Curtis Stone raises $100,000 of vegetable on just a third of an acre at Green City Acres in Kelowna, British Columbia. He’s also the author of The Urban Farmer, an excellent text on growing food for profit on leased and borrowed land. Curtis came out of a career as a musician and tree planter to start his urban farming venture, and he’s adapted the lessons he learned on the road and in the mountains to his farming career.
Oh, and he actually shrunk his farm in order to make more money! By focusing on the Pareto Principle – also known as the 80-20 rule – Curtis puts his attention on the right customers, the right crops, and the right techniques to maximize the output and the profits from his tiny acreage.
Curtis shares his tips for controlling weeds before you plant a crop, capturing and organizing information effectively, marketing at farmers markets and to restaurants, and how to structure your farm to better serve yourself and your markets.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
I have found that the larger you go, the less dollars per square foot you’ll make on your land.
Focus on the tasks that have a measurable return.
My function on my farm is to focus on planting, harvesting, and marketing.
We’re constantly willing to change our workflow based on what's going to be best for optimizing the perfect crop with the least amount of time processing it. I will do everything I can on my farm to avoid washing salad mix.
Farmers markets are the best blueprint for how to do business in the real world. If you want to learn a lot about where you are and what people want, you can learn a ton of it at market.
One of the things that kills farms the quickest is too much capital up front.
Curtis’ book, The Urban Farmer, is available at his website. You can get the Premium package, which includes additional digital content, for the same price as the book by using the code "farmertofarmer" (if you’re in the US; in Canada, use the code "farmertofarmercan").
Curtis also has an online course, Profitable Urban Farming. Get a $100 discount using the coupon code "farmertofarmer" (if you’re in the US; in Canada, use the code "farmertofarmercan").
Curtis’ videos are available on YouTube