Starting and running a farm is no small task no matter who you are. You can plan until your heart’s content, but there are variables and things will inevitably change. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. You will learn a lot through farming, about farming itself, and about who you are and what you are capable of.
I will be honest with you. I feel like I am constantly behind. I have three weeks worth of things that needed to get done yesterday. It wasn’t for lack of planning on my part. I did a ton of planning. You can listen to the beginning episodes of the podcast. But, even though I had a well-laid plan, things have changed.
Everything takes longer than you expect (plan for that). The weather happens, outside forces happen, family happens, sh** happens (especially with 480 chickens). The best thing you can do is to stay positive, still have a plan, and do you best to become a success.
When you are just starting up you want to do a lot of testing. You will be testing what plants grow best, what feed your animals like the best, and you will be testing the market to see what sells the best. I know farmers that never thought they would get into the type of farming they are in now. However, they are good farmers And good farmers are good business people. they listen to what their customers are telling them and they respond with an awesome product.
With all that testing you are not going to want to buy all the infrastructure right away, even if you are able to. Beg, borrow, and steal (don’t steal, it’s just an expression) until you know two things.
If you find out the market is going one way after you bought everything and set it all up, you’re going to end up with either a pile of equipment that you cannot use, or worse a pile of product that might rot.
Boot-strapping is not just about saving money. It is about making sure you have the right tools for the right job.
Hill Hollow Farm is a beautiful, family owned and operated, small-scale farm located in Petersburgh, NY. As family members we work together and support each other in our farming endeavors. Currently the farm produces grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, and poultry and operates an organic vegetable CSA.
On our farm we believe in leaving the land more fertile than when we found it. This means that anything that goes into our soil needs to be beneficial for the entire biosphere of the farm, from the songbirds to the microbes. As we harness the nutrients in the soil to grow the vegetables in our garden and the grass in our pasture, we also return nutrients to provide continuous stability. Our goal is to encourage people to break free of the industrial food model, enjoy and restore the art and value of cooking, share meals together and buy food that is in line with their values and that enhances our soils, keeps the interest of our future generations at heart and provides optimal nutrition.
Our Basic Values:
Do you have at least a rough plan that your follow?
Where is your business headed next? Do you have the resources to get there? If not, do you know where to find them?