Tagged "FarmingHowTo"

Farm Flows - Leveraging Your Fixed Costs

I think a lot about how we’ll manage the cash flows at Little Seed during the first few years of operation. It’s an extremely important topic because it can literally make or break your business... no matter how well you appear to be doing. Fast growing, seemingly profitable companies go under all the time and the culprit is typically poor cash flow management. One way to prepare for (and hopefully avoid) that unfortunate circumstance is to understand your fixed and variable costs. In this post I’ll cover what that means and how it can impact your business and in a later post I’ll expand into how it applies to various circumstances (debt load, working capital needs, etc).
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Farm Hopping: Milking and Cheesemaking at Sprout Creek Farm

In the latest installment of Farm Hopping, Scrapple and Sweetbreads go to Sprout Creek Farm! Twice!

Sprout Creek Farm - Photo by Sprout Creek's Georgie Blaeser Sprout Creek Farm is a highly diversified farm with farm enterprises including dairy cows, sheep, pigs, meat & laying chickens, turkeys, an on-farm retail market and more. The farm is structured as a non-profit and is operated by the Society of the Sacred Heart. Sprout is most well-known for its cheese and youth summer camp. The farm produces 15 varieties of cheese from approximately 400,000 pounds of milk from herds of ~40 cows and ~65 goats. As if Sprout’s excellent cheese wasn’t enough of a highlight, the farm also offers kids the opportunity to spend the summer on the farm participating in all aspects of farming. Gardening, milking, animal husbandry, you name it! The staff’s ability to teach 10 yrs olds about farming turned out to be perfect for getting us up to speed!
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Farm Flows - Understanding Gross and Operating Profit

Image from cover of “Slow Money”, by Woody Tasch.

If you’ve read our first blog post, you probably know that I have a background in finance. Whether I like it or not, numbers are always on my mind. That means I think a lot about Little Seed and how we’ll manage to stay alive in an industry like farming, which is notorious for bedeviling even the most astute financial planners. Probably the most important aspect of our financial plan is understanding our costs and our cash flows. Not just thinking about them, but actually writing (typing) them all down and planning a few years ahead. I can't emphasize how important it is to actually sit down and write it out. Until you do, you won't know what you don't know.
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Farm Hopping: Our Visit to Lewis Waite Farm

cows on pasture, grassfed, grass-finished, lewis waite farm
Cows on Pasture at Lewis Waite Farm 
Living in NYC, multiple bars are always within walking distance. We used to spend our weekends "bar hopping" with friends. Now we spend our weekends farm hopping!
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You're Never too Old for a Field Trip!

Photo: Grady's Farm. Red Hook, NY.
There’s a lot of information out there about starting a farm. The amount of information only seems to increase as you learn about it. Have you ever tried to dig through a sand dune? I lived in New Mexico growing up, so I have. Reading about starting a farm is a lot like that. For every useful book or blog you come across you find another! And another! And another! And they’re all hidden gems and they’re all extremely useful and critical to your farm education, but they won’t build you a farm. 
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