Category: Markets & Outlets

What It Means to and Why It Matters That We Buy Local

Fresh apples in baskets on display at a farmer's market

Buying local is quickly becoming a trend, and though some folks may not have noticed the slow change in supermarkets and the growing numbers of farmers’ markets, only occasionally visiting the US (where I was born) or the UK (where my wife was born) has really made it have an impact on us. Each time, we notice more. We are excited about the change. It’s great to go back a […]

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Transitioning from Groceries to Garden

In Memory of Anna, Forever My Sweet Potato Last year, about this time, my wife and Emma and I agreed to take up a project in Panama. We were given six months, a small budget to feed volunteers, and a good plot of land—roughly an acre—to grow on. There were lots of things either already in place: mangoes, limes, plantains, water apples, and a papaya tree shooting through the greenhouse […]

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Moving Past Organic Food Into Nutrient Density

Many farmers and growers are in massive amounts of debt. Many still want to go organic but the time and red tape needed to do so will deliver them into bankruptcy. I have outlined a few steps a farmer/grower can take to move around the red tape and speed up the process of producing and selling high quality, in demand, profitable, beyond organic food called Nutrient Dense Food (the next […]

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Start Growing! Part 5: The Best Employee For Your Farm or Food Hub

Imagine that your small farm or food hub just hired a new employee. Her name is Susan. But she’s not just any employee, she’s an electronic one. Susan’s the best you’ve ever hired. She does exactly as instructed. She works 24×7, 365 days a year. She’s never grumpy, never calls in sick and never gets tired. She never takes shortcuts and her wage is only pennies per hour.

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Micro Business – Soy Products

After several months of making tofu and soymilk weekly for ourselves and some customers, I thought I would share the process and costs. We source our soybeans from Slater Farm in Fairy Hill, NSW, Australia. The beans are biodynamic certified which is very important; avoiding biocides, GMOs, hopefully most fossil fuel fertilisers, and are not irrigated. They are semi-local, about 200km from us. We buy at least 200 kg a […]

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New Trees in Guatemala That Are Not Just for Reforestation

Special bicycle for shelling coffee beans It sounds strange to speak of poverty as an exciting opportunity, but many of the projects in Guatemala make me do just that. I’m particularly impressed with those working with trees. Reforestation is often not so simple as just planting trees. Mass agriculture has created a need for serious reforestation efforts, but that need doesn’t override humanitarian concerns like malnutrition and poverty. A largely […]

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Start Growing! Part 4: Have You Considered SPIN Farming?

In previous parts of the Start Growing! series, we’ve talked about how to buy a farm debt-free, even without money, and how we should value our time if we’re going to be financially sustainable. Did you know that’s what SPIN Farming is about? When I first heard of it I falsely assumed it was something like square-foot gardening with a twist. Nope. Not even close.

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Tips and Insights from Miracle Farms (Canada)

Recently Michelle, Rowan, Naomi and I embarked on a cross-country train trip to attend a family reunion in the eastern townships of Quebec. With a little extra time left over after the festivities, I decided to connect with Stefan Sobkowiak of Miracle Farms for a day, having come across Stefan’s work in the amazing YouTube video above. Over the course of the day, I gleaned some great ideas and tips […]

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Eat Local Month (Missouri, USA)

The month of June was designated as ‘Eat Local Month’ in Columbia, Missouri. The Sustainable Farms and Communities and the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, in conjunction with many other local organisations made this declaration in order to recognize and support the large amount of food production from local farmers and to encourage good health through food choices. The Columbia Mayor, Bob McDavid, and the Boone […]

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Permaculture Business, Part 4: On Mentorship

If you haven’t done so already, you can read Part I, Part II and Part III of this series. by Rob Avis What would you have done differently? When asked this question, all of the experts resoundingly responded with the same answer that I give to people: I wish I had spent more time with a mentor before diving in. I get a lot of mentorship requests from my students […]

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Permaculture Business, Part 3: On Barriers

If you haven’t done so already, you can read Part I and Part II of this series. by Rob Avis A personal take on barriers to success As with any career or business, there are barriers to achieving success. It is important to be aware of as many of these barriers as possible so that you can avoid the pitfalls. One of Darren Doherty’s sayings is that you need to […]

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