Planning your sustainable farm enterprise


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Planning your sustainable farm enterprise

  1. 1. Planning yoursustainable far m enter prise Tony Kleese The Earthwise Company, LLC
  2. 2. What is a sustainable farm enterprise? Environmentally sound Economically viable Socially just and equitableTriple bottom line results that sustain the farm and its inhabitants
  3. 3. Environmentally sound Must enhance the natural resource base now and in the future Certified Organic
  4. 4. Economically viablePlan and operate your farm as a profitable business
  5. 5. Socially just and equitable Community based Fair wages and decent conditions for labor Time off for focusing on family and self
  6. 6. Farm = Food systemComponents of a food system1. Land2. Water3. Farmers/labor4. Inputs5. Infrastructure6. Consumers/markets7. Waste
  7. 7. Land High quality soils or at the minimum good drainage. Moderate to no slope. Facing south with good air flow. Within 1 hour of good markets Resources  NRCS/Web Soil Survey  Soil testing labs
  8. 8. Water Clean and sufficient source, preferable a well with a minimum of 10 gpm. Surface water is unreliable and often contaminated. On average, one acre of crops with a full canopy use about one inch of water a week, which equals 27,154 gallons or about 4,000 gallons of water a day. Drip systems are designed to apply water daily without splashing disease spores onto leaves or compacting soil. Resources:  Neighbors well drilling results  Local well drillers  Dowsers
  9. 9. Farmers/Labor1. Why do you want to farm?2. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?3. How much income do you need now and in the future?4. What skills do you have?5. What skills do you need?6. How many people do you want to manage?Resources:  Farmer occupational profile  Other local growers
  10. 10. Inputs Quality seeds/plants for SE conditions. Breeds of livestock that thrive on pasture based systems. Slow money Resources:  ATTRA  Southern Exposure Seed  Organic Seed Alliance  American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
  11. 11. Infrastructure Roads Fencing Hand tools Tractor Truck and other vehicles Buildings  Equipment shed  Washing, packing, and cooling  Human and animal housing Resources:  ATTRA Market Gardening Document
  12. 12. Consumers/marketsStart your planning process here because it impacts all other decisions.1. Who are they?2. Where are they?3. What do they want?4. When do they want it?5. How much and in what form?6. How much will they pay?Resources:  Sell What you Sow by Eric Gibson  CFSA and Local Harvest  ECO, Farmers Fresh Market, New River Organic Growers
  13. 13. Waste Aim for zero waste Cycle nutrients Carbon footprint Green packaging Resources  Composting Council  Responsible Packaging Project
  14. 14. Business plan outline Cover sheet Executive summary Organizational plan Marketing plan Financial documents Supporting documents