Pete Johnson of Pete’s Greens farms ninety acres of vegetables – with three under cover, and an additional 130 acres in hay and cover crops, in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, with sales through a CSA and farm stores, as well as through wholesale markets. Pete shares his strategies for extending the season with roots and greens storage, in addition to winter growing. We also get into Pete’s efforts to develop new weed control strategies on his large-scale farm to help mitigate risk with a changing climate, managing employees and projects, and scaling equipment for your operation.
Nick Olson and his wife, Joan, own Prairie Drifter Farm in Litchfield, Minnesota – out on the edge of the prairie. They raise about six acres of vegetables 90 minutes west of the Twin Cities, selling most of them through a CSA and the rest to stores and restaurants. Nick has also coordinated the Farm Beginnings courses for the Land Stewardship Project for a number of years. We talked about how his experience with that program influenced the decisions that he and Joan have made on their farm over the past six years, covering topics from holistic management to relationship management. I had a lot of fun talking to Nick, and I learned a lot. I think you’ll find the conversation as valuable as I did.
Annie Salafsky and Susan Ujcic share the story of how two women – one from suburban Chicago and one from suburban New Jersey – started and grew Helsing Junction Farm in western Washington. Annie and Susan have raised produce for their CSA since 1992. Chris and Annie and Susan discuss improving nutrient density, farming in a business partnership, using online customer relationship management software to improve logistics, and how they’ve built Helsing Junction around their families and personal needs.
Greg Garbos brings his training and experience in conventional engineering to his work as a small farmer and with small farmers. He is the owner and cofounder of Four Season Tools, a greenhouse and horticulture supply company that also provides farm design consulting, as well as the owner and founder of City Bitty Farm, a grower of microgreens for Kansas City area restaurants. Greg and I dig into using intentional decision-making as a basis for developing a farm around sound principles.