GFP043: What to do before you start planting

"Anybody can grow stuff. It is selling that is the skill." I love that quote from my guest on the Growing Farms Podcast today. George does a great job at cutting to the chase. If you want to make a living farming you have to sell what the customers want and you have to stay on your toes. Selling is one of the more difficult things we have to do as farmers, in my opinion. I have a passion for making my farm viable so that I can stay here for the rest of my life. That being said, I wish I could do everything in barter and not have to have any money exchanges. But alas, that is not how my world works, so I add salesman to the long list of hats I wear on farm.

With selling my farm products a necessity it also has to be a priority. As much as the chickens have to get fed and the plants need water your business needs money coming in to thrive. How do we do that though?

There are a hundred different answers to that question. Do I sell at a farmers' market? Do I start a CSA? Do I sell everything to restaurants? The answer to those questions lies in careful planning and good market research. Then once you know where you are going to sell it you need to know how to sell those CSA shares, set up for a farmers' market, or develop relationships with Chefs in your area.

Lucky enough for you I am doing all three this year! I have my CSA pick-up at a farmers' market and I am selling to restaurants in my area. I will be sharing what I am doing, what works, and what doesn't as I go throughout the year so that you can build your farm business with me.

Right click here to download the MP3

In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • Cash cropping grain on 44 acres
  • How to make the best of grains that don't pass for human consumption
  • How to set prices for your goods
  • Reverse engineering grocery store prices
  • Where to find farm equipment
  • The effectiveness of recipes at the market

Interview with George Wright of Castor River Farm:

George and his family farm 44 acres  20 minutes from downtown Ottawa, Canada. He was a great guest to have on the show as he is growing and selling grain off of those 44 acres.

George set out to meet a need in the market, keep it fair to the customer, fair to himself, and fair to his farm. Through business savvy, good insight, and proper planning George enjoys tending to the long lines at his table at the farmers' market.

Castor River Farm concentrates on growing grains but also produces, eggs, chicken, pork, and beef. As I think about my grain bills I am a little jealous of George being able to grow it himself for his animals.


Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

Sell out my CSA in 100 Days:

I love sharing what I am trying so that others can learn, and so I can get feedback. Starting March 13th I will be posting 1 video per day on my YouTube channel detailing what I am doing to sell out my CSA shares for my chicken CSA.

I will simultaneously be selling at a farmers' market and a few other avenues, but the videos will concentrate on the CSA. You can follow along on YouTube or Facebook for daily updates. I will also post a weekly digest of the videos here on

Take aways:

Are you growing what you want or what the customer wants?

How can you better serve your customers, and thus better serve yourself?


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 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.