Microgreen Farming for Profit: A Complete Guide for Small Farmers

Tend - Mar 04, 2024

Microgreens have emerged as a profitable niche for small farmers, offering an array of benefits, from high yields in small spaces to rapid growth and diverse market opportunities. This comprehensive guide explores how integrating microgreens into your farm operation can boost profits. We'll delve into the advantages of microgreens, the thriving market, growing techniques, diverse varieties, and essential considerations for successful cultivation.
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Why Green Lacewings Are Essential for Eco-Friendly Pest Control on Your Farm

Tend - Mar 03, 2024

Are lacewings beneficial? The answer is a resounding yes! We’re always looking for alternatives to pesticides, and beneficial insects are a great option to manage insects that want to feast on your hard work. Green lacewings are essential players in integrated pest management (IPM) systems, offering effective pest control without harming other beneficial insects or the environment. These insects are not just beautiful with their delicate, lacy wings; they are also formidable predators. During their larval stage, they are voracious feeders, preying on a vast array of garden pests.
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To Till or Not to Till? How to Prepare a Field for Planting

Tend - Mar 01, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of farming, the conversation surrounding how to plow a field and the choice between tilling a field and adopting no-till practices is central to discussions among farmers and soil experts. This detailed guide explores the intricacies of both tilling the field and opting for no-till methods, shedding light on their effects on soil health, moisture retention, and the sustainability of farming operations.
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10 of the Most Profitable Small Farm Crops to Add to Your Crop Plan

Tend - Feb 28, 2024

As you gear up for the upcoming planting season, consider enhancing your crop plan with some of the most profitable small farm crops. We've researched some less common but highly lucrative crops to elevate your sales. Diversifying your offerings with small farm cash crops not only broadens your market but also provides your customers with unique varieties they can't find elsewhere.
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7 Ways an Agriculture Cooperative Can Enhance Financial Stability for Small Farms

Tend - Feb 13, 2024

For small farms aiming to mitigate expenses while maximizing returns, joining an agriculture cooperative represents a strategic approach to achieve financial resilience. Here's how engaging with an agricultural cooperative can significantly diminish your operational costs and lead to a more economically sustainable future.
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How to Boost Your Online Farm Sales with Effective Agriculture Marketing

Tend - Feb 04, 2024

In today's digital age, effective agriculture marketing is crucial to expand your customer base and increase sales. Leveraging online platforms, like a website and social media presence, offers opportunities for farmers to showcase products, reach a broader audience, and drive sales. Let's explore actionable strategies to enhance online visibility and sell more effectively.
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Why Your Farm Should Use Regionally Adapted Seeds

Tend - Oct 26, 2023

Let's explore regionally adapted seeds

In farming, choosing the right seeds to plant is critical to your success. From shade tolerance to frost sensitivity to drought resistance, there are seemingly endless qualities that might determine if your crops will succeed, do just fine, or flat-out fail.
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Unraveling the Potential of Soil Microbiota in Agriculture

As the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, the demand for food and water will inevitably rise, necessitating an increase in food production. The extensive use of mineral fertilizers, agrochemicals, and water in intensive farming practices has resulted in land degradation, environmental pollution, and the exhaustion of natural resources. To address these challenges, sustainable agricultural practices focused on minimizing environmental impact and reducing the residual effects of chemicals in the food chain are essential. One promising approach is leveraging the potential of soil microbiota in agriculture to create a more sustainable and healthy food system.
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The Flower Farmer’s Guide to Increasing 2024 Mother’s Day Sales

The Flower Farmer’s Roadmap to a Profitable 2024 Mother’s Day

Mother's Day is a big deal in the floral industry, with flower sales climbing higher and higher every year. In Canada, tens of millions of dollars are spent on cut flowers for Mother’s Day, and in the United States, it’s estimated that moms receive more than $2.6 billion in flowers each year. With such high demand for farm fresh flowers, small-scale and local flower farms have a unique opportunity to make a huge profit during this holiday.

If you felt unprepared for the 2023 Mother's Day flower season, don't worry - you're not alone. The good news is that you have an entire year to plan and prep for next Mother's Day, and this spring is actually the perfect time to start!
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Tend Unveils 2.0 Upgrade, Revolutionizing Smart Farm Management


Soquel, CA 5/11/2023 — Tend, a leader in farm management software, announced today the upcoming release of Tend 2.0, a groundbreaking upgrade to its comprehensive farm management platform.

Set to launch this fall, Tend 2.0 will transform farm management with an array of improvements and enhancements that offer users greater flexibility, functionality, and a more intuitive interface. The new version has been meticulously developed by a passionate team of organic and regenerative farmers and technology experts over the past two years, integrating valuable feedback from existing users.
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Food as Medicine: How this Physician Uses Regenerative Ag to Treat Chronic Illness

Dr. Ron Weiss is not your average primary care physician. He serves as the Executive Director of Ethos Primary Care and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Rutgers University. Dr. Weiss is also a botanist and a farmer who believes in using food as medicine, allowing him to bring a unique perspective to the field of healthcare.
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Three Women-Led Farms Making a Big Impact

From the earliest days of agriculture, women have made significant contributions to its success, from saving seeds and tending crops to managing livestock and processing food.

In 2022, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan measure to designate March 24th as a day to honor “the countless women who help agriculture prosper both at home and abroad.” So on this first official National Women in Agriculture Day, we’re sharing the stories of three women-led farms whose commitment to resilient agriculture inspires us to no end.
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Deep Root Farm: Cutting through the chaos with Tend

Julia Grigg - Dec 3, 2019

Eric built Deep Root Farm from the ground up over one hectic winter, turning to Tend for nuanced, efficient crop planning that launched him into a successful first season. As his business grows, Eric uses Tend as a long-term tool to optimize his production systems for lasting success.
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Aslan Organics: Charting the course for a successful farming career


Julia Grigg - Dec 3, 2019

Shane and Emma took their transformation from avid hobby gardeners to professional market farmers seriously. They use Tend to help them set ambitious goals, create organized production plans, and streamline management for a thriving family business.
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Tend Blog Staff - May 8, 2019

Last year marked the beginning of our "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food that small organic farms are producing across North America. We took a few months off this winter, but we’re back with May’s featured farm: Paradise Valley Produce run by Rachael and Dane Sherstad. Check back in May for a new farm featured every month! To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Dec 12, 2018

January 2018 marked the beginning of our "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food that small organic farms are producing across the country. December’s featured farm is Happy Acre Farm in Sunol, California owned by Helena and Matthew Sylvester. Check back in 2019 for new farms featured every month. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Oct 23, 2018

This year marked the beginning of our "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food that small organic farms are producing across the country. October’s featured farm is Tallowah Farm in Campti, LA run by 2 full-time volunteers. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Sep 19, 2018

This year marked the beginning of our "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food that small organic farms are producing across the country. September’s featured farm is Radix Farm in Malaga, WA run by Deb Stansbery. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Aug 15, 2018

This year marked the beginning of our "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food that small organic farms are producing across the country. August’s farm is 24 Carrot Farm in Placerville, CA run by Ben Hansen. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Jul 17, 2018

This year marked the beginning of our new "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food that small organic farms are producing across the country. July’s farm is Squash Blossom Farm run by Sara Berman and Ed Zinader in Bellevue, Idaho. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Jun 14, 2018

This year marked the beginning of our new "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food that small organic farms are producing across the country. June’s farm is Fulfill’s Community Garden in Neptune, NJ. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - May 02, 2018

This year marked the beginning of our new "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food  that small organic farms are producing. April’s Farm of the Month is PrairiErth Farm in Atlanta, IL. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Mar 28, 2018

January marked the beginning of our new "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food  that small organic farms are producing. March's farm is Naturally Sunkissed Farm in Bishopville, Maryland. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Tend Blog Staff - Feb 28, 2018

January marked the beginning of our new "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food  that small organic farms are producing. February's farm is Field to Fork Farm in Palisade, Colorado. Check back each month for new features. To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Jane Kuhn - Feb 07, 2018

The decisions made inside the White House, State Capitols and even County Offices have tremendous impact on how we farm. Ecological incentives, resources, minimum wage requirements, and market prices are just a few of the countless facets our government influences agricultural.

Legislature can offer protection and support, but it can also overlook realities felt by the farmer, particularly that of the smaller, ecological grower. This is precisely why it’s important for farmers to voice their experiences and needs.

I spoke with Paul Towers, Organizing Director & Policy Advocate at Pesticide Action Network for advice on how farmers can let their voice be heard. He outlines that each type of legislation has different processes, “as you move up in government, they become increasingly more inaccessible.”

The takeaway is that you’re more likely to influence change on the state level. There’s a reason “all politics is local” is a popular catchphrase at all levels of government.
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Tend Blog Staff - Jan 31, 2018

This month marks the beginning of our new "Farm of the Month" series on the Tend Blog, where we highlight the amazing work and delicious produce and food  that small organic farms are producing. Check back each month for a new farm feature! To be considered for our series, please email [email protected].
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Jane Kuhn - Jan 23, 2018

In need of inspiration? New ideas? Or the opportunity to learn about some of the latest trends in the farm business?2018 is full of diverse small-farm conferences happening all over the country.
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Post-Harvest Handling Basics

blog post harvest handling basics

Lisa Munniksma - Jan 05, 2018

The most beautiful, deep-green, aphid-free kale can make your heart sing while harvesting it in the field and just as quickly make your heart break as you unpack wilty, rubbery bunches onto your farmers market table. Produce goes through a bit of shock in its transition from field to market, and proper post-harvest handling can either ease or worsen that shock. If building a $20,000 packing shed isn't in your immediate farm plans, here are the basics of all you really need to move produce from your field to your customer in good condition.
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Lydia Noyes - Dec 14, 2017

Last week on the Tend blog, writer Lydia Noyes began her analysis of the profit potential of biodynamic farming. This week in part 2 of her feature, she goes a bit further and speaks with farms themselves to get their perspective on the business aspect of this growing movement.

After reaching out to biodynamic farms across America for input for this article, we chose a few to highlight to provide a closer look at the financial reality of biodynamic farming today.

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Lydia Noyes - Dec 07, 2017

Sustainable farming techniques have never been more popular, but understanding what differentiates each one is difficult. For someone looking to join the agricultural industry, is it better to pursue organic compliance, follow the permaculture route, or commit to Demeter-certified biodynamics?
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Lisa Munniksma - Nov 29, 2017

Winter doesn't need to mean the end of farm income. There are plenty of towns with winter farmers markets—and if yours doesn't have one, it might be time to start one.

You may know the farmers-market drill by now, and a farmers market in the off-season isn't much different. There are extra perks to vending at a winter farmers market, like camaraderie among vendors, time spent getting to know your customers without the bustle of the busy season, and a good reason to get off the farm and come into town when the weather is dreary. On the other hand, attracting and retaining customers when their thoughts turn from the lure of local tomatoes to the stress of holiday shopping becomes more of a challenge.
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Sally Neas - Sep 17, 2017

In our previous post, we talked about many of the benefits of email marketing. At this point, you probably know that email marketing is a powerful tool. But, we need to look no further than an inbox full of unopened emails to know that you can’t just send any email and expect the customers to come rolling in. This article will cover tips about how to effectively leverage your email marketing.
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Patrick Dunn - Sep 05, 2017

In today’s ever expanding organic market, the importance of optimizing your farm's production and marketability is extremely important. Keeping up with new trends and studying up on new research can be discouraging and exhausting. But with a little curiosity and good ole fashioned science experiments, farmers can stay well ahead of the pack in markets while giving farms added stability and improving profitability. Through on farm variety trials, organic producers: increase and optimize for yields; identify climate adapted varieties; increase marketability; manage risks of pest and environmental factors; identify organic seed sources required by the National Organic Program (NOP) and most importantly increase security for individual farms as well as the greater sustainable agriculture community.

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Jane Kuhn - Aug 13, 2017

Located less than four gently winding miles East of the Pacific Ocean in Pescadero, CA, Root Down Farm (RDF) raises chickens, turkeys, ducks, and pigs in rotational pastures. Dede Boies, the farmer extraordinaire at RDF has taken the business into its third year of production and spoke with me to discuss why farming livestock is so enticing and the challenges that accompany it.
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Lauren Kaplan - Jul 31, 2017

In a previous post we took a closer look at lady beetles and all of the services they have to offer. Like lady beetles, common or green lacewings are highly beneficial in organic farming systems, and are present in nearly all crop-producing regions of North America. With an insatiable appetite for soft-bodied insects from aphids to whiteflies and a massive set of mandibles, lacewing larvae have earned the name “aphid lions” or “aphid wolves”. Adults can serve as pollinators.
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Jane Kuhn - Jul 17, 2017

Most farmers know that soil sampling is an imperative practice in organic farm management and soil stewardship. But sometimes it can seem like the reports are speaking a different language. Most of the labs generating reports are operating from the school of thought that caters to conventional, big scale, agriculture. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless. Here’s a few suggestions for approaching soil testing with organic practices in mind.
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Lauren Kaplan - Jul 05, 2017

No need to run for cover—unless you’re a cabbage worm. These are not your garden variety wasps! These wasps are mostly stingless, at least to humans. What looks like a stinger is really an ovipositor, used to deposit their eggs into or on top of crop pests, which they use as hosts.

Because of their small size, these beneficial insects often fly under the radar, and outside the notice of many farmers… but they are worth looking out for, as they are capable of performing significant ecosystem services, especially in organic farming systems.
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Lauren Kaplan - Jun 19, 2017

Farms are crawling with bugs - especially those practicing organic farming methods. Pests may be the first bugs that come to mind, but many of these are beneficial insects, providing important services from pollination to pest control.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at one of the most familiar and classic of all beneficials: the lady beetle. 
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Lauren Kaplan - Jun 05, 2017

In the last post, we looked at legumes and how their ability to fix nitrogen makes them vital to most cover cropping systems. In the quest for sufficient nitrogen, grasses and cereals play a different, but similarly vital, role. Here we will look at a few of the most broadly regionally-appropriate grasses, whose popularity (see Chart 1) is an indicator of their many strengths.

Grasses are well known for being excellent nitrogen scavengers, capturing residual nitrogen after harvest. Left in the soil, this nitrogen is fairly mobile and liable to be lost to leaching or denitrification during wet winters. (Read more about N cycling in agricultural systems at the Universities of Minnesota and Delaware extensions.) As adept nitrogen fixers, most legumes do not need to be much good at scavenging nitrogen. Grasses, on the other hand, can scavenge and hold residual nitrogen like champs.
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Jane Kuhn - May 22, 2017

The previous post began outlining initial steps for implementing an orchard starting with assessing your skills as a grower and getting acquainted with what qualities to look for when selecting a site. With these basics squared away, next steps are to make decisions around design, sourcing, and scale.

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Jane Kuhn - May 08, 2017

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago...the second best time is now” - Chinese proverb

Well, sort of. Perhaps the more responsible answer would be that the second best time to plant a tree is after you’ve conducted a soil test, planted cover crop, and memorized your region’s heat index. Amidst the excitement of future pies, jams, and ciders, starting an orchard implores careful investments and planning. But, the lure of fruit’s high dollar value, the diversification of adding perennials to your system, and simply the joy of growing crops that satisfy your sweet tooth, are reason enough to pursue orcharding.

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Jane Kuhn - Apr 24, 2017

The familiar little green and white circle sporting the “USDA Certified Organic” label is popping up with increasing frequency, peppering the grocery aisles and being waved like a flag at farmer’s markets across the country. With the number of organic suppliers expanding rapidly, taking the steps to get your farm certified organic is a smart, if not necessary, business move. Since the National Organic Program’s launch in 2002, the organic movement has been well underway, and yet the process of getting certified can seem like a headache. Between the 80 organic certification agencies to choose from, and the paperwork, records, historical reports, and receipts that all need to be collected and synthesized from the past year, or three….the details can feel overwhelming.

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Jane Kuhn - Apr 10, 2017

If you’re continuing to expand a hand-cultivated production system, sooner or later, you may find your production size has reached the “awkward stage.” The awkward stage is that blurry boundary where the cultivated ground is too much to keep up with by hand, but perhaps not quite big enough to justify the investment in a tractor. If you’re at the micro-production scale and are looking to improve efficiency, you might be a solid candidate for a two-wheeled, walk-behind tractor. Walk-behinds are typically selected by farmers who plant densely, have odd shaped fields (often due to maximizing limited space), or are concerned about compaction in high clay content soils. There are several walk-behind tractors on the market; BCS is a popular brand offering lots of options and serves as a good measure for assessing the potential costs and benefits of acquiring this type of tool.

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Jane Kuhn - Mar 27, 2017

Gearing up to make your first tractor purchase can be dizzying among the endless options, pairings, and add-ons to choose from, and determining what you need is highly dependent on farm systems and production goals. During a visit to my local Kubota dealer, C & N Tractors, in Watsonville, I got some advice from their sales manager, John Cooper. We discussed some of the different options on the market and how to start narrowing down your choices.

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Lauren Kaplan - Mar 13, 2017

Legumes, grasses, and cereals make up the majority of commonly-used cover crop species - but there are a few other non-legumes that have value in their niche strengths, particularly in diversified and small-scale farming. This post will take a look at a few crops that are champions when it comes to scavenging phosphorous, attracting beneficial insects, and serving as powerful biodrills and potent biofumigants.

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Jane Kuhn - Feb 27, 2017

For a special occasion, a special someone, or simply just “because,” flowers are a luxurious staple in our traditions of gift giving and nesting. Although not the center of attention amidst the local food movement, the toxic cut flower industry is getting more press and conjuring a rising interest in “local” and “organic” bouquets. If done right, flowers can be as lucrative as berries and tree fruit in compliment to a diversified crop production. From Oregon, to Indiana, to North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, Flower CSAs are popping up as both independent enterprises and as complements to existing production farms. To learn about growing & marketing flowers in a CSA model, I spoke with Molly Bullock, the Cut Flower Program Manager at Red Fire Farm in western Massachusetts. Red Fire has over 100 acres in diversified produce production, and runs an established flower CSA off of 1.5 of those acres. This supports a 150 member flower share with additional bouquets going to farmer's markets, the farm stand, and appearing on their wholesale availability list weekly.
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Lauren Kaplan - Feb 13, 2017

Yes, fun. I happen to really enjoy this part of selling produce, almost as much as I enjoy converting anyone in earshot to share my love of broccoli leaves. (Seriously: it’s going to be big.)

If you’re thinking I’m nuts, that promotion is pretty low on your list of preferred activities, and that you don’t really want to spend any more time on promotion than you need to… then good. This means that, unlike me, you won’t need to remind yourself that the goal, ideally, is to use minimal effort to attain maximum enrollment, thus freeing up more of your time for all those other items on your to-do list.
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Lauren Kaplan - Jan 30, 2017

When marketing your CSA, there are two main places that come to mind: the places where you will promote or advertise your CSA, and those where members receive their shares.

Let’s start with places where you will promote and advertise for your CSA.
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Lauren Kaplan - Jan 15, 2017

When pricing your community supported agriculture shares, where do you begin?

Having never started my own CSA, this seemed like an overwhelmingly complex question -- one I had long been curious about. Do you determine the retail value of the share by researching area prices for the crops you will grow? Do you start with your overall cost of production, look at how much you need (or want) to make, and work backwards? Or is there some other perfect formula for profitable farming that magically reveals itself to you when you become a CSA farmer? After a bit of this kind of pondering, I decided to reach out to my extended ag community to gather information.
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Lauren Kaplan - Jan 03, 2017

I like to think of CSA marketing as a sort of matchmaking process. (Just go with it for a moment.)

So you know this sweet bunch of vegetables, and you want to set them up with this totally great community you happen to know. They’re perfect for each other! To make the match, you’ll want to extol the virtues of your vegetables, of course… but in a way that speaks specifically to your community.

What I mean is that the first step in marketing your CSA is aligning what you have (your product) with what your customers want. To do that, consider the following three questions:
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Jane Kuhn - Dec 19, 2016

As the bumper sticker reads "compost happens." It sure does! The magical microbial breakdown process will happen regardless of particle size, moisture content, greens and browns ratio, number of turns, or temperature reads. And while a thoughtful recipe and diligent execution will make beautiful and speedy compost, such meticulous monitoring often requires far too much labor for the small-scale production farmer.  Food waste inevitably accumulates and the common kludge approach of stashing it in an unmonitored, far removed corner of the property will result in a sloppy anaerobic mess...not to mention make for a very welcoming rodent habitat. There are a variety of compost turning implements on the market, but starting costs often begin at $30,000. So what do you do if you’re farming at production scale but don’t have the implement for making your own compost?

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Jane Kuhn - Dec 05, 2016

In need of a new irrigation system? Looking to install a windrow of native plants? Hoping to build new high tunnels? Whether you’re starting a farm or looking to upgrade an existing production, the NRCS may be able to help! The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has several financial assistance programs designed to support farmers in accomplishing projects that will improve and protect the land, water, and surrounding habitat. Offering grants and technical assistance, the NRCS has regional and national offices that are here to support such efforts. The application process can feel daunting, so I interviewed Cindy Askew, a District Conservationist at the NRCS based out of LaFayette, Georgia, to see what insight she might be able to offer farmers embarking on the quest for financial assistance.
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Jane Kuhn - Nov 20, 2016

With thousands of connections made between small farms and eager visitors in the US and around the world, WWOOF is an incredible resource that should not go untapped. A sliding scale membership fee of $5-50 opens the door to thousands of enthusiastic visitors (WWOOFers) in search of their next farming adventure, ready to exchange a half day's work for room and board. Selecting your next WWOOFer can be a bit overwhelming, and finding the right match is crucial for a successful experience.
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Lauren Kaplan - Nov 06, 2016

For farmers that follow sustainable and organic farming methods, cover cropping is a common practice, with many great ecological benefits. Cover crops can literally cover the soil, serving as a mulch whether living or dead. They can also be incorporated into the soil as either a nitrogenous “green” manure, or as more mature, carbonaceous addition. Including cover crops in your rotation will improve soil fertility and tilth by adding organic matter (which also increases the water-holding capacity of your soil), breaking up clods, and fracturing compaction from tillage. Cover crops prevent erosion, suppress weeds, and provide habitat for beneficial insects, and allow you to fix (or add) nitrogen and mine or scavenge nutrients for your next cash crop. 
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Jane Kuhn - Oct 23, 2016

Unexpected blow outs in irrigation pipes and malfunctioning sprinklers are inevitable events that contribute to inconsistent water output. But, even when a system appears to be running smoothly, upon a closer look,  you may be surprised by the inconsistencies. Variable irrigations build upon themselves application after application- salts can accumulate, nitrogen can leach, and crops suffer. Running a simple distribution uniformity (DU) test can reveal how evenly water is actually being applied, enabling you to weigh the need for making improvements while also informing proper irrigation sets. Because uniformity has significant impact on yield and water usage, running the occasional DU test on drip and overhead systems is well worth the time.
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Jane Kuhn - Oct 10, 2016

The number of breweries in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2011, now approaching a count of 4,300, according to the Brewer’s Association. The craft beer business is booming; seasonal batches and unique ferments from local ingredients are filling the kegs of hip bars in every city. There’s no doubt beer is a product consumers are excited about, and hops are a key ingredient. Integrating hops into your crop plan is a significant commitment, but it’s worth entertaining; here are a few key considerations to get the juices flowing.
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Patrick Dunn - Sep 26, 2016

Social. Media. You can’t go one day without hearing those two words. They are everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, MySpace, and YouTube … the list goes on and on. Our lives are beginning to revolve around social media, whether we like it or not. For farmers, utilizing these incredible tools for marketing and raising awareness can either be a dream come true or a technological nightmare. In this article I hope to demystify social media and give tips on the best ways to use specific social networks to market, promote and raise awareness of your farm and organic agriculture as a whole.
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Jane Kuhn - Sep 12, 2016

In the current climate of convenience, retaining your community supported agriculture (CSA) members - the ones who leap into shared seasonal risks with you - can be a challenging feat. Whether you connect with your community of CSA members in person at the on-farm pickup, or simply via the weekly e-newsletter, surveying your members provides insight as to how the CSA is being received. An end-of-season survey is a great way to learn more; the trick is designing it to be effective, so that it doesn't take up too much time and provides relevant results.

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Jane Kuhn - Aug 29, 2016

The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) strives to support the “hardworking farmer veterans who have chosen to serve their nation twice – once by defending it and once by feeding it.” The idea for the Coalition germinated out of a gathering convened by Michael O’Gorman, previously of Jacob’s Farm/Del Cabo, in 2007.
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Sally Neas - Aug 14, 2016

It’s no secret that when starting an organic farm, there is plenty to consider: soil building, crop planning, infrastructure, just to name a few. While these are obvious and necessary, it’s also important to considering developing a brand for your organic farm. One important aspect of branding is creating a farm logo.
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Sally Neas - Jul 31, 2016

Odds are pretty good that you got into farming because you love the feeling of dirt under your fingernails and sun on your face more than the glow of a computer screen.  And yet, even the most technophobic of us know that the digital world offers powerful tools for sustainable farms, especially when it comes to marketing.
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Patrick Dunn - Jul 18, 2016

Proper greenhouse management is extremely important for the efficiency and health of a farm. It may seem simple — put a seed in a tray with soil, add water, and voila, there are young plants to transplant into the field. In theory, yes, that’s all there is to it. But optimal air temperature and water delivery are crucial for the development of seedlings. Also, hidden in the air all around us, in the water coming out of a hose, and in the ground inside a greenhouse, there are many mysterious little life forms ready to wreak havoc on young plants. The three most important greenhouse management practices are optimal temperature control, consistent air circulation and proper moisture delivery. 
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Patrick Dunn - Jul 05, 2016

Tomatoes are by far one of the most prized and valued vegetable crops on the market these days. The mere number of varieties, types and growth techniques are head spinning. From heirloom to hybrid, beefsteak to paste, hot-house to dry-farmed, and the ever more popular grafted tomatoes, it’s hard to keep up with what’s what these days. This is the first in a series of articles that will try to alleviate the ails of understanding tomato culture and describe the most popular growth techniques as well as get to the bottom of what all the hype is about.
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Patrick Dunn - Jun 20, 2016

Here we will discuss three main types of CSA models that have been successful all over the country: “Boxed” Subscription Style, On-Farm “Market” Style and Farmers Market “Bucks” Style. All three have strong pros but also may not be the best fit for every farm. With a little bit of forethought you can save yourself money and headaches by choosing the best fit for you. 
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Lauren Kaplan - Jun 06, 2016

In our last post, we explored the first steps in planning a class, from defining your target audience and setting objectives to thinking logistically about space and resources. If you’ve got a plan and are ready to move forward, here are some ideas for marketing your class, getting other folks involved -- and planning ahead for the next one. 
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Lauren Kaplan - May 21, 2016

With the public interest in farming growing faster than a zucchini in July, now is a great time to think about offering a class on your farm. Workshops and classes are a fun way to connect with new and existing customers, sharpen your skills, increase revenue, and build relationships. 
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Jane Kuhn - May 08, 2016

A thriving population of parasitic wasps, beetles, and other beneficial insects are the lifeblood of biological control systems on any organic farm. Providing an adequate food source for these “beneficials” ensures their presence in your fields and increases their egg laying abilities. Perennial hedgerows hold a valuable place in any farmscape for inviting these populations, but they do require a bit of an investment - long term planning, purchasing plant starts, and time to install. In addition to perennial hedgerows, you can recruit beneficial insects to the farm with annual insectary rows that require minimal time commitment and are cost effective.
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Jane Kuhn - Apr 24, 2016

The vital role honey bees play in the pollination enterprise is certainly no secret; honey bees are among the highest valued pollinators in agriculture, and as evident in the last several years, are dying and disappearing at an astronomical rate due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). According to the USDA, 42% of all honeybee colonies were lost in 2014 - the second highest rate on record. Given that over a third of all global crops are dependant on pollinators (not to mention an even larger percentage of crops that are enhanced by bee activity), entomologists are already on the lookout for alternative pollinators.
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David Howe - Apr 08, 2016

Tend began when our Founder and CEO, Avi Benaroya, began growing food for his family on his property in Northern California. After searching for software to help manage a diversified farm and having little luck, an idea was born: a mobile and web app to help diversified farmers manage their crops and sell more produce. It’s been a productive journey since then, and today we’re excited to take one more step toward our mission of enabling quality food systems: the launch of our blog!
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