GFP005: Zoe Bradbury of Valley Flora Farm, Marketing Yourself and Overcoming Financial Obstacles When Farming

Show Summary:

There are constant hurdles to overcome when you are growing your farm. Whether you are just starting out, or you have been farming for a while, there is always some sort of issue. The best thing you can do for yourself and your business is to stay positive, work things through, adapt, act, and survive. This farm podcast episode travels to Oregon to speak with a farmer about some of those obstacles and the clever ways she has found to overcome them.

Things are progressing nicely for me on the farm front. I share my update on the search for farm land, my big projects to tackle, and my outlook on the future. No farm experience is going to be the same for any two people. There are too many factors when it comes to putting together a farm business. My hope is that you can glean some helpful information from my experiences and those of the guests on the show.

In this farm podcast you will learn about:

  • Quickbooks as a tool for managing several farm enterprises.
  • The benefit of using draft horses.
  • Stream-lining work to maximize efficiency.
  • Financial obstacles when starting or growing your farm.

Interview with Zoe Bradbury of Valley Flora Farm:

Valley Flora is nestled on the banks of Floras Creek near Langlois, Oregon. They are a diversified family farm producing over 100 varieties of vegetables, berries and fruit for local restaurants, grocery stores, foodbanks, our farmstand & u-pick, and a community-supported agriculture program.

As a mother-and-two-daughter trio deeply committed to ecological farming practices, their passion is growing good food with an eye toward the artful. Their love of land, place, fertile loam, and the next generation inspires them to use cover crops, compost and crop rotations instead of synthetic fertilizers and sprays, and to do most of their work by hand - with the occasional help of a couple of tractors and a draft horse.

They adhere to all organic practices, principles and regulations, but are not third-party certified organic. Whether you're biting into a crimson strawberry, savoring a vine ripe tomato, or heaping your plate high with Abby's Greens, you'll know you're getting the freshest local produce a person can find in this neck of the woods. They love what they do so much, you can taste it.

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Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

Chocolate Beet Cake Recipe

2 c sugar 2 c flour 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 c oil 4 eggs 3 c shredded beets 5 oz unsweeted chocolate

  • Oven to 325
  • Mix together dry
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler, then cool
  • Blend chocolate with eggs and oil
  • Mix wet with dry, alternating in the beets
  • Pour batter into 9 inch cake pans (2 pans, greased)
  • Bake 40-50 minutes
  • The cake is great with a coffee cream cheese frosting: 8 oz. cream cheese mixed with 3 Tbs. brewed coffee and sugar to taste, blended in a food processor.

Take Aways:

What are some obstacles that you are facing? What can you do to overcome them?

Are you selling your story? Do your customers know who they are buying their produce or meat from?

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My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a rating in iTunes if you liked the show.