're easier to sell than big cabbages. That's a good question we don't weigh them. I mean you know yeah about that big size for audio verse What's that size of a softball size something like that. A big grapefruit sized. Beds rather than rows you know if you have a tractor then you often grow in rows but beds are much more efficient use of space and then a real key is focusing on high value crops. You know you're not going to make a lot of money growing watermelons or corn sweet corn on a market now I'm not saying there's not money to be made in those things but that money is made when you're doing acres and acres of it. But in a market garden if you're only farming an acre acre and a half you know to grow watermelons and sweet corn is crazy course we do it but we're crazy so you know so we do some sweet corn and if you watermelons for our c.s.a. which you know for variety but it's not you know I've I've run the numbers you even if you've got a really good well the average yield for corn per acre is 1200 dozen to how much can you sell a dozen years of corn for. I mean we sell at the beginning of the season we'll sell them for a dollar a year. But that's pretty high. 3 for a dollar. Wow. Ok. Yeah I mean fifty's if you can't get $0.50 you certainly wouldn't want to grow them so so what's $1200.00 dozen times $0.50. It's too hard for my mind to work when I. What is it. $7200.00 an acre can you live on that. That's nothing. Yeah so so you're looking for high value crops and we'll talk a little bit more about that here shortly. Now I think hopefully it should be obvious to you that if you're doing this kind of intensive production you better have some really good soil because you know there's a very simple Biblical principle that you've got to give more than you get right I mean it's more blessid to give than to receive if you're trying to pull out of the soil all this proof produce and not putting more in then you know you're just living the American dream right the that's why they settled the West because they grew in the soil in the east. Yeah so it's got to be highly fertile and how you get there is beyond the scope of this class but I would highly recommend soil tests Amanda's recommended you know. If you want to get just soil balanced as best you can grow cover crops you know this is something I'm really studying a lot more reading a lot more about is are you Ashley know Ok Is there an Ashley who's doing a class on cover cropping in the greenhouse. Yeah I wish I could be at that but just the life in the soil and trying to keep root in the soil at all times to support the life in the soil is fascinating there's they're learning so much about that. But certainly covered crops Although let me just say covered crops in a market garden it's kind of hard to juggle them because you're growing so intensively that do you have the time and space to take out 2 months 3 months or more just growing covered crops so many market gardeners skip the cover crops and are just using compost which is kind of the end result of cover crops. Make compost and lots of it more and then then you're taking out that's kind of how you get highly fertile soil. Ok 3rd key to success he's an extension you know especially if you live in northern Michigan or somewhere up there your season ends quicker than you wish it would but with Season extension again anywhere in the us you can go year round and there are very good models of that I know farms up in northern Idaho northern Michigan northern Maine growing year round successfully so. Sounds painful somebody says. And obviously there's many levels of of season extension the simplest one is floating row covers there's everybody I wanted to actually ask how many are are at least dabbling in market gardening at this point. Looks like almost half and the others are assume you're considering it. Yeah but I hope at this point you know what floating row covers are Ok. Yeah well it's I tell people it's like dryer sheets unscented large dryer sheets and then the heavy ones are like baby wipes that's what row covers are. Then low tunnels are just wire hoops over individual beds I mean that's one method then they have a little bigger hoops. That Come quick hoops that go over 2 beds you can bend electric metal conduit but those those can do amazing things and for that for you starting out when you don't have a lot of if you don't have a lot of funds to get going we have successfully marketed lettuce and if you know anything about winter growing lettuce is not the most cold hardy vegetable I mean it can handle some cold but we have marketed lettuce out of low tunnels when the temperature had been below 0. And those those quick hoops had one layer of rope cover over it and then one layer of plastic and I crawled down the middle you know because it covers 2 beds you can crawl down the middle and harvest the things when it's you know really cold outside and it's it's not as painful as it would be if you were outside. But the point with those low tunnels is there are a lot of work you know covering and uncovering in the wind comes through and blows it off. Well anywhere from you know a foot I mean Elliott Coleman kind of does a rectangular wire hoop will just be you know a foot high but anywhere that the ones that cover 2 beds usually be about what is that 3 feet high something like that yeah. So yeah in the middle right. Not on the edges and then of course the this step above low tunnels actually I should have put in here Caterpillar tunnels because Caterpillar tunnels are are a low cost way to get into high tunnels. You know something you can walk into. You know there I think I think I figured about a 5th the price of a proper hoop house. So John and my son Jonathan with farmer's friends selves thousands of them I mean it's incredible how many Caterpillar tunnels are being sold all over the country but most of them are being bought by beginning market gardeners. You know I think any market gardener would tell you some day they'd like to replace their caterpillars hose with who pouches because. It's just that's kind of the ultimate but. Yeah so hoop houses in these terms are so loose you know there's not like one definition of who power it's some people call them high tunnels. I call a hoop house anything that you can. Walk in although Caterpillar tunnels are unique in the way that they're fast and they're fastened with ropes over the top which gives them the look of a caterpillar if you look at him with an imaginative. So hoop houses have a different way of tightening down the plastic more permanently and usually hoop houses are are permanently attached to the ground. Cold frame is another term that some people use although I don't like that one because in my mind technically cold frames are something that. Came out of Europe that are glass covered very low structures. So anyway there's a lot of hoops lot of terminology sorry. Another key to seize an extension is transplanting. You know just if you see you do this without really thinking about it but the classic example would be would tomatoes you know if you're planting a tomato this big it's probably 8 weeks old 6 to 8 weeks old You've just extended your season by 6 to 8 weeks does that make sense if you're planting a seed in the ground after the last frost you know you've lost 8 weeks of your production. So yeah a little market gardeners transplant almost everything you transplant as much as you can nother key to success efficiency this is in my mind. Is one of the biggest things that separates a market gardener from a gardener you know a home gardener maybe using the same 30 inch wide beds they may be using the same tools but they're not have using the same efficiencies you know. Again specialized tools I know many people when they start looking at the cost of some of these tools they're like wow. For a piece of metal you're charging this much but hey I say you know that's that's how it works any any trade has specialized tools and you're going to pay for them. And and this The good thing is most of these tools are high quality tools and if you take care of them you can pass them on to your grandkids so they're not tools that you're going to break easily if you use them properly. Functional layout standardization of space and materials this is huge this is huge and I can tell you from personal experience you know when we started out as I said we were a strawberry farm and we had our farm laid out in acre plots and because of the lay of our land the acre plots weren't always rectangular they were kind of. I think you call a trap is or something. And you know you don't think about it at 1st but if you have a row cover floating row cover comes in rectangular sizes and to put a rectangle on a trap resorted you're wasting a lot of cover on the corners. And so then we started doing different sizes and then you know you have 3 or 4 sizes of row cover and your sprinkler lines are different lengths and all these things seem like little things but they add up to huge things so if if you're stylish Tarpon your row cover there's one size you know your sprinklers you have one set up that is totally interchangeable if it makes a huge difference so I can't say enough about standardization of space and materials and then of course the beauty of this and j m 40 a in his book The market gardener I think he kind of championed this. Then you start thinking of everything like I mean he kind of standardize on a 100 foot beds everything that becomes a unit of measurement you need this much compost per 100 foot bed you know this many wheelbarrows this many seeds to plant $100.00 foot bed of radishes you get this many bunches on average of radishes on a 100 foot beds so it it becomes a unit of measurement for everything you do on the farm. And of course the key is work smarter not harder you know you talk to from market gardeners in if you're just talking to them sometimes you get their idea the idea that they're lazy you know they say things like that's too much work you know moving a hose from point a to b. that's too much work what how much work is moving a hose. But the point is it's. Market gardeners are so flat out busy during the season that moving a hose from point a to point b. is more work than they want to do you know at best you want to just be able to turn a bow of on to do all your watering that's that's the hardest you should work doing and watering you know even better. Is automated timers because you know d.z. to turn on the water but turning it off seems to be hard. And you don't know how often I get up in the morning and go out and course always blame it on the interns You know I don't do this of course but go out alone oh the water's been going all night. So work work smarter not harder. Ok so here's other keys to success I think this is number 5 direct sales this is huge you know you've probably heard the statistic that the average farmer gets like $0.08 on every dollar or something like that he grows you know because of all the middlemen they're each taking their cut in the farmer isn't even getting to set his own prices to me it's like something's wrong with that model if you grow something and you can't even say what you want to get for it but that's that's big ag in this country you get whatever they decide is the going rate for for your commodity crops but direct sales you know it's like hey this is how much we've got to charge for it so if that's too much go to Wal-Mart. Eliminate the middlemen and of course farmers' markets is kind of the classic standard way in Certainly I think a good way to to jump into market gardening it's it's a fairly low stress way. Way to get your name out there we are pretty partial to c.s.a. do all of you know about c.s.a. s. Ok I'm seeing a few head shaking no see is a is basically a subscription to your farm. So customers families individuals sign up for a subscription a box of produce from your farm either every week usually during the summer or a half share would be like every other week and there's a lot of variations on it but there are many things we love about it and the biggest thing well I'd say the 2 biggest things is number one you have a guaranteed market for your crops you know you can sell them well you've already sold them before you grow them so that's really nice you can do budgeting and things like that. But probably the bigger one for us honestly is the connections we get with customers because we have a limited group of customers we're meeting them every week we build relationships we literally have had some of our customers now for 20 years you know we've seen their kids grow up and get married and have babies you know and I mean it's incredible to get Christmas cards from your customers. And gifts and notes of appreciation you know there's just this. I'm getting all choked up about it. But there's something really really special about the relationship that you build in market gardening. You know they're calling up or e-mailing saying Please pray I'll just tell you while we were here. We heard that one of our customers that we've had for close to 20 years. He actually helped finance the start of Jonathan's business. His wife died and I mean she found out she had cancer. The end of December or I think it may have even been the beginning of January and she was dead like a days leaders thing I mean but my son Joshua went to deliver his produce and he tells him that he's. He just says Please have your family pray for you. You know I he's I don't think he's a Christian he has a Jewish background. But he values our prayers. So sorry. So now this high end restaurants has been an area that. That has been very lucrative for some. Some market gardeners but obviously with coded that change quite drastically and many market gardeners had to pivot very very quickly this spring because they had all these crops in the ground for restaurants and it's like what do we do with all this stuff but it's incredible to me how quickly these guys can can change direction and they started online markets and. And c.s.a. than all kinds of things. So actually I guess I don't have that this is another thing and it kind of can fit in with farmer's markets and c.s.a. kind of fits in there somewhere but just online. What do they call it online stores many many farms are just doing online orders and there's a lot of advantages to it you know they just list up what they've got every year send out an e-mail to their customer base and say hey this is what we've got this week you know will be delivering to such and such a spot are a lot of people are doing home delivery and we did that this year for the 1st time people loved it we realized we were under charging and so we raised the price and we still have people you know paying $8.00 for us to deliver it to their home. Now and so I will say although definitely you want to do as much direct selling as possible but there are some market gardeners who are finding success. With wholesaling and that's usually too like I mean it's not to your Kroger and. I don't know what other big chains there are around here Safeways and all that because that's just you know they have big purchasers and that's not going to work but local grow sure there's local food co-ops these kind of things can work well in so you may not be making quite as much but if you can make that up in volume people are doing it quite successfully so it doesn't have to be direct sales but. I encourage direct sales again from the evangelist excited things Ok and I think this is the last key to success planning again this is in my mind what separates market gardeners from gardeners You know you need to know how much money you need to make. You can't just go out and say Ok I'm going to plant some of this and and you know see how it goes if you're trying to make a living at it you've got you know and hopefully you know how to budget and use a wheelbarrow you know to cut corners but still you have a certain amount of money that you need and. You know you kind of work back from there Ok if this is how much money I need how many heads of lettuce is that how many c.s.a. members do I need to reach that goal how much money how much do I need to sell a market every week. No how much you need to plant so again this is just working it through Ok well if I'm making this much market what's that going to come from you know these are the crops I want to grow so I need to make this much per hour per week in grow this much know when it needs to be planted that's a huge part of it succession planning have a succession of plantings to keep continuous harvests you know that's that's the trick that doesn't just happen it takes some real planning. And there's a lot of there's a lot of tools now to help you with that you know Johnny's. Website Johnny selected seeds has a lot of calculating tools and stuff to kind of help you with this but planning is critical size of garden always tend the smallest amount of land possible but it but tend it exceptionally well I love that quote. This by the way is a picture of our little or part of our market garden. At least one full time worker per half acre that I feel a minimum. If you're doing it intensively. I would say you know if you really get intensive I would say it's more like one full time worker per quarter acre. So you've got to take that into consideration you know you don't just go out and plough up an acre and a half and say yeah I'm going to do it this here. Because there's no way one person could handle that especially if you're doing the marketing as well. But this is the key the income potential of $100000.00 per acre. You want to be growing crops that if you calculate obviously you're not going to grow an acre of kale but you know on our farm this year Kale was hands down the biggest money maker it was amazing it went all summer long we still are harvesting from Kale that I planted the seed the beginning of February. What did we do well you know it was in a hoop house and we just stayed on top of the watering infertility and usually what does scale in for us is the Harley can bugs they come around the 1st of July normally and this year for whatever reason we had a very light into station in the heart of Harlech in bugs so we just kind of hand picked them off. You know I don't know what else to say but we tried to we just took better care of the plants I think is a big thing but it was actually in a hoop house that we didn't even have shade cloth on. So it was it was amazing I mean we we made over $7000.00 on like 3 rows of kale. 3 beds Yeah that's right 3 beds. So you want to be looking at those crops that are going to bring that kind of return and this is not. This is not like unattainable there are many people that are getting this kind of income and I'll just say this I think this was probably the 1st year but we made over $100000.00 an acre and that's gross obviously but with cove with this here it pushed us over that that potential and I would guess if you extrapolated your numbers out to an acre would it be 100000. A lot of people may not be doing an acre we have about an acre and a half. But yeah it's not it's not that unreachable. What percentage of of gross profit. Well I will say our expenses were very high this year because we had some natural disasters and stuff so at this point you know our goal is to get up to 50 percent net but I would say 40 percent is probably more realistic for most farms I don't know if anybody else wants to chime in here 40 percent of net gross is net Jamie. Yeah yeah that's definitely true that it's all about what you're growing Ok where we're going to run out of time here I knew I had more stuff than I could fit in. Location is really important. And I really encourage anyone wanting to do this for a full time living that ideally you need to be within an hour's drive of a pretty major metropolitan area because that's your market your countryfolk if they don't have their own garden they're certainly not going to want to pay you the prices you need for your stuff. It's the it's the a fluent the more highly educated in general there are always exceptions but that's your market. And you know we're just upfront about it we charge we charge high prices for our stuff if you don't want to pay em we'll teach you how to do it yourself but if you want to us to grow for you this is what it costs a simple good water source to me is huge huge good sun exposure good soil to me the good soil is probably at the bottom of the list because on a small scale you can make any sort of good. And that's the one of the beauties of market gardening you can really invest in your soil fairly level is always helpful. Yeah I'm going to I don't know I'm. In that 1030 right yeah so. I think for many of you this is kind of basic stuff you know 100 foot long beds is kind of a standard 30 inch wide bed I mean 30 inch 30 inch wide beds. Grow in blocks we have 8 beds per block this is kind of cool take a picture of this Curtis Stone is a market gardener I'm sure many of you have seen his You Tube videos. But he came up with this c.v.r. crop value rating and these are the 5 things that he looked at short days to maternity high yield per linear foot high price per pound long harvest period and popularity and so he graves his crops based on these 5 criteria and here's just some examples so again you can take a picture. These are all crops with a high c.v.r. crop value rating notice you know tomatoes is a tree over 5 most people would think tomatoes were up at the top but there's much more profitable crops than tomatoes. Radishes because they're so quick they they you know you can turn him around quickly and they're just pretty. Ok so infrastructure needs Now notice I have a question mark here because what are needs. I know a lot of people some of them very well. Like ourselves who started out with much less than this but in an ideal world these are some of your main needs you know heated greenhouse for starting seeds a washing area ideally with a cement slab that's not a necessity but it's nice to walk in cooler if you're growing in the summer hoop houses really nice or 2 or 3 or 4 or we're up to 9 now. Water for washing area and irrigation water again is key and dear fencing if you are in anywhere with deer you know. You need. Specialized equipment. Well I've got that handout that can show you some of those things you can just take a picture if you want to hear. I'm not convinced you need a b.c.s. or a tractor for a market garden like I said some of the most successful farms are just using hand tools and to me there's a beauty in the simplicity of just using hand tools start up costs this is interesting Eliot Coleman in his new organic grower book back in 1905 suggested that you could get going with $15000.00 j m 40 a in the market gardener which came out in 2014. Suggested more like $39000.00 for the needed infrastructure to get going. Yeah the stuff I just listed you know your walk in cooler your starter house Daniel Mays have any of you seen his new book out it's called the no tell organic growers handbook I think just came out a few months ago I highly recommend it. Very good he suggests more like 30000 the 1st year and then 70000 over the next 3 years So 100000 over the 1st 4 years to get a farm really up and going. Now remember that some of this 70000 is coming from what your earning so it's not like you have to come up with 100000 to get going you're just reinvesting heavily. But I would say this is the real key is God calling you to it if you feel God Calling you to it. He's going to God's biddings are enabling Zurita so you may not have the resources to start in the ideal way but I believe that if you feel a strong conviction on your heart that he will lead this but you've got to know that he called you to it because that's going to pull you through the hard times. So where do you go from here. I would highly recommend read watch listen to all the recommended resources that I have on that well you can't do a mall there's more than you could do but just immerse yourself in the culture of small farms spend time working with people who are making a living doing this in Ideally a few years and using a few years you know most people go to college for 4 years and they're going to pay a 100000 plus dollars and they're going to come out with a degree that they may or may not be able to get a job you know we're talking about spending a few years and you shouldn't have any money out of pocket because you may not earn a whole lot if you're interning on a farm but hey it's a cheap education right I think you want to look at it that way even if you're volunteering if there's a farm that's really successful just say hey could I come volunteer you know maybe you can't do it full time but the more you're exposed you're going to be learning I like this I don't like that you're going to be sifting through it and. Yeah it's really important tour farms that's always helpful go to conferences start growing that's the key don't don't wait for tell you have the perfect set up start where you're at just get your feet wet your hands dirty and again make sure God is leading you because I can promise you times are going to be tough and if you're not sure of God's leading you're going to you're going to throw in the towel or throw in the the hope throw in the shovel something. So yeah. And that's it we made it but there's not time for question well let's take 102. Certifications good question man we are not certified organic anymore we were at one time we do not feel the need for it with our markets and our our. Customer base. It's yeah for a new grower if you're trying to get into a challenging market there might be a place for Dan exert occasion to kind of. Build that initial trust certainly if you're going to wholesale definitely certified organic otherwise they're going to just pay you conventional pricing. That's all I can say because of time. Were you. Well let's see. That this yes this will be somewhere. How far is this the one. Well that's you do I buy compost are we able to make enough we use to buy compost by the tractor trailer load. We don't anymore and that's kind of there's a complicated answer because our soil is super high in phosphorus naturally so we only make our own and yeah we buy a lot of peat moss we believe in peat moss. So I just want to I'm happy to say well actually I can't stay very long because I've got another class but. Arcade tithing that's a good question and honestly my wife is the book keeper so we try to be very generous with God we do 1st fruits we. And to be totally honest I'm not sure how we tied because my wife. She's got free reign of the finances so you could ask her but it is kind of a tricky thing to know how to tie but all I can say is we've never regretted being generous with God. He always gives us more than we give him. This media was brought to you by audiophiles a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave it to w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.

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