Courtesy of Roxanne C., Philadelphia PA
We have said before that SPIN is performance-based, which means that success is measurable. The traditional and often used benchmark in farming is yield.
Certainly the amount of crops you produce is important. But to succeed as a business, what is most important is not the ability to grow in significant volume. It’s the ability to sell, at pricing that makes it worth your while.
Many don’t yet see how this applies to SPIN-scale production because up until the last 10 years or so, there were no markets to support it, so it did not have much of a dollar value. But now there is real money to be made. In the USDA’s 2012 agriculture census valued local food sales at $7 billion.
SPIN’s guide # 18 Crop Profiles is the first attempt to quantify just how lucrative backyard farming can be. These are numbers worth chewing on, and they give farmers different, and highly rewarding, benchmarks to beat.
SPIN’s small plots generate high yields, but the overall volumes are low compared to conventional farming.
What is important is that SPIN-scale production can be sold locally at prices that make it worth your while.
Even big name hotels and institutions that rely on Sysco are deciding it is worth it to purchase from local farmers because they have less spoilage when they get crops fresh picked. Also, more and more of their customers are demanding it.