Anne tells the story of how she and Paul started as full-time farmers with four acres of vegetables, and how they gained expertise and built infrastructure as they expanded their vegetable production and the diversity of their enterprises. We talk about how she and Paul financed their startup operation, and the keys that helped them convince a lender to believe in them, as well as how they found a land-tenure situation that allowed them to start farming on the outskirts of booming Boulder.
We also dig into how Anne trains and manages the interns, crew leaders, and additional employees on her farm to take responsibility, and the realities of delegating to interns and crew. And Anne reflects how having kids has changed how Anne relates to the farm, the changes she’s made to bring more balance between farm and family, and the ways the farm’s demands have changed since its early days.
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Quotes from the Show
The most important place on the farm is our packing shed because it's the last place we see our food before it goes to our customer, whoever our customer is, and we want to make sure that it's our best work leaving every time.
In hindsight, that was the best thing we ever could've done for ourselves was the homework in the office before we planted our first seed.
Profits preserve passion. [Quoting her Farm Service Agency lender, Brian Cook]
You don't have to have dollar signs for eyeballs but you definitely need to make money from being a farmer.
I don't want the restaurants just to think of us when it's heirloom tomato season. I want them to get their horseradish and their sorrel and their spinach and their turnips and their rutabagas and everything all winter long from us.
Being awesome is tiring so just pace yourself. You're doing a phenomenal job already.