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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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Mar 30, 2017

Landis and Steven Spickerman own and operate Hermit Creek Farm 15 miles south of Lake Superior in far northern Wisconsin – a challenging place to farm, with lots of woods and a lot of water. With about ten acres in vegetables and another six in cover crop, Landis and Steven sell their produce through a combination of wholesale and a 200-member CSA.

We discuss their long, slow, roundabout journey through homesteading and small-scale production to having Landis full-time on the farm. Landis and Steven share how they made the decision to acquire new land a few miles from their home farm, and the challenges they experienced in making the change from growing on one small piece of land to growing on two very different pieces of farmland with two very different farming systems.

Landis and Steven also share the whys and hows of expanding to a larger marketplace, and how that drove their pursuit of scale. We also dive into how they’ve expanded their CSA through the expansion of seasons and products, rather than raw member numbers.

Hermit Creek Farm has integrated hogs and now sheep into their vegetable and cover crop rotations, and use native prairie strips for pollinator and biodiversity inoculation in the vegetable fields. Landis and Steven share details about how they make this work, and why it matters to them and to the farm overall.

Perennial support for the Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously provided by Vermont Compost Company and BCS America.

Pictures, show links, and more at farmertofarmerpodcast.com/episodes/spickerman.

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