Matt Herbruck has lived two farming lives: one in down east Maine, and another in northeast Ohio. After 21 years of farming, he currently owns and operates Birdsong Farm in Hiram Township, Ohio, with twelve acres of vegetables and cut flowers sold through four farmers markets and a small CSA.
Matt shares the story of moving his farm from Maine to Ohio, and we talk about the sometimes radical differences in the two markets, climates, and soils, and how Matt managed the transition from the coast to the middle of the country – as well as personal transitions that coincided with the move. Matt tells the story of breaking into markets in both locations, including how he has engaged with start-up farmers markets to create a winning situation for both the market and for his farm.
We dig into Matt’s tricks for setting up a great farmers market stand and produce display, managing greens and root crops through the hot Ohio summers, juggling the expectations of family and farming, and the ephemeral nature of seemingly permanent decisions and situations.
When Matt’s employee, Dave, recommended Matt for the show, I didn’t remember that Matt and I had known each other when we were both farming on the coast of Maine. But once I made the connection, I remembered his flat-bed truck and his infectious smile. And while the flat-bed truck is history, I enjoyed hearing his smile and the joy he has retained through all of the years and all of the challenges. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.