Tuesday November 26, 2013
"Value-added" is kind of a strange small farming term, and can be confusing and clinical-sounding at first glance. All it really means? That rather than selling the raw products of your farm, you take those products and make them into something with added value - something that you can charge more for. For example, selling fresh raw milk is great, and can be part of your business plan. But what if you made that milk into artisanal cheese? Now instead of selling it at milk prices, you're selling it at high-end cheese prices. Now, you need to do the math: certainly you also put effort, time, equipment and expertise in to making a value-added product like cheese. But often, small farmers find that it is more than worth it to produce and market value-added products, either instead of or in addition to their other farm products.
Learn about how to get started with a value-added farm business, some tips for your business as you get underway, and also get some great ideas for what to produce, as the options are many.
Friday November 22, 2013
Winter's settling over us. Here in Vermont we already have snow. Wherever you live, I'm sure you're winding down from fall activities, and finding yourself with a little bit more time on your hands now that the main season is through.
It's the perfect time to read more! Learn about the things you want to tackle next season. Explore a new approach, technique or species. I've recently reviewed some great small farming books so take a look and see if one strikes your fancy.
Friday November 15, 2013
It's nearly Thanksgiving, and although it's of course too late to start raising turkeys for this year, many small farmers are getting ready to process their turkeys for this season, perhaps selling them directly to consumers, or through farmers markets or CSAs.
If you already have turkeys and are getting ready for slaughter, check out the information I've compiled that will help you through that process efficiently and humanely. If you are interested in learning more about raising turkeys for next season, read up - it's the perfect time to make plans for next year.
Wednesday October 30, 2013
Perhaps you've just heard the term permaculture. Maybe you know a little about what it is but are curious to know more. Or, perhaps you're already committed to permaculture practices and principles for your small farm, homestead or hobby farm.
Whichever of these it is, I hope this introduction to permaculture is useful to you as you learn more.