We talk about the challenges of farming at the five-acre scale, and dig into the nuts and bolts of how they manage their vegetables in a three-years-on, three-years-off rotation with perennial cover crops. Polly and Prentice dish out plenty of details about how they manage the livestock and vegetable production together, and about the equipment and tools they use to manage their five acres of produce.
Polly and Prentice also dig into the numbers that drive their farm, and the hard work they’ve put in to balancing life and business. They share their strategies and philosophy for making the most of their interactions with customers, children, employees, and each other, and how they have worked to develop the human skills that support their farm and their family.
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Quotes from the Show
[Polly] [The smaller enterprises are] all small puzzle pieces and they are all relics I would say of our scaling up process, and so of course that's where we're looking to simplify our life.
[Polly] We dropped the CSA because the details in the week were feeling really oppressive to us.
[Polly] It's a lot of hard work keeping those boundaries and being on the same page with those boundaries,
with each other, with our crew, with our children.
[Polly] That's the hard work is looking at the various layers of the relationships that happen in any small business and just trying to gently identify the challenges and then gently address those challenges with skills and practices and boundaries that are appropriate.
[Polly] You're a lot more free to do the work that you really want to do, if you're not constantly regurgitating and trying to figure out some interaction that didn't go very well.
[Prentice] It's not satisfying all the time for sure, but on the margin do the ends justify the means, and I think we're always looking at that.
Prentice mentioned the book I was part of, Fearless Farm Finances.
Polly mentioned Seth Godin’s short blog about Skills vs. talents - its worth the few moments it will take you to read it.
Polly also suggested Pema Chodron and Brene Brown as resources for the hard work of developing human skills.