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.
- Fearless Farm Finances (Jody Padgham, Craig Chase, Paul Dietmann)
- 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).
- The Lean Farm guide to Growing Vegetables (Ben Hartman)
- 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.
- Compact Farms (Josh Volk)
- 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:
- The Market Gardener (Jean-Martin Fortier)
- Sustainable Market Farming (Pam Dawling)
- Small-Scale Livestock Farming (Carol Ekarius)
- Johnny's Seeds
- 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.
- Kat the Farmer
- 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
- Bootstrap Farmer
- 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.
- Growing For Market
- 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!