Expanding the Farm with Social Capital – The Urban Farmer – Season 2 – Week 8

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To set the stage…

Curtis had a next door neighbor. That neighbor used to own Curtis’s house, and he rented that house from them and farmed in the back yard. When his neighbor decided to sell the house, Curtis then purchased the house from his neighbor. Subsequently that same neighbor went on to move to another house in the neighborhood, and began renting out the house next door to Curtis.

In the process a conversation began about Curtis farming his neighbor’s backyard now that it was a rental.

The conversation eventual led to an agreement, one where Curtis would take down the fence between his yard and his neighbors, and extend his farm into his neighbor’s back yard.

It’s a process that was built on the back of respect and social capital, and facilitated by old fashioned conversation.

Today we’ll take an extended look at the transition of that back yard from lawn to production farm, and all of the challenges and successes that went with it..

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Like the show? Then please support it on Patreon.


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Notes from this episode:

  • Systems have made everything a lot easier for Curtis.
    • So has having proper infrastructure.
  • Get started and start getting some cash flow going and use that to build.
  • Need to put yourself out there.  You can’t be a loner and get to the finish line.
  • Always be asking questions to try to identify opportunity or find areas for improvement.
  • You have to try things.  You can’t figure out all of these things in a Google search.
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How to convert the lawn to a farm…

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If you want to learn more about Curtis Stone and urban farming, then check out Curtis’ book, The Urban Farmer, and his course, Profitable Urban Farming.

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The Salsa Farm Interview

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How to turn your lawn into an urban farm…

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Green City Acres Weekly Farm VLOG Updates

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The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone

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The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone

The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else’s).

Major benefits include:

  • Low capital investment and overhead costs
  • Reduced need for expensive infrastructure
  • Easy access to markets

Growing food in the city means that fresh crops may travel only a few blocks from field to table, making this innovative approach the next logical step in the local food movement.

Based on a scalable, easily reproduced business model, The Urban Farmer is your complete guide to minimizing risk and maximizing profit by using intensive production in small leased or borrowed spaces.


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Connect with Curtis Stone

Watch Curtis on YouTube


Green City Acres on Facebook

Green City Acres on Instagram

The Urban Farmer Book by Curtis Stone

Profitable Urban Farming – The Course

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3 replies on “Expanding the Farm with Social Capital – The Urban Farmer – Season 2 – Week 8

  • chris yoder

    I’m curious what the minimum size would be to make adding a plot economical? I heard Curtis talk of 2000 square feet but I’m just wondering if that’s the breakpoint or if smaller might be doable. In my neighborhood I think 2000 square feet will be hard to come by.

    • Diego

      No right answer Chris. I hate to say it, but it depends. What are you growing, who are you selling it to, and how much will they buy it for? The higher price per pound that you can sell something for the smaller that you can go with a plot. A 100 square foot room stacked from floor to ceiling with microgreens could generate a ton of money if you have a market to sell it to. It also depends on how much you want to make. You could scale down the 2000 square foot example but at some point your time isn’t worth the return. A $100 a week return is economical, but do you want to do all that work for $100, probably not.

  • Daniel Cortes

    I think this is awesome and I am all about building social capital. One of the challenges for me is that I live in a suburb where people think that lawns are the pinnacle of a civilized society and gardening is for suckers who attract pests with what they do. So in the process of building my urban farming venture I had to expand out and build social capital outside my town to surrounding towns. Now I have a small plot I rented for the year in a community garden several towns away, because there is none where I live.


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