Tag Archives: new farmers

5 Reasons To Raise Chickens

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Chickens are often the first livestock to be added to a homestead and have been laughingly referred to as the gateway livestock. However the benefits of adding a flock of chickens to your backyard, homestead, or beginning farm, are no laughing matter. Chickens bring some serious good ju-ju with them and open the door to a number of opportunities for… Read more »

Farm vs lifestyle

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jim's barn

I’m not perfect. Nobody is. I have flaws and weaknesses─many flaws and many weaknesses, lol. This post is about 2 of them; I am a dreamer, and I have a deep love for beautiful things. Sometimes these weaknesses are a huge asset. Other times they’re a giant hindrance. Since I was young I dreamed of the picturesque farmhouse. It took… Read more »

Growing season

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It’s been a long few months leading up to spring and the start of the growing season. Temperatures have fluctuated unpredicatably from one week to the next, sunny and warm one week and frigid and snowing the next. But at last the weather pattern is smoothing out. I can hear the peepers in the pond at night, new shoots are poking up… Read more »

Resources recommended by Johnny’s Seeds farmers

recommended resources for beginning farmers

Beginning farmers face a myriad of challenges and obstacles along their chosen career path. Operating and owning a farm has become much more difficult since the advent of the industrialized agriculture system. New farmers today face a steep learning curve, expensive prices for farmland, and high start-up costs. Despite all that, statistics from the USDA’s Agricultural Census indicate that─especially here in… Read more »

Friends at Johnny’s Selected Seeds

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johnnys selected seeds

I’ve been back to work at Johnny’s Selected Seeds since the start of the new year, and while it’s always a little bittersweet to have to work off the farm, I’m really very happy to be able to work for this company. This is my 2nd year working in their Call Center in Fairfield, Maine. I answer the phone, take… Read more »

New winter market in Madison

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madison winter farmers' market

It was a long struggle this summer searching for an indoor venue for the Madison Farmers’ Market to move to once the weather turned cold. This is my third year as manager of our budding market and I’m learning to allow plenty of time for planning and promoting events, so I started on the project back in June, broaching the… Read more »

How do you know what to do to be a profitable farm?

small farm

Let me say first and foremost that Runamuk is not what I would yet consider a “profitable” farm, lol. Runamuk does contribute to the rent and to the purchasing of feed, equipment, supplies, and livestock─but a large part of our income is supplemented by my off-farm employment.  Our finances here are tight, and as I’ve mentioned previously, I make a… Read more »

How do I afford to keep my farm going?

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An acquaintance of mine emailed me recently asking how I can afford a farm, and how can you know what to do to be profitable?  Those are two totally separate and totally loaded questions, so I am going to answer the first here, and the second one in  a separate post. Lots of people are drawn to the homesteading and… Read more »

The fall garden

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fall turnips

I excused myself from the farmers’ market yesterday to spend some quality time with the farm. Perhaps that sounds funny, but to this farmer there is a very real need to spend time outside in nature, working the land that I have devoted myself to. Having to work off the farm means that there are a number of chores that… Read more »

Digging in

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ireses around the well

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been more than two weeks since Runamuk and I became residents of Starks. This was our third move in the last six months, and like all of the other moves there has been a period where I was once again without internet access. That, coupled with the business of settling into the farmhouse, getting… Read more »

Yes, Samantha, you ARE a farmer

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jim's farmhouse_fi

I have to admit, I was getting more than just a little discouraged. After coming from a farm in the middle of the woods, living on a small lot alongside a busy road–while being a step up from the apartment in-town–was still a bit of a shock to my system. But the rent was low and the landladies lovely to… Read more »

Maine’s local food movement

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maine local food movement

The Madison Farmers’ Market, held a meeting Saturday evening at the Old Point School in Madison, to finalize plans for our upcoming 2015 market season. I volunteer my time and efforts as the market manager, organizing, planning and promoting our young little market, and working to both serve local agriculture, farmers and farming in Madison and the surrounding areas. The… Read more »

Conducting a SWOT analysis of your farm

No one gets into farming because they want to get rich, lol. But at the same time a farm is still a business, and a business needs to at least break even–if not earn a profit. Conducting a SWOT analysis of your farm-business annually can help you to determine what’s working for you and what’s not.   What is SWOT?… Read more »

Every farm needs a tractor

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every farm needs a tractor

This old 1950s Farmall tractor was donated to our farm–it took us a while to find someone to help us move it to the farm, but last Sunday it finally arrived! The tractor came with a number of attachments–including a plow, which I am ecstatic to say will help us keep our 200-yard driveway clear this winter (and also means… Read more »