We dig into the details of Mike’s operation, including how he has structured his tractor-scale farming operation for growing crops that are planted a limited number of times every year, and why he decided to start farming with a business model based on these limited-succession crops. Mike shares his challenges with weed control, how he’s used local resources to store his root crops with limited capital investment, and the changes he is making to prepare for the new marketing realities he expects as the Food Safety Modernization Act begins to take effect.
Mike also gives us an overview of water rights in the West, and how that influences the structure of his farming operation. Plus, Mike and his girlfriend, Mindy Perkovich of Early Bird Gardens, recently joined forces in Mancos, and Mike shares the details and realities of making the transition from a solo operator to being part of a partnership.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
We dropped out of market this year, which was one of the most nerve-wracking and also one of the most awesome things I think I’ve ever decided in my life farming-wise.
A big thing for me [about being in a partnership] has been basically figuring out a space to being open to having somebody help you.
It’s like you spend all this time working stuff and selling this beautiful product but your quality of life is failing because you’re not able to cook and find time to take care of yourself…
The food system is one of the few things out there that touches everybody. I felt like it was a good way to channel a lot of the work I wanted to do in the world and also be able to work for myself and run a business and really make good change even though it’s slow.
Mike has worked with American Ag Credit to finance infrastructure on his farm.
Mike has been involved with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and the National Young Farmers Coalition.
Mike’s partner, Mindy Perkovich, owned and operated Early Bird Gardens.