Chasing his farming dream in 2021

Derrick came to us for help. Here his story and where he’s at now.

“I am an ex-dispatcher. I used to work at an airline 1000 miles away on the East coast in the city. It paid well, but made me feel like I was chained to the desk. Then COVID came, so I decided to leave that line of work and move to the middle of nowhere and chase my farming dream.

I started reading SPIN-Farming Basics and am already through the first two guides/chapters. So far I must compare what I have read to e=mc2 – a very simple formula that explains a much larger concept, but it took a genius to think of it. I am impressed with the simplicity of the model and look forward to delving in further until finally I can put it into practice this spring.

My next step will be to measure out my existing garden plots to see how much space I currently have available and how many standard beds I can set up. I don’t want to farm more than I can handle by myself, or more than I can afford to securely fence (since wildlife damage will be a challenge for me). So this spring will be the test to see what I can accomplish with SPIN, and I fully expect to expand by my second season farming with SPIN.

There are several different options for marketing around here and I have been thinking through a few of them. Many folks simply park a truck by the roadside and sell produce. There is a farmers market about 30 minutes from my farm in a larger population center, not a major city, but definitely not small town either. From what I understand is very reasonable – I am told a booth is $35 a year. In this same town there are also a couple of high traffic flea markets that some folks have produce stands at, but I am not sure of their rates.

Depending how COVID plays out, there are also two single weekends around here that could be big earners. And in the summer the county hosts a “30 mile yard sale” where folks from one end of the county to the other host a yard sale along highway 13. For those not owning property along this route, all that is necessary is to find a wide shoulder on the road where one can set up and customers can pull off.

Fortunately there are many different options to successfully market I think. My biggest challenge in this first season growing as a SPIN farmer is that I think I will have to take the “low road” for the first season anyway. I will utilize whatever I can in my kitchen refrigerator and I have a small college dorm type fridge that can be used also. I also have a small freezer chest.

Anyway, that’s the plan so far, and I will keep you posted as I get a little further along. Best regards, Derrick.”

What’s Derrick’s chances of success? Since he found his way to us, is applying SPIN and formulating his plan, he’s 85% of the way there. We know, because we’ve done it ourselves. If this is the year you want to chase your farm dream like Derrick, get the same free starting advice we gave him here.