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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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May 25, 2017

Polly Shyka and Prentice Grassi raise five acres of vegetables and five acres of cover crops, plus broiler chickens, egg layers, and beef cattle, at Villageside Farm in Freedom, Maine. Polly and Prentice have been involved in farming for twenty years, and have been farming their land since 2001. Making a living for both of them on $200,000 in sales, they have worked hard to build a farm business that is an asset to their community.

We talk about the challenges of farming at the five-acre scale, and dig into the nuts and bolts of how they manage their vegetables in a three-years-on, three-years-off rotation with perennial cover crops. Polly and Prentice dish out plenty of details about how they manage the livestock and vegetable production together, and about the equipment and tools they use to manage their five acres of produce.

Polly and Prentice also dig into the numbers that drive their farm, and the hard work they’ve put in to balancing life and business. They share their strategies and philosophy for making the most of their interactions with customers, children, employees, and each other, and how they have worked to develop the human skills that support their farm and their family.

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/villageside.

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