For today’s small acreage farm to succeed in a very competitive market, the farmer must assess the opportunities of the land, plan the crop, grow it, and then be able to sell it. Diversity is a natural thing to consider when planning a market garden or small acreage crop, and diversity is equally important in planning for sales of your crop, no matter what that crop is. To be a truly sustainable small acreage farm, this means that you have to make money at what you grow. To do this, you have to be able to sell what you grow and receive a premium for it whenever possible.
Who are you selling to? Who is going to buy your produce, herbs, eggs or whatever it is you are planning on producing? It is a very good idea to know who your customer is before you plant! As a small acreage farmer, our survival is keyed to selling what we grow.
Marketing is one of the important keys to a successful farm, and often the toughest part of the survival and sustainability of the small acreage farm. We don’t use mono-cropping in our gardens, why should we use mono-marketing techniques?
At Greentree Naturals, 2008 is our eighteenth year of selling at the local farmers market and to high-end restaurants. We have a 25 family CSA, and hold on-farm workshops and special events as well as a successful apprenticeship program accredited with University of Idaho and Washington State University.
|2008 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference