Saturday May 25, 2019
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SPIN Farming
Watch a 3 minute video of how SPIN-Farming was used to create a model urban farm in Philadelphia, PA.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "These guides are a great help to new second career farmers..."
SPIN Gardening
Turn your garden into a significant food source with SPIN-Gardening™

Meet a SPIN farmer who synthesizes tradition and innovation!

Mark Voss, Madison WI

 Download Mark's Fact Sheet

Mark found his calling in Africa. There, by the light of a kerosene lamp, he discovered the work of Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson and Helen and Scott Nearing, while by day he labored as a Peace Corps volunteer with the subsistence farmers in the Togo bush. Later he made a pilgrimage to meet one of his agro-heroes, Masanobu Fukuoka, on the island of Shikoku, Japan. A natural seeker, Mark also studied biodynamics with Ruth and Dick Zinniker. He found his way to SPIN- Farming out of necessity.

With several apprenticeships under his belt but little money for large acreage and equipment, Mark first rented land in 1993, then purchased a home with a large lot and resolved to become an urban farmer. That was pre-SPIN-Farming, and his success has been hard won. That’s why he places SPIN-Farming right up there with all the big farming gurus. “It codifies a body of experience that many have been engaged in for years,” he says, so it makes it much easier for new farmers to get started and more likely they will succeed.

His farm business, Voss Organics, encompasses a 400 square foot backyard hoophouse and 3,000 square feet of certified organic raised beds on a city lot, as well as 3 of his neighbors backyards, where he is pushing the limits of SPIN’s revenue benchmarks. His markets include 2 farmers markets, and premier food cooperatives and restaurants. Mark, who also holds a BA in economics from the University of Illinois and is an educator of adults and children, is using SPIN-Farming to not only farm, but to provide training for those who want to farm in a new way, combining the insights of the gurus with the practicalities of sub-acre farming.

In spite of his deep appreciation for indigenous practices, Mark has a very modern perspective on farming. He realizes that to attract new generations to farming, they need to be appealed to, not with romantic ideas of how the world used to be, but rather in a way that takes advantage of all the knowledge accumulated to date and reflects current cultural contexts.

SPIN Corps

How can you join the SPIN Corps?

SPIN Corps members need at least one season of generating income with SPIN-Farming. The next steps are explained in this guide.