Welcome! This section of my site is going to explore micro-farming for profit from a practical, sustainable viewpoint.
We have actually created a one-acre, organic micro-farm, incorporating livestock animal and vegetable production, that generated a $50,000 income while maintaining the land's fertility and tilth (whew!)
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You may be wondering, 'who is this guy, and why does he think he can pull this off'? Does he have any actual experience in micro-farming for profit? The answers are mostly documented elsewhere on this site - e.g. check out the
New Terra Farm Page but bear with me for a couple para's while I provide some background.
My name is Scott Kelland, I'm the the owner, Head Gardener, Director of Marketing, COO and CIO for award-winning New Terra Farm near Merrickville, Ontario.
New Terra Farm has been around for 20 years; in that time my wife Suzie and I have explored ways to make money on a small farm, without employing harmful or unsustainable farming practices.
Overall, we have been pretty successful; we have built a CSA market garden providing food to more than 90 families and we raise pigs and meat chickens on pasture for those same families.
And, not to brag, but in 2007 we won the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence for our small farm marketing and management model.
So, why am I writing this stuff about micro-farming for profit? The answer is pretty simple: Suzie and I strongly believe that North America desperately needs more small, sustainable, family-friendly farms.
We believe that, sooner or later, whether through environmental catastrophe, rising oil prices, or financial disaster, the current unsustainable agri-food industry will collapse. And communities once again will depend on local growers for their sustenance.
Unfortunately, due in part to government policy and the actions of the 'agri-business' industry, many small farms have disappeared. And the skills to operate such a farm have, in many cases, been lost. Hence, my writing about micro-farming for profit, as a way of helping close the 'skills gap'.
About 10 years ago (when we wrapped up the 2009 growing season and started planning 2010), we decided we would make it an explicit mission of New Terra Farm to grow farmers as well as food. We want to show that micro-farming for profit is possible on just about any plot of land, by anyone with the 'drive' to do it.
I had that idea in mind when I wrote my books about small farming (see links below.) The books got good reviews, and I know they have helped hundreds of people learn more about micro-farming for profit.
How do I expect to convey my experience and provide the information, training, and explanations necessary to allow someone to create a profitable micro-farm on just one acre?
Well, as you can see from the preceding, all the pieces of the one-acre micro-farm already exist here at New Terra Farm, although they are not consolidated and integrated the way they need to be to fit in one acre. And remember, while we are micro farming for profit, we also want to maintain and in fact improve our little plot of land.
So, here's the plan: We have been documenting step by step all the actions we take to plan and manage and operate our one-acre micro-farm. Everything from what seeds we order, to laying out and planting the garden, to marketing the farm products, to hiring farm help, to growing, harvesting and delivering our garden goodies.
We show you the cash-flow we receive and expenses we incur, the purchases we make, and the equipment we use.
We show you how we operate our plant starting room and greenhouse. You will learn all about season extension, managing bugs, weeds and other pests in an organic market garden, irrigation, crop rotation, cover cropping, using pollinators like honeybees, and about 1.1 million other things that are necessary for a successful, sustainable organic market garden.
As you surf through my site, you will also learn how we have been successfully - i.e. profitably - raising pigs and meat birds organically, on pasture, and how to integrate livestock animals with your garden production to create an efficient micro-farm eco-system.
In short, we will try to show you everything you need to know to start micro-farming for profit on your own. New articles regularly, stay tuned!
Here's some of the latest and greatest micro-farming for profit articles, hot off the keyboard . . .
Before you think about HOW to buy a farm, you need to decide SHOULD I buy a farm?
Are micro farms the future of agriculture?
Let's answer the question in some detail What is micro farming?
Is starting a Micro Farm in your future? Read about how you can get started here
Got a small property, or perhaps a 1 acre mini-farm? Here's a few micro farming ideas based on my experiences at New Terra Farm
You may own a small farm property, or be thinking about moving to the country. If you want to learn how to farm successfully, and make money on your small farm, follow these 5 steps.
It's no secret that I believe the future of food lies with small family farms. But how small can a farm be and still produce income? With that question in mind, here's my plan for a quarter acre farm.
Farming makes a great part-time job, especially if the whole family can help out. If you want to make a little extra money, or you are a work-at-homer, or if the kids want a summer job, being a part time farmer can be very rewarding.
If you are considering a move to the country and plan to buy a farm, this article has some information that can help you through the process . . . Buying a farm
Raising farm animals, when done sensibly and humanely, benefits the
small farm and the farmer. Over the years, we’ve raised chickens, pigs,
goats, rabbits and sheep. Here's a few things we've learned.
Creating a farm business plan is the first (and most important) step you should take when start micro-farming for profit. This is time well invested in the success of your business. Your farm business plan
You've grown some wonderful veggies in your market garden and now the time has come to sell them. So you head off to the farmers market, right? Wrong! If you are a market gardener (or want to be one), there are good reasons to stay away from the market. Why say NO to the farmer's market
Every small business needs customers; this includes your small
farm business. Customers come from marketing. Here are some simple,
smart ways to market your farm business to keep that flow of customers
So, you have lots of hungry customers signed up for your market garden . Now you need a garden plan to figure out how to grow the veggies to satisfy those customers. How to plan your garden
I use raised beds in my market garden to provide early soil warming and to protect against flood. If you are micro-farming for profit you have to take every advantage. Here's a raised bed garden plan that can be adapted to grow a variety of crops. The raised bed garden plan
Why is sustainable organic farming important? Because I believe we are headed for changes of massive proportions in the near future. I believe that declining oil, increasing social and financial upheaval and the devastation of our environment will irrevocably change how we live in North America. Here's why you need Sustainability on your Small Farm
A backyard nursery can be a profitable home-based business for the new grower or would-be micro farmer. Learn the ropes here Start a backyard nursery
I've been 'on-line' since 2005; about half my farm sales are a result of my website, and other sales - e.g. my books and products I recommend - provide a nice steady income, even in the 'off-season' from farming. Here's how you too can grow an income-generating farm website
If you have not yet begin farming, or even if you have and want to have better success, you need to focus on farming for results
How to price your farm products realistically for sales and profits.
If you've surfed around my site you may have seen my farming books - 'Bootstrap Market Gardening', 'Bootstrap Greenhouse', 'Bootstrap Survival Garden'.
I didn't know it when I wrote the books but there is an AWESOME supplier of commercial-quality farming and gardening supplies serving the U.S. and Canada.
You need to check out BOOTSTRAP FARMER.
They have everything you need for seed starting and greenhouse growing - including the greenhouses! They are worth a look if you need to get your growing game going.
Get my FREE Market Garden Guide and learn how to start-up, market and manage an organic market garden, even on a small property.
Download your Free Guide here
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Based on 20+ years of gardening and farming experience, I wrote some books that show you practical approaches to gardening and raising small livestock. If you want to fill your freezer and cold storage with your own healthy, nutritious food, and provide some real food security for your family, it might be worth a look here.
I just put together two special book deals:
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