Photo courtesy of Franz G Photography
Ali and Dan Haney own Shenandoah Seasonal, two-and-a-half acres of vegetables and 400 laying hens in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Now in their fifth year of running the farm, Ali and Dan sell their produce through three farmers markets and a modest CSA program.
Ali and Dan share their story, from their work as social workers in Cambodia to their struggles finding suitable land after moving back to Virginia. We dig into their salad production system, how they’ve developed an egg production system that really works, how Dan and Ali have made their investment decisions as the farm’s internal economics evolved, and the consequences of cutting off your dreadlocks.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
It is just not possible to take care of someone else's property and have a profitable farm. (Ali)
What is really important [about the laying hens] is that they add value to our farm as well is that we are adding fertility to this really clay based soil. (Dan)
It was difficult to take on some debt, but we also felt like we had to, to make our business grow. (Ali)
I started working at the finances and realized that we were living paycheck to paycheck and that I could get a part time job closer and help more on the farm and still live paycheck to paycheck. (Ali)
Dan said that the rotary plow from BCS brought tears to his eyes the day that they got it, because it was such a useful tool. (BCS America is a sponsor of the Farmer to Farmer Podcast)
Ali said the four-row precision seeder from Johnny’s was life-changing for her.
Dan’s favorite farm tool is the Quick Cut Greens Harvester.
Ali mentioned that they purchase the majority of their seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds.