Helpful Farm Resources

Getting started in gardening alone can be a challenge, much less trying to scale and turn it into a profitable business. I thought I'd share a few items that I found helpful in my journey so far.

Helpful Farm Resources

Getting started in gardening alone can be a challenge, so it's no surprise that trying to increase the scale of growing while turning it into a business at the same time is quite a feat - especially when you're new.

I've been searching for resources and learning a lot over the last year and thought I'd share a few items that I found helpful in my journey so far.

Books

  1. Fearless Farm Finances (Jody Padgham, Craig Chase, Paul Dietmann)
    1. Fearless Farm Finances is awesome in that it covers the financial aspect of running a farm as a business, which a lot of other resources seem to leave out - or at least don't cover as in-depth as they could. I think one of the most beneficial parts, at least for me, was on record keeping and how to set up your spreadsheet or accounting software with a chart of accounts. It also went into detail about some common financial records such as the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow (and a lot more).
  2. The Lean Farm guide to Growing Vegetables (Ben Hartman)
    1. I enjoyed The Lean Farm because it took and applied aspects from lean manufacturing and lean startups to farming on a small scale. There are a lot of tips and information about making your operation more efficient, and numerous examples are included on things such as crop plans, farm layouts, production methods, and more.
  3. Compact Farms (Josh Volk)
    1. Compact Farms is unique in that it showcases a number of small farms that are growing commercially on less than five acres. Each farm has a profile that explains what they grow and some of the production methods that work for them.

In addition to the three prior books, there are a few others that I'm looking forward to, but haven't started yet:

Websites

  1. Johnny's Seeds
    1. Johnny's seeds is an online store where I've purchased a lot of my seed and supplies, but they also have a lot of online resources in their grower's library such as growing information, planning tools, calculators, and articles.
  2. Kat the Farmer
    1. My first year was more or less trial and error, but I came across Kat's website that has a nice crop planning worksheet that I used when creating a growing plan for 2024
  3. Bootstrap Farmer
    1. Another online store, if I didn't purchase something from Johnny's, it was probably from Bootstrap Farmer. Again, it's not just an online store as they have a variety of different growing guides and informational articles. Their microgreen cheat sheet really helped give me a starting point for growing microgreens last year.

Podcasts

  1. Growing For Market
    1. Growing for market is both a magazine and a podcast. I haven't subscribed to the magazine yet, but I've listened to a number of their podcasts which has provided insight on a variety of farming topics.

What resources have you found that helped improve your farm or business? Let me know in the comments!