John shares some of the details of getting started at Taliesin, where an architectural apprenticeship program was already in place when he and Lidia started the vegetable farm – an arrangement that has been rewarding but has also come with some challenges. We discuss Fazenda Boa Terra’s strategy for investing in equipment and infrastructure, how they’ve grown their operation rapidly and what the future is expected to bring, and how they are dealing with the very full marketplace for local vegetables in southern Wisconsin.
We also dig into John’s weed control tools and techniques for both wide rows and solid-seeded beds, their year-on, year-off cover crop rotation, and the challenges of becoming a boss after many years of working on farms.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.
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Quotes from the Show
You don’t want to be a jerk, but [employees and apprentices] have to realize that this is our livelihood. We can’t afford to screw around.
We’re looking at one of our best pepper years… but for some reason, that angle of picking peppers, we both just go, “Not if we have to pick those peppers, we’re not doing these.”
When I get into cover crops, sometimes my brain starts running wild.
I don’t understand why we think a welder needs four years of apprenticeship to weld a pipe together but we think a farmer’s ready to hit the field after a season.
Fazenda Boa Terra uses a Sutton Seeder, which allows them to seed solid beds as well as rowed crops.
Fazenda Boa Terra uses Member Assembler to manage their CSA program, as well as to manage smaller wholesale orders.