A third-generation farmer (and maybe more), Lydia farms on a fifty-acre property owned by her family. In addition to her operation, family members raise flowers, grains, and eggs in two additional businesses operating on the same piece of land. Lydia also hires family members as part of her operation. We discuss the nitty-gritty of how they’ve made this work, including their experience bringing in outside help to work on the details of their business agreements and how they can better work together.
Named the British Columbia and Yukon Outstanding Young Farmer for 2014, Lydia has operated her farm since 2009. Her depth of experience and business and horticultural acumen are apparent as we discuss the ways she has mitigated the heavy clay soils in her wet climate, the challenges and opportunities of the recent addition of migrant workers to her farm crew, the changes a new baby has brought to the farm and how she prepared to accommodate those changes, winter roots storage and ongoing harvest, the tools she uses to track harvest, packing, and sales, and more.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
We’re a generation that we haven’t worked with our hands, we’ve been in front of computers for most of our life.
I was really hesitant about bringing people in from another country. We’re very much about the local economy and local food and things like that. We’d put job ads out, and nobody would apply for them.
As the manager, you have a really important role, but your mental health is important, too. It’s important to be able to step back and get away.
[Farming on family land is] a total blessing. It’s a blessing we have to work at.
We’re so focused in our business sometimes that we’re not looking at the bigger picture about where we’re going in five years. Do we even want to go there in five years? What are our personal goals? Is the farm meeting that? What about our spouses? Are they happy?
Being really aware of your emotions… and how one communicates, can go a really long way.
Cropthorne Farm uses theselettuce harvest knives to harvest their leeks.