Jeff shares the story of how the farm was started by his grandparents in the mid-1950s, and how he came back and then changed the farm from a hobby farm to farming in earnest in 2003. We also dig into Zach’s return to the farm in 2013, and the accompanying expansion in markets and management that was made to accommodate an additional person on the farm. Jeff and Zach also share how they’ve made the relationships on this small family farm work, including the ways that their respective spouses are and are not involved in the operation.
Zach shares some of the details about how they have integrated the vegetable and livestock operations, including the use of pasture patches to grow some of the vegetable crops. Zach and Jeff share how they plan their way through the diversity of operations, and the decision-making processes they use to do it. We also discuss some of the challenges they’ve faced, including how they overcame regulatory and legislative hurdles to processing their chickens on farm, and how they approach food safety with livestock and vegetables on the same farm.
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Quotes from the Show
[Jeff] We never make a decision on an enterprise based solely on that enterprise. It really has to do with whether it contributes to the health of the farm.
[Zach] [When I started seeding cover crops] I was out there hand-scattering, which was kind of poetic for about the first 20 minutes or so.
[Jeff] The onus of [making a father-son relationship work] is more on the old guy than the young guy… it’s the old guy who’s a stick in the mud.
[Zach] We both really love working on the farm, we both care for it, we both get a lot of joy from it, we both have a lot of fun, and we’re able to keep that as part of the relationship.a
Zach mentioned the Veggie Compass tool for calculating cost of production information.