Aslan Organics: Charting the course for a successful farming career

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.
Aslan Organics
Owner/Manager Name: Shane and Emma Rozeveld
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia

Farm profile:
  • Two acre market garden
  • Managing 40 crops, specializing in greens mixes
  • BCARA Certified Organic
  • Growing for farmers markets and restaurants
  • 3 year goal: expand into markets; increase restaurant accounts; add on-farm store
Tend Feature highlights:
  • Field Mapping
  • Crop Planner
  • Records
  • Tasks
  • Tend Mobile App

Shane and Emma Rozeveld put Tend to work organizing their market garden’s growth.

Shane and Emma Rozeveld have been immersed in farming and gardening their entire lives. Their passion for growing food for their family gradually transformed into a dream of a life on the land, and when they discovered the market gardening model, that dream suddenly seemed within reach. Shane started working for an organic farmer to learn more about the industry and local markets. After that first season in the fields, he was committed to a career in farming.

When Emma and Shane started Aslan Organics, they took the transition to professional production seriously. The commitment has paid off — in two short seasons, Aslan Organics doubled in both acreage and revenues, but navigating their way to success required overcoming several challenges. Entering their second season, Shane was looking to grow the business while reducing disorder: “Farming is an art. There’s a lot of making it up as you go...Tend was a game changer for us. It incorporated a lot of organization into our farm that I’m deeply grateful for.”

“Tend was a game changer for us. It incorporated a lot of organization into our farm that I’m deeply grateful for.”

Tend provides clarity and structure for achieving ambitious goals
In the early days, Shane wrestled with the ever-shifting practicalities of executing his production plan: “Our first year, we just created general goals without really any plan for how to achieve them. I would say I need four trays of broccoli heads, but I didn’t know where they were going.”
Tend was Shane and Emma’s springboard for organizing their planning systems. Their first step was accurately mapping their fields in Tend: “Then we had concrete evidence for what was available in the fields, and we were able to set up our permanent beds. Tend set in stone the bed structure that would become our fields for the growing season.”
With their precise field measurements, Shane created clear, accurate goals for the coming season in Tend’s Crop Planner, instantly generating the production plan for achieving those goals: “The thing I love about Tend is that it calculates all these things for you. If you put your spacings in, it calculates that you need twelve trays of Salanova for your next round of lettuce because you planned four beds...I determine what I want, and built into Tend already are the greenhouse sowing dates, field transplanting dates, and harvest dates...Tend created the structure of planting and kept us on schedule.”

“I’m better at recognizing what needs to be done in real time — in part because I don’t need to think about the planned things that Tend provides.”
Tend focuses fieldwork and organizes organic certification
As a manager, Shane keeps fieldwork on schedule by empowering his crew with Tend’s auto-generated planting and sowing Task Lists: “In the morning, before I go to the field to work with the crew, I just hit print. Then I hand them a task list that says start these trays. I can just give it to them, and embedded in those lists are specifics. That focused our staff a ton. It really streamlined everything.”
To keep the momentum going, Shane creates notes and records in the field with Tend’s mobile app, reducing the administrative burden of organic certification: “Record keeping is a huge aspect of being certified organic...It’s really nice to be able to add an input and attach it to a specific location, knowing that data always exists. You can come back to see that in this exact field and bed, this exact amendment was made on this exact date. That type of information is invaluable.”
For a more complete picture of field operations, Shane plans to systemize record keeping by adding crew members to his Tend account: “The training will be that once you’re done with the task, add it to Tend, so we’re making records of what’s taken place, [particularly] required records. We should be putting every single input into Tend for all time.”
With organized systems in place, Shane has more time and flexibility to manage unexpected challenges as they arise: “I tend to be an in-the-moment, flexible worker and thinker...I’m better at recognizing what needs to be done in real time — in part because I don’t need to think about the planned things that Tend provides.”

“Tend is a thorough program; We’ll never not use it now.”
Cultivating a farming career with Tend
Shane continuously hones his craft and applies himself to the art of farming. He sees Tend as a valuable tool for farmers on the journey for constant improvement and long-term success: “If you want to improve your farming, or if you’re suddenly met with something that’s not working, you can always go back into the data...Knowing that capacity is there is huge.” With Tend in his toolbox, he’s charting a course for a successful career in farming as Aslan Organics continues to grow: “Tend is a thorough program. We’ll never not use it now.”
Article by Julia Grigg


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