Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook | Richard Wiswall replay

UMT webpage

So, I went down to Alberton to visit my good friend from University of MT Kavita who runs 

HINDU HILLBILLY FARMS & RIVULET APIARIES and get a hive of new bees for Mike yesterday.

And on the way I was listening to Anastasia Cole Plakais’ book 


The Farm on the Roof: What Brooklyn Grange Taught Us about Entrepreneurship, Community, and Growing a Sustainable Business!

… and she talks about Richard Wiswall’s book the


 Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook

and how much it helped them with their accounting etc.

So I wanted to give you a little backstory on my experience with Richard’s book. A couple of years ago, back in 2012, I was teaching and I met this amazing woman who had developed the reading curriculum at our school and I was just enamored by her confidence, her knowledge and she just really seemed amazing to me and when she told me she went to Columbia University in NYC I was inspired. I found a masters degree in Communications there that I thought fit my personality to a tee and would enable me to combine my love of technology and my writing skills… anyway long story short, I got accepted. 

So I set about trying to find a place on Long Island or in NJ not far from the city that Mike could work as a farm manager or something and we could start an organic farming business and I could go to school. I had just read


Lynn Byzanski’s book the Flower Farmer book as well as Richard’s Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook and thought we could maybe sell to all the little markets that you see on every street corner in NYC practically. I had never seen organic flowers there, but they all have bushels of flowers in front of their stands. 

I still think we could have had a good business just supplying the area of NY right around Columbia… NJ has an awesome website where you can connect with landowners who are looking for someone to lease or manage or rent and grow food. 

And I found this perfect farm, came with a nice small home to live on, backed up against a thriving elementary school… 

So I dove into Richards book, and started creating a business plan. And his worksheets and spreadsheets, crop journals, marketing charts and seedling calendars were remarkable. He really explains how to figure out the cost of labor, equipment, right down to how many hours it’s going to take to irrigate, cultivate, weed, harvest, wash and pack, market etc each product an acre enabling you to create simple crop budgets and then analyze which crops were truly profitable and which ones were not. He also goes into efficiency and how to get the most produce for your labor.

Anyway even though with the help of the Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook I was able to create a viable business plan. Unfortunately, the farm just seemed to far away for us. It was over 80 miles from NYC, and it seemed like I wouldn’t see my family any more then I do already here in Montana. Plus the cost of going to Columbia for my masters proved prohibitive which might be a blessing in disguise because I might not have started the Organic Gardener Podcast if I had.

Anyway this is probably a long into today but I am going to replay my interview with Richard from Back in November. I think it has some great content in there and according google analytics it is one of the most all time viewed episodes of all time!

Hope you like it. and as always thank you soooooooo much for listening!

to see the full show notes for this episode go to episode 102 of the Organic Gardener Podcast

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