My guest for this episode is Erin Harvey, a trained permaculture designer, who owns and runs The Kale Yard, a small scale farm, in Granville, Ohio. She set out in 2011, after many years of working on farms for others, to sow the soil for herself. We focus largely on her work of becoming established: finding land, developing solutions within the limitations she discovered, establishing markets, and developing a customer base. As tends to be the case, that’s only an overview of some major topics, with other pieces filling in along the way.
I wanted to talk to Erin because she’s a friend of mine and I knew we could have a candid conversation about the process of transitioning to farming in a realistic, on the ground, way without romanticizing the experience or implying this is an easy path for everyone. That candor comes through when we cover how much land she farms, yields, and farming income, further personalizing by including the restrictions she set for herself in approaching farming on her own terms. There are lessons here for all of us inside and outside the lens of permaculture when we look at producing food, and the decisions we need to make.
The Kale Yard
The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook (Chelsea Green Publishing)
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