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Farmer to Farmer with Chris Blanchard

The organic and sustainable farming movement has its roots in sharing information about production techniques, marketing, and the rewards and challenges of the farming life. Join veteran farmer, consultant, and farm educator Chris Blanchard for down-to-earth conversations with experienced farmers - and the occasional non-farmer - about everything from soil fertility and record-keeping to getting your crops to market without making yourself crazy. Whether his guests are discussing employment philosophy or the best techniques for cultivating carrots, Chris draws on over 25 years of experience to get at the big ideas and practical details that make a difference on their farms and in their lives. If you've been farming for a lifetime, are just getting started, or are still dreaming about your farm of the future, the Farmer to Farmer podcast provides a fresh and honest look at what it takes to make your farm work.
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Jul 21, 2016

Mark Cain owns Dripping Springs Garden with his partner, Michael Crane. Located in northwestern Arkansas, Dripping Springs has about four acres in production, with half of that in cut flowers. Most of the flowers are sold at the Fayetteville Farmers Market, while the vegetables are sold primarily to local retailers and through a small CSA program.

Mark shares the story of how Dripping Springs built the market for local, organic flowers, and how they continue to maintain a strong market presence in the face of increasing competition. We dig into the wedding market, practical farmers market strategies, pricing, and how to produce a high quality cut flower.

We also hear about Mark’s journey to starting Dripping Springs in 1984, including his encounters with some of the giant thinkers of sustainable agriculture in the early 1980s. And we dig into how Dripping Springs manages to farm on steep hillsides with a minimum of erosion and a maximum of water harvesting, as well as the well-respected internship program at the farm.

Mark also tells us about the work structures that they’ve put in place to maintain a vibrant quality of life more than thirty years into the farm.

The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.

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