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The Thriving Farmer Podcast

The Thriving Farmer Podcast

Author: Michael Kilpatrick

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If you’re looking to build a profitable farm that works, The Thriving Farmer Podcast is for you. Learn the latest tricks and strategies from successful farmers, strategize with in-depth interviews with leaders in the industry, and connect with stories of farmers just like you. With over 15 years of farming background, your host Michael Kilpatrick has the experience and authority to bring you practical advice, ask the hard questions, tease out the gold nuggets, and help share what it’s really like to build a truly profitable, sustainable farm. In the interviews, we focus on building farms that last, setting up your systems, knowing your customers, building your team, and treading that ever-challenging work/family/life balance.
47 Episodes
In this episode, I talk to Charlie Payne of Covey Rise Farms in Ohio. He and his wife Kerissa have a 75 acre pastured livestock farm raising and direct marketing poultry, pork, lamb, eggs, and honey. We talked about how he got started on rented land, how systems and the right infrastructure are key, and the importance of hiring good employees. You'll also hear: >> How Chris went from growing up in the suburbs to raising 15,000 broilers and other livestock on pasture >> How they've grown their restaurant and retail sales over the past 5 years >> What systems and equipment Charlie recommends >> How marketing takes half or more of their time >> How he regrets not starting earlier and doing an apprenticeship before owning their own business >> How they've benefited from USDA and NRCS funding >> How high school students have turned out to be great employees >> How on-farm events are a great educational opportunity for customers About the Guest: Charlie and his wife Kerissa own and operate Covey Rise Farms, a 75 acre pastured livestock farm raising and direct marketing poultry, pork, lamb, eggs, and honey. Both are beginning farmers who have grown the business together. We market our products through wholesale accounts, on-farm sales, and now shipping nationwide.
We're doing something a little different this week! To celebrate our very first online conference that's happening this weekend (December 6, 7, 8th), I'm sharing clips from some of the speakers to give you a preview of what you can expect from the Thriving Farmer Summit. You'll hear about: - What it means to be to thrive as a farmer with Joel Salatin - Core financial principles for farm sustainability with Julia Shanks - How Amanda Yeckel got started farming in Las Vegas - Curtis Stone on the crop profitability and market saturation - Carrie Chlebanowski on dealing with climate volatility - Focusing on the 'human' aspect of human resources with Brian Bates                                                                                                        - Nathan Cash on pitching new clients on Facebook and building their microgreen and edible flower business in Houston                    - Erika Tebbens on selling and customer service at Farmers' Market - William Padilla-Brown on cultivating mushrooms easily and cheaply - Charlotte Smith on what small farms are up against and their market advantage
In this episode, I talk to marketing coach, author, and podcaster, Charlotte Smith of We covered lots of marketing topics from building your brand, to reaching the right person with your message, to using social media effectively. You'll also hear: - How Charlotte started farming because of her children's health issues - How she became profitable within one year - Why she prioritized hiring within the first few months - How Joel Salatin is one of her mentors due to how he farms and handles the public as a direct marketer - Why focusing on one signature product is the way to go - When you find out how you're helping people and what problem you're solving for them, people can't help but share that - Why identifying your Ideal Customer Avatar is essential to dial in your marketing - The biggest mistake they made and what she sees beginning farmers make, is scaling and expanding too fast About the Guest: Charlotte Smith founded and the accompanying podcast, The Profitable Mindset, helping farmers in the U.S., Canada and around the world, learn the most current online marketing techniques to grow a successful business. She teaches her marketing course twice per year and published a book by the same name, “Farm Marketing from the Heart,” an intro to the concepts and techniques she teaches. She’s known as a coach and mentor that helps farmers get results. Charlotte also owns a seasonal pastured poultry farm located in St. Paul, Oregon, producing a little raw milk, eggs, and poultry. Due to her dedication to improving the soil, animals and the people who eat their products, in 2016 Charlotte was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women in the World in Food and Agriculture by the non-profit, Food Tank. Charlotte and her husband, Marc Rott, live on the farm in St. Paul, Oregon – she’s the mother of 3 kids – two adults and just one left at home. You can visit Charlotte at or inside “The Profitable Mindset” Facebook Group and meet her on Instagram @CharlotteSmith3Cow
In this episode, I talk to Josh Volk who's been involved in farming and urban agriculture for over 20 years. He's a former mechanical engineer turned farmer and is the author of several farming books. We talk about a range of subjects including what makes small scale farming work, ergonomics, tools, labor, CSA, and urban agriculture. You'll also hear: >> Josh's journey from mechanical engineering to farming >> A discussion of farm finances and why Josh uses dollars per labor hour as a benchmark >> How different farming systems can work in various climates, geographies, markets, etc. >> How ergonomics is about people's health wellbeing and how fast they can do a task >> Wash/pack efficiencies including proper lighting >> A discussion about urban agriculture and small scale tools About the Guest: Josh Volk is an urban farmer and the author of the book, “Compact Farms: 15 Proven Plans for Market Farms on 5 Acres or Less”. He has applied his background in mechanical engineering and interest in community food security to his own farming systems and has worked with farms around the country and abroad to help improve their sustainability and viability through ecological and equitable practices, sharing information he’s gleaned over more than two decades in the field. For the past 12 years, he has intentionally been farming part-time and spending the balance of his time to help other farmers.
In this episode, I talk about finances with Mary Jo Irmen who teaches the Infinite Banking Concept. This topic may be controversial, but I want to get diverse views on the show and learn about different strategies for farm financial management. Some of you may agree and others won't, but Mary Jo brings a really interesting perspective to the table and I hope you'll take a listen. >> Why Mary Jo actually works with a lot of younger farmers before they get into a pile of debt >> How there are no tax implications or advantages to this method >> Why Mary Jo goes whole life coverage in most situations >> Why this is a good method for long-term planning and looking down the road 5-10 years to save for big farm purchases >> Why treating yourself like a bank to pay yourself back is a good idea when using your own investments to pay for farm expenses >> A discussion about retirement savings >> Why beginning farmers can be ahead of the game since they don't have a history of family management style to continue >> Why her favorite farming tool is a bookkeeper! About the Guest: Mary Jo Irmen is the author of the book Farming Without the Bank. She has a passion to show farmers how to take back control of the banking function in their operation.
In this episode, I talk to Stephen Ciancioso who's in his first few years of market gardening in Hawaii. He reflects on how he got to where he is now, what advice he has for beginning farmers based on his experience, and how leasing not owning the land he's growing on has been essential for getting his farm business off the ground. You'll also hear: >> Why a caretaking scenario is a win-win situation to access land in a high-cost area >> How landscape fabric and soil inoculants are helping alleviate fungal issues in his hot and humid environment >> Strategies for growing in a tropical climate >> How setting up a weekly routine has been a game-changer for running his market garden by himself >>Why having high-quality products and keeping the long term in mind is crucial when selling at farmers' markets. >> Why delaying buying land helps you stay flexible as a farmer About the Guest: Stephen Ciancioso runs Buena Vista Gardens, a 1/3rd of an acre market garden on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. He is are in full production year-round and distributes through two farmers' markets, one health food store, and one restaurant. Currently, he specializes in head lettuce, bunched greens, baby greens, and carrots. He's going into my third year starting my own operation and he's very excited to see where it can go!
This week on the podcast I interview Alex Mackay-Smith of Juniper Farm in Wakefield, Quebec. He and his wife Juniper Turgeon have been farming organically and biodynamically for over ten years and serve their community by growing vegetables, fruit, meat, and eggs. They sell through multiple venues, have a fermented foods line, and offer experiences and connection to the farm through various events, dinners, festivals, workshops, and artistic partnerships. What you'll hear in this episode: >> How cover crops are Alex's crystal ball for future production >> Alex's journey from to farming from working in film >> How Alex organizes tasks on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and how on morning meetings are vital to his team >> Which tractors Alex and I geek out about >> How they developed an online tool called Harvest Board to simplify and automate their farm tasks >> The priorities of chef vs retailers >> The difference between a scarcity and abundance mindset >> How peers are Alex's greatest mentors Quotes from the episode: "I don't know many someliers for carrots..." "You're either going down the bitter or the joyful road" "The hardest thing for myself as a farmer is learning to problem solve under heavy stress" "Learning to see clearly and step away and look at the big picture can be the greatest challenge in what can sometimes feel like the chaos of farming" About the Guests: Alex and his wife Juniper own Juniper Farm, an Organic and Biodynamic vegetable farm located in Wakefield, Quebec in Canada. They also run a thriving sauerkraut operation on site. They came from the city to the country and have now been tending the land for fourteen years. They've had to learn from many mistakes made, but now see mistakes as an opportunity to grow. This allows Juniper Farm to be flexible and keep evolving their “farmiverse”.
Today's guests on the show are Cara Fraver and Caitlin Arnold from the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). We talk about the different services and resources that they offer young farmers, including policy work, business resources, a national network of local chapters and how you can benefit from those. We also dive into some of the big challenges that young farmers face today, like land access, mental health, climate change, access to credit, finding labor, etc and how being part of a supportive network of farmers can help navigate those challenges. If you haven't checked them out already, I would highly recommend you navigate over to and take a look around their site at different things they offer and possibly sign up for a membership. I know I heavily use our membership for the resources as well as the discounts they provide for different companies so definitely check that out. You'll also hear:  >> How NYFC provides education around federal programs and policy >> How their chapters run and how they're the backbone of NYFC >> Access to land, labor, credit, racial injustice, climate change, health insurance, loan debt are some of the biggest challenges facing young and beginning farmers >> Why young farmers tend to end up with marginal farmland and how rural isolation can contribute to mental health challenges >> A frank discussion about farmer suicide and available resources and support (such as National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255) and 1-800-FARM-AID) >> How being clear on how your farm business fits into your overall life goals can help keep perspective and reduce stress About the Guests: Before joining the Young Farmers team, Cara Fraver owned and managed a diversified vegetable farm with her husband in upstate New York. Through work with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Just Food in NYC, and the New York State Berry Growers Association, she’s connected farmers with resources and education to improve their businesses for more than 15 years. Caitlin Arnold supports all of Young Farmers grassroots chapters nationwide. Before joining Young Farmers, Caitlin spent ten years working on small-scale vegetable farms, and most recently ran her own farm business with a team of draft horses. She is from Washington state, where she organized with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition. She holds a Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems through Green Mountain College in Vermont.
We've got a bonus episode for you this week! This is a follow-up to Episode 38 with Adam Turtle (who has been growing bamboo for decades and started a bamboo nursery in Tennessee). In this episode, I talk to Roseann Classic who is a rep for a bamboo company that partners with farmers to grow bamboo in Europe, China, and the US. We talk about the challenges of growing bamboo, the crop cycle, the varieties that they're using and exactly how they're planting them so it's a really interesting take on this. Adam talked more about the opportunity and history of bamboo cultivation and this episode talks more about the commercial opportunity in the US. What Roseann is describing won't be for everyone as it's a very long term return on investment, but it is a really interesting business model. About the Guest: Roseann Classic is known to many as the Classic Bamboo Lady. She was introduced to bamboo in 2016 and ever since it's been a huge part of her world. She represents OnlyMosoUSA educating farmers and land-owners in growing their 2 types of bamboo, Moso and Asper. We offer a 10-year guaranteed buy-back program so the farmers can generate a yearly income with our buy-back program. Then on the other side of the bamboo house, Roseann is the USA wholesale rep for GreenApple Active, one of the first and fastest-growing yoga and activewear clothing lines that are made from bamboo textiles.
This week, I talk to Adam Turtle, an 80-year-old scholar and researcher who has spent much of his life, researching a lot of rare plants in the US that can be used for regenerative purposes. We spend a lot of this episode is discussing bamboo. We talked about his Research Farm that has over 300 varieties of bamboo, his thoughts about building soil, his philosophy on life, how they ended up developing their niche which was providing large, high-quality bamboo clumps to zoos all over the US. It was a fascinating conversation and I highly encourage that you listen to the episode even if you're not interested in bamboo as we also go into Adam's years of being involved in the regenerative agriculture movement. Also in this episode: >> How it took 15 years to figure out how to raccoon-proof his garden >> How his attention to soil health has resulted in impressive tumeric and ginger growth >> Why bamboo is the fastest growing biomass and well suited for a southern climate >> A discussion of the benefits of some invasive plants >> The various uses of bamboo: piping, fencing, forage, timber, wind and noise barrier, soil building, and fiber. About the Guest: Adam Turtle is a fellow Fellow of the Linnean Society, former Boy Scout, and at various times, cowboy, fisherman, truck driver, chef, homeless bum, woodworker, sculptor, preacher, theosopher and general trouble maker left the mainstream in 1970 to pursue a quest for insight into good stewardship -- this led to ethnobotanical studies (on the land, primarily with occasional forays into academia) -- lots of wood lore, wild crafting, gardening, etc, Adam began working with bamboos in '79, Permaculture in '81 and again in '88 (both with B. Mollison), Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in '93, soil building and water management are ongoing. He aspires to become a better earth citizen and general systems synthesist. Although possessing only an eighth-grade diploma, Adam is an alum (non-matriculating) of San Antonio College, Oklahoma University, the University of Arizona, the University of Maryland and has taught at several others. As Helen Bullard said in "Crafts and Craftsmen of the Tennessee Mountains", "His degrees are Nth!"
In this episode, I talk to Jonathan Bruderlein who started farming with horses, then took a break to spend a couple of years traveling to farms around the US and Canada and is now back in Quebec to start version 2.0 of his farm. You'll also hear about: >> How Jonathan managed field cultivation with horses >> How taking a step back to travel gave he and his family perspective and inspiration >> Why some of the most profitable time on a farm is spent with your team >> How your farm and life goals tie into what he calls 'human sustainability' >> Common limiting beliefs of farmers About the Guest: Jonathan's a nerd...a really big nerd. Jonathan loves numbers, loves spreadsheets, and above all loves people. Jonathan owned and operated a successful certified organic vegetable farm in Dunham, Quebec for a number of years using a mix of tractor power and draft horsepower. In 2017, Jonathan and his family decided to take a sabbatical, convert their delivery van into a camper, and travel around the USA and Canada for almost 3 years, visiting farms, learning, and getting a new perspective on life! Jonathan is now back in Quebec and in the process of launching the second iteration of the farm. Having completed a life coaching training during these travels, Jonathan currently is passionately bringing the life coaching model into the farming community. As a life coach, Jonathan supports successful farmers to think outside the box and see even greater possibilities for success in all areas of their lives.    
In this episode, I interview John Moody, a well-known author, speaker, and homesteader from Kentucky. We discuss how he got into farming, and dive into his new book, Winning the War on Weeds, that he wrote to help small-scale farmers and homesteaders tackle one of the most challenging and labor-intensive parts of growing. In this episode: >> How John found his way to growing food through his health issues >> Why he set out to write a book about weeds after he cut his time spent on weeding by 90% >> How constant tillage or chemical use can be detrimental to the long-term health of your soil >> A discussion about organic weed management strategies like mulching, cultivation, flame weeding and solarization. Quotes from the episode: "Weed is the original four-letter word" "It's an upfront investment that pays so many dividends" "Doing the right kind of weed control is about playing the long game" About the Guest: The Moody family has farmed and homesteaded on 35 acres in the rolling hills of Kentucky just outside Louisville for the last decade. A well-known author and speaker, John has written four books to help farmers and homesteaders achieve their dreams to pursue lives with greater freedom, self-sufficiency, sustainability, and success. The founder of multiple profitable businesses in food and farming, they are excited about the opportunities the next decade presents for innovative young entrepreneurs, including farmers!
35. Bonus: Q&A with Michael

35. Bonus: Q&A with Michael


We're sliding in a bonus episode this week to answer some questions that came up in our Small Farm University membership and various Facebook groups. 
This week's episode is a fantastic conversation with Curtis Millsap of Millsap Farms, a 20-acre farm in Springfield, MO. We cover a lot of ground in this extensive conversation, including how Curtis started his farming career, how they grew their famous on-farm pizza nights, how using Harvie as CSA management software has been a game-changer, a discussion about winter growing and growing in an earth-bermed greenhouse, and so much more. It's a long one so you may need to listen to it in installments!   You'll also hear:   >> Why he’s moving the farm away from deep tillage towards minimal tillage   >> How choice and convenience are the most important factors for satisfied CSA customers   >> How to tackle to fear of the empty box by using CSA management and planning   >> How defining roles between staff makes delegation clear >> Takeaways from the Frozen Ground winter growing conference >> An overview of Curtis' earth-bermed greenhouse inspired by ones used in China >> How his advice for new farmers is to learn is a less costly way by apprenticing Quotes from the episode:   "Fluffing does not solve soil problems" “Start with the end in mind” when planning your CSA   About the Guest   Curtis and Sarah Millsap, along with their ten children, farm manager, apprentice, and occasional volunteers, have been operating Millsap Farms, a 20-acre farm in Springfield MO, for the past 12 years. They grow 2 acres of vegetables and flowers, with 20,000 s.f. (almost ½ acre) under greenhouses, high tunnels, and caterpillar tunnels. They use organic practices and sell through a year-round 170 member CSA, farmers' market, and restaurants. They sow, transplant, harvest, and sell, 50 weeks out of the year. The Millsaps also host a weekly pizza night from May to October, where they have 250 people out to the farm for wood-fired pizza and live music. They are always looking for ways to do more with less, including energy and water conservation measures such as no-till, solar greenhouses, stored heat, etc. They love to teach people who are looking to enter the field of farming, having hosted, as of the end of the 2018 season, over 25 interns, most of whom are still involved in farming full time, 4 of whom now have their own farms. Additionally, they host hundreds of people on tours each year, from large extension organized field days, to farm families from near and far who drop in for an impromptu tour of their farm. Curtis speaks to various groups about how to design farms for a balanced life, including using the right tools, infrastructure, labor and marketing mix to fit each farm. The Millsaps and their farm crew consider themselves stewards of creation, and take that responsibility seriously. They also love to travel and camp, and spend an average of 5 weeks a year away from the farm, often taking their farm crew with them to enjoy the hills and creeks of the Ozarks.
We're talking low-tech mushroom growing this week with Eric Jong of GroCycle out of the UK. Eric found his way to mushrooms after leaving a corporate career and becoming interested in permaculture and the local food movement. We talk about low-tech growing techniques, marketing mushrooms, having a team to support their business growth, and much more... You'll also hear: >> Which substrates Eric uses  >> Their innovative selling systems by selling fruiting blocks via e-commerce >> How they utilize a team to run their mushroom operation and how processes are key >> Why he recommends that new farmers find their footing before they scale >> Why a humidifier is Eric's favorite farming tool About the Guest: After finishing his MSc in Business Studies in Maastricht, The Netherlands, Eric went to work for two of the world's largest energy companies. It was after 6 years of office life that both Eric and his wife Zoe decided that this lifestyle didn't suit them anymore. They decided to up sticks and travel for a while. On this trip, they visited the permaculture research institute in Australia and helped out on several organic farms. Fascinated by small scale food production they ended up doing a full growing season on an organic farm in the Brecon Beacons. Now seriously interested in food production the studied sustainable horticulture at Schumacher College in 2011. This is where Eric crossed paths with Adam who was about to change from more traditional ways of growing mushrooms to a Low Tech approach. Back then this was mainly by growing mushrooms on coffee waste. The two of them decided to team up and GroCycle was started.
Brooke Sheffield started his first hemp brand, Smoky Mountain Medicinals, in 2018 and he now co-owns and operates Phytofox, a vertically-integrated hemp company that farms, extracts, and formulates USDA certified organic hemp products. In this episode, we talk about how he got started in the hemp business, his love of plants and growing things, the mistakes he’s made, the challenges he’s faced as the hemp industry has exploded, a run-down of yield and prices, and marketing in this unique industry. You'll also hear: >> How he went from growing vegetables to aquaponics/hydroponics to growing hemp >> How he graduated from doing everything himself to spending his days managing other people >> The 2 main avenues for selling hemp >> Why integrating hemp into a market garden can benefit your brand and stimulate interest in your farm >> Production differences between outdoor and covered production, plasticulture and using seed vs. clones >> How he vertically integrated his business and much more... Quotes from the episode: “I love anything that’s simple and doesn’t have a large failure rate” “Without a team, you can’t get big enough to scale up” “Farming isn’t typically the hardest part of it. It’s selling it and understanding the market. To do that in a cash crop that’s just become legal, that’s where the challenge is.” “I don’t think hemp is going to save any farm. I think it’s going to add to the value but if you’re already properly farming, marketing and operating, I don’t think this is a crop that just fixes problems, it actually creates a whole bunch of problems. It’s capital intensive, it’s labor-intensive and technically intensive." “If you’re not emotionally invested in your people, they won’t be invested in you” About the Guest: A native North Carolinian, Brook Sheffield has been farming, consulting, and operating AG based businesses in the Southeast for over 10 years. His retail chain Lotus Farm and Garden Supply has locations in NC, SC, and TN. In addition to supplying and consulting for farms, he has been successfully running seed to sale operations of his own. He started his first hemp brand Smoky Mountain Medicinals in 2018 and he now co-owns and operates Phytofox, a vertically integrated hemp company that farms, extracts, and formulates USDA certified organic hemp products. Brook’s immersed experience in the industry brings an energized and fresh perspective full of information that is sure to add value to anyone interested in the farming and business of cannabis.
Josh Sattin is the owner/farmer of Sattin Hill Farm, a suburban farm in Raleigh, NC. In this episode we talk about balancing family and farming, what it's like to be a beginning farmer in the South and our favorite cordless drills... In this episode: >> Why Josh encourages beginning farmers to have low expectations their first year >> Why Josh doesn't grow Salanova anymore >> The importance of being open to pivoting your production and business as you learn more about what you and your farm are capable of >> Why it's important (and you’ll make much more money) by growing better, not growing more >> How Josh gets incredible production on his very small farm and doesn’t deal with many weeds. About the Guest: Josh Sattin is the owner/farmer of Sattin Hill Farm, a suburban farm in Raleigh, NC. The farm uses regenerative, sustainable and natural growing methods to produce vegetables and eggs for local families and chefs. Josh also has a YouTube channel where he uses his former skills as a teacher to educate farmers, gardeners and homesteaders about growing food and running a small farm.  
This week I interview self-proclaimed mushroom nerd, William Padilla-Brown. In this fascinating interview, we talk about how he continually pushes the boundaries of mycology, cultivates and value-adds cordyceps, the opportunity for artisan mushroom production, and what he's up to with spirulina. In this episode: >> How learning about permaculture got him into growing mushrooms >> How his passion is to experiment with genetic expression of plants and fungi >> The difference between growing mushrooms in controlled environments vs. outdoor cultivation >> William's mushroom mentors   About the Guest: William Padilla-Brown had the opportunity to grow up traveling, living in England, Taiwan, Mexico, New York he now is back in his hometown of New Cumberland, PA. He is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur phycologist, urban shaman, poet and father to his beloved son, Leo. Leaving high school at age 16, Will pursued a non-traditional, independent approach to learning and actively promotes alternative education. He holds Permaculture Design Certificates from Susquehanna Permaculture and NGOZI. In 2014, he established Community Compassion, a nonprofit focused on radical sustainability, based in New Cumberland, PA. In 2015 he founded MycoSymbiotics LLC - a mycological research and mushroom production business. He has raised over 30 types of mushrooms and 6 types of algae. He is driving mycological research in the areas of food production, mycoremediation, and medicinal value. Will educates children and adults alike about topics ranging from nutrition to mushroom cultivation, having led workshops and various programs all over the country. Will is proud to be a contributing editor for Fungi Magazine, the foremost Mycological periodical.   
Richard Wiswall is owner/operator of Cate Farm in East Montpelier, VT, where he has been farming organically for over 35 years. Richard is known for his work with farm business and profitability and in this episode, we discussed how they have simplified their farm over the years to make it work for them, how they are now exploring farm transition to his youngest son, and his advice for new and beginning farmers. In This Episode: >> How a workshop in 1993 on holistic management changed the trajectory of Richard’s farm and made it much more profitable >> The three areas that have to be transitioned to the next farmer and which one is the hardest >> What the early days of organic agriculture were like in Vermont >> Why smaller farms can frequently make higher profit margins Full Bio Richard Wiswall is owner/operator of Cate Farm in East Montpelier, VT, where he has been farming organically for over 35 years. Known for his work on farm profitability and appropriate business tools, he has consulted with over 90 farmers in New England, helping them increase profitability and meet their long term goals. Richard is author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook- A Complete guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff- and Making a Profit, and gives workshops frequently on the subject of farm business. To learn more about Richard and Cate Farm, visit
Crystal Stewart is a Cornell Cooperative Extension agent for 17 counties in New York State. She recently started a SARE Fellowship which took her across the country to visit farms of all types. In this episode, we discussed her trip and what she learned, her research work with garlic, melons, carrots (yes bolero is still the best) and lettuce, and how she sees agriculture progressing in the Hudson Valley In This Episode: >> A deep dive into all things garlic and the mulching methods that decrease fusarium. >> How a SARE fellowship works and the places that Crystal visited on her trip. >> How growers are dealing with allium leaf miner in NY >> Some varieties of carrots that show promise for storage Full Bio Crystal Stewart works with diversified organic, small and beginning vegetable farmers throughout a 17 county region of Eastern NY, helping them to improve both sustainability and profitability for long-term success. Her responsibilities are divided between providing on-farm support to address grower concerns; creating educational programming including local, statewide, and regional meetings; and conducting research in organic systems with a focus on root crops, garlic, and other alliums. Prior to joining Cornell Cooperative Extension in 2007, Crystal worked as a regional horticulture specialist for South Dakota State University. She received her Masters in Horticulture and her Bachelors in International Agriculture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Comments (2)

Ryan Slyzuk

Great content Michael! Thanks for stepping up and filling the giant void left after Chris' passing and the end of the Farmer to Farmer pod. Keep the torch lit!

Jul 9th

Jake Caron

Great to have this podcast from In the Field Consultants! Looking forward to learning from the guests that are hosted on it.

Mar 9th
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