Setting up a Self Serve Farm Store to Bring in Retail Sales: EP17

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode, we visit with Kyle Doda and Betsy Simpson of 1000 Stone Farm (https://www.1000stonefarm.com/) about how they set-up an on-farm store.

Show Notes/Chapters

1:41 Farm Store vs. Farm Stand
5:27 How does self-serve work?
– Sqare, via a wall mounted iPad, with credit card processing or payment with cash.
10:23 Price lists for high end products
11:23 Pre-built structure
12:16 Insulated and open year roundHolding inventory
– Consistent messaging and easy to remember hours: 8-8, every day
– Cost: $9k in the building, ~$17k total
– ROI is on track for a timely return
– There is demand for this in the area
17:11 Market research & business decisions
– Respectful and thankful community
– Advertising: Facebook ads, word of mouth, Front Porch Forum
– Didn’t want to skimp or cut corners
– Variety is beneficial for customer satisfaction
23:36 Capital Investment
– Vermont Farm Fund for a low-interest loan
– Need money for the site work, building, inventory etc.

“The simplification aspect is huge for the customers and the farmers. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be and make it as easy for the customer to access the product as possible, on their terms.”

Kyle Doda

27:22 Multi-use building – Farm store & CSA Pick-up
27:57 Regrets or changes on these decisions?
– Need to increase the branding and messaging for both their farm and the local, organic, high quality products they stock in their store.
31:16 Final thoughts – Customers enjoy shopping alone in a low stress environment.

Checkout The Farm Store!

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Cat Tunnel Tips on a No-till Hillside Farm: EP16

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode we visit with Evan Perkins and Heidi Choate of Small Axe Farm (https://smallaxefarm.com/) to talk about how they use Cat Tunnels on their no-till, hillside farm.

Show notes/Chapters

2:14 How do you utilize Cat Tunnels?
3:58 Construction & Build
– Farmers Friend: https://farmersfriendllc.com/
– Side “Hooks”
5:25 Shoulder season practices
– Wind bracing
– End Walls
8:48 Usage on a hill
10:43 Cat tunnels vs. High tunnels
15:58 Heidi’s key takeaways
19:05 Rolling up the plastic during winter
23:50 The biggest tip: Build them up like a hoophouse

Website: https://smallaxefarm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smallaxefarm/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallaxefarmvermont/?hl=en

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Considerations for Fruit and Vegetable Growers Related to Coronavirus & COVID-19: EP15

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode we read an update about Coronavirus & COVID19 as it relates to fruit and vegetable growers.

Show Notes/Chapters

This episode’s script can be found at go.uvm.edu/covid19produce

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Getting Started with a Growth Chamber: EP14

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode, we share with you a blog post we wrote entitled Getting Started with a Growth Chamber.

Show Notes/Chapters

Read the whole transcript of this podcast and see further examples from our blog at go.uvm.edu/startingseeds

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Stories of Success and Challenge at Last Resort Farm: EP13

The Ag Engineering podcasts shares a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. This episode chats with Silas Doyle-Burr of Last Resort Farm (lastresortfarm.com) about a time when he felt both successful and challenged farming.

Show Notes/Chapters

2:33 When does farming make you feel successful?
“Pick your own strawberries make it all worthwhile”
3:44 Challenges in farming? The Weather
6:51 Favorite forms or learning

  • Parents
  • Podcasts
  • Farmers
  • Social Media
    8:07 Looking to learn more about reducing labor costs
    9:40 H2A Experiences
    13:15 What do you want to know more about? Farm management systems
    14:33 What are you excited about? Being a better, leaner, farmer
    15:46 What are you doing while listening?
    – Tractor work & physical labor
    – Doing the dishes

Website: lastresortfarm.com
Facebook: facebook.com/lastresortfarm
Instagram: instagram.com/lastresortfarm

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No-Till, Hillside, Off-grid, Market Farming at Small Axe Farm: EP12

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode, we visit with Evan Perkins and Heidi Choate of Small Axe Farm (https://smallaxefarm.com/) to talk about how they implement no-till production on their farm.

Show Notes/Chapters

1:56 How do you define no-till on your farm?
3:55 How are you renovating a bed?
6:37 How do you make new beds?
7:54 Farming on a hillside
13:39 Micro climates on a south facing slope in Zone 4
17:18 No-till and fundamental environmental practices
19:52 Erosion and season extension
22:19 Advantages to hillside growing
26:17 Hoop houses on a hillside
28:06 The Tillie
33:17 Pathway residue compost system

Website: https://smallaxefarm.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smallaxefarm/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallaxefarmvermont

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Success in Adding Hemp to a Diversified Vegetable and Berry Farm: EP11

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode we visit with Silas Doyle Burr of Last Resort Farm (lastresortfarm.com) about integrating CBD hemp as an additional crop to his already diversified farm.

Show Notes/Chapters

2:03 Why grow hemp?
5:41 Cultural practices
8:25 Varieties
10:19 How did it grow?
12:07 Transplant & Harvest DAtes
13:17 Did you sell it?
14:16 Customers perceptions of hemp
16:05 Are you going to grow it again?
16:56 A tip for success

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DIY Cat Tunnels and Use in The Winter: EP10

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode we visit with Kyle Doda and Betsy Simpson of 1000 Stone Farm (https://www.1000stonefarm.com/) to talk about their use of caterpillar tunnels, how they built them, and their experiences past the shoulder seasons.

Show Notes

2:02 How are you utilizing Cat Tunnels?
6:21 Built or bought? Built.
– Growing peas inside
– Early greens
11:09 Cost vs. benefits of home built
– Durability
– Use in the winter
– Have 20’ Between tunnels
13:23 Winter Use
15:33 How to make a 200’ tunnel
18:37 Weed management between bows
19:40 Crop rotation or not?
13:04 How did you learn about them?
– They first learned about Cat Tunnels from Fair Share Farm on Instagram

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Greenhouse Sensors on the Cheap: EP09

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode we visit with Kyle Doda and Betsy Simpson of 1000 Stone Farm Farm (https://www.1000stonefarm.com/) about remote temperature monitoring on the cheap.

Show Notes

1:47 What sensors are you using and why?
4:39 Where did you get them, and what did they cost?
– $30/sensor + $13/yr
La Crosse Technology
7:48 Precision isn’t always needed!
8:42 Works for both greenhouses and coolers!
10:27 What happens when they fail to read? They send you a text message alert!

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The Jang JP5 Seeder: EP08

The Ag Engineering podcast is a conversation with small scale fruit and vegetable farmers to discuss tools, tips or techniques to improve the sustainability of your farm. In this episode we visit with Evan Perkins and Heidi Choate of Small Axe Farm (https://smallaxefarm.com/) to talk about the Jang 5 row seeder.

Show Notes

1:52 What are the benefits of the JP5?
3:38 Reasons to upgrade into one
5:57 Potential improvements
7:29 Cost of the seeder
7:56 Savings & payoff time
11:26 Crops in addition to greens
13:20 How easy is it to use?
14:10 Considerations before purchase

Purchase Location: Paperpot Co

The JP5 Seeder

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