Do you still remember your initial drive, that initial reason why you first wanted to farm? Looking back, is that the same reason you farm today? For some people, it might be, but for others, the reason they farm today may have changed.
And that’s perfectly okay.
Today we’re talking to Scott Hebert in British Columbia up in Canada to talk about how his reason for farming today has changed from the reason he started two years ago.
Today’s Guest: Scott Hebert
Scott Hebert is a farmer who owns Flavorful Farms. Apart from farming, he also runs a podcast called the Stoic Metal Podcast, as well as his own YouTube channel.
Scott Hebert – YouTube Channel
In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart
- Introducing today’s guest, Scott Hebert (00:55)
- Expectations and realities: how things have changed from then to now (02:13)
- Initial plan sales and how they changed (04:08)
- How selling to groceries fits into farm management (06:33)
- Where Scott currently is and if he’s where he expected himself to be two years ago (07:45)
- Coming into a balance of making decent money off the farm and having a good quality of life (09:55)
- If you started the farm today in your current context, what would be your farm’s goal? (12:12)
- The real gamechanger that took financial pressure off Scott’s shoulders (14:20)
- A young person’s lack of foresight
- If you would restart the farm, what would you change? (19:50)
- Where Scott should have pressed on the gas instead of pulling back (21:37)
- Balancing the farm with the off-farm jobs (23:04)
- Efficiency: getting better or changing the approach? (25:30)
- How to put the now free time to good use (27:58)
- The worry of Parkinson’s law (29:45)
- Work-life balance and how it skews to one or the other (30:54)
- Gaining and losing the fun of having more hours (32:27)
- “Success” sweet spot for the farm and the business (35:43)
- Keeping production consistent and earning a paycheck (37:44)
- Cutting off lifestyle expenses and what made the biggest difference (39:04)
- Big decisions and big sacrifices for big changes (42:33)
- Growing other income sources away from farming (46:57)
- Farming is just a piece of the pie, not the entire pie (48:23)
- Not putting all your eggs into one basket (50:41)
- Deriving fulfillment: the highs helps buffer the lows (52:31)
- Applying stoicism and controlling how you react (54:45)
- Weathering the experiences that fail and adapting how to react (57:02)
- The ability for predictability after two years of farming (58:26)
- How Scott approaches sales this year (01:00:44)
- Accommodating the demand for stores (00:01:50)
- Having minimal costs and labor per bed (01:06:00)
- The challenge of matching sales and inventory (01:07:24)
- What to see in December to be able to say this year is a success (01:07:49)
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Diego: [00:00:00] Why you started farming might not be why you keep farming. One of the topics that I touch on in this episode with farmer Scott Hebert coming up. Welcome to the world, the farming, small and farming smart. I'm your host Diego. When it comes to farm startup, a lot of people get into farming. For various reasons.
And then they start farming and then they find those reasons might not be valid or those reasons change and evolve as we change. And we evolve. Sometimes your life evolves in such a way where farming was originally planned to be the whole pie. Now it's just going to be a piece of the pie. It's not going to be everything.
It's just going to be one of many things that you do to contribute to the life that you want to live. That's what I'm talking to. Farmer Scott here from British Columbia, Canada. About today. Scott's been on the past episode, he was on one of the Encore episodes of the urban farmer back in season one of the urban farmer back then, Scott talked about his early stage farming journey.
And now he's going to bring us full circle and talk about how that journey has evolved because the journey has changed quite a bit. Scott's perspective on farming, I think is a pretty realistic one. In a space that gets very glorified by people like me, where, farming is everything. Here's a view showing that farming isn't everything.
It's just one of the many things that you can do to live a happy and fulfilled life. So let's jump right into it. It's farm and life success control what you can, with farmer Scott Hebert.
So Scott, we last talked about two and a half years ago with an episode that was published on the urban farmer back in February of 2016. And in that episode, you talked about your early stage journey wanting to get into farming. If you think about where you were then as it relates to farming and where you are now, how have things changed?
Scott Hebert: [00:02:20] Everything is different. And I had a whole bunch of ideas about how I wanted things to go and where I would be at.
And I would say that as far as the things that I imagined to happen or what I thought might happen, it's been a completely different experience. But with that being said, it's been good. I feel that I'm in a really good spot right now. And that a lot of the decisions that I've made along the way have been.
I've made good choices based on where I want to go and what I want to do. but initially what I was thinking and where I'm at right now are completely different from what I was originally thinking.
Diego: [00:02:57] What would you say was one of those things that you expected or thought would happen at the beginning?
Scott Hebert: [00:03:03] And it didn't. when I first got the kind of the itch too farm, I was really thinking I got into it from the permaculture aspect. So I was really thinking that I was going to have a diverse farm and maybe have animals, all this stuff. And then I found about Curtis's stuff and I started just doing the vege thing, which was really nice.
But now I'm at a point in time where I'm selling begged greens, two grocery stores. So I'm selling, lettuce and spinach. And this year that's pretty much going to be the only crops I grow. I grow pea shoots for one local restaurant, but other than that, I have a highly specific three crop farm, basically.
So that is, that's been a really big difference because I thought I was going to have a diverse farm with diverse revenue streams. And, I am not saying that I won't get there eventually, but as we're sitting here today, I have a very, niche farm. With niche revenues. and it's just, yeah, it's way different than where I thought I was going to be at.
Diego: [00:04:01] I know your backstory in terms of how your sales models have evolved and why you've had to make certain choices. Can you talk about what the initial plan was in terms of farm sales? And what's changed and what's evolved to lead you to this model of selling these two crops to grocers.
Scott Hebert: [00:04:21] So originally I thought I was going to do a farmer's market and sell to restaurants and I was going to do, pretty much what Curtis was doing at the time.
That's what I was going to start with. And then I was going to. Do whatever I had to, I was going to sell whatever was selling, but I was going to do, baby greens, baby root veg, and micro greens. And so my first season. it was two weeks before this farmer's market that I was supposed to go into. And I got told that, there was no space in the market for me and I had crops planted and I kinda was screwed over, or I felt like it at least.
And, for that first year farming, I was pretty much just selling primarily to restaurants. The farmer's market thing didn't really work out. I ended up going into a really small farmer's market, but. I actually stopped going to it halfway through the season, just because it was too small. It wasn't worth my time to go there for, to get under a hundred bucks.
I'm in sales. So at the end of my first season farming, I had a field full of lettuce and other vegetables, and I didn't really know where I was going to sell it. And I thought, I actually do have really consistent production on my lettuce. And it was. Yeah, I did have really nice lettuce. So I took that to local grocery stores and I asked them if they would be interested in it for next season.
And they said, yes. So then I cut my first season, a little short, saying like the end of October, November, I didn't really push it too far into winter. And I just started to plan for going into the grocery stores next spring. And then, so last year, my second season, we actually had a really aggressive winter.
I didn't have anything ready until June, but in June I started selling, bagged greens to the grocery stores. And then that was my only revenue stream that I did that year because I was still working in a full-time off-farm job.
Diego: [00:06:17] And how's that worked out for you contextually? you're working off farm or you where then you're selling to grocery stores. If you look ahead this season selling the grocery store is how do you find that having one market stream that generally buys a bunch of product all at one shot, and you can do your deliveries once or a few times a week. How does that fit into farm management and life for you?
Scott Hebert: [00:06:41] I love it. It was it's totally great. They take like the grocery stores take a big volume of stuff at a good price. And like my one store that, that I do most of my sales at, they have direct deposit. So I take all my invoices there. And once a month they direct deposit. Mow the money into my bank account. So it's like the most stress-free easiest way, that I can do a big volume in sales at one time.
Last year I told them, cause I wasn't too sure. I thought I was going to have PR pretty consistent production, but I wanted to make sure, so I told them that I was only going to guarantee that I would have lettuce all year. so I was pretty much going in with one crop. I thought.
Diego: [00:07:26] So selling to the grocers, they're absorbing all your product right now, and it's probably a model that you didn't expect initially when you got into this, thinking farmer's market. If you think about where you're at from a farming perspective now, say in terms of sales and the ability to support your lifestyle off the farm, do you think when we recorded that episode two and a half years ago, that where you're at today is where you'd be at? Do you think you'd be further ahead, further behind?
Scott Hebert: [00:08:01] so I thought I would be. I thought it was, I would be in a lot different of a place because originally I was really chasing after the money. So my first year I was thinking that I wanted to make a certain amount of money.
And then the next year I would try to increase the amount of money that I made. And I didn't really care about what rev, I didn't really care about my quality of life so much. that's not really that wasn't really a factor into it. But then after the first season, when everything Didn't go as smoothly as it could have.
I started to think, okay, what is the. I my first season, my biggest takeaway was that I should have only done one revenue stream while I was still working in all farm job, because I was just too stressed out. There was just too many variables to manage, trying to sell to restaurants and to the farmer's market and packing for orders for the restaurants and packing orders for the farmer's market and still going to work like it was just too much to do.
So my second season, instead of worrying about I'm trying to make more money than I made the first season. I worried about trying to figure out a revenue stream. That would be like the centerpiece of my operation. And so I thought that if I could get into the grocery stores, that would be really good because I can increase the number of different stores that I go into.
And I could also increase the number of products that I was selling at those stores. in later years in later seasons. so I thought that just selling the one product to the grocery stores would be like a really easy way for me to be still working in off-farm job and be able to farm.
Diego: [00:09:33] And when you think about quality of life and farming, on one hand, you have doing what you started out to do, going after the money approaching this, let's call it.
Lean, mean wall street type business. Like you have to earn, it's gotta produce, it's gotta be as profitable as possible because it has to support your lifestyle. On the other hand, you have a more laid back approach where we'll grow some stuff. We'll make some money. We'll be like a hippie for lack of a better word.
No offense to the hippies, but. I get both sides, I'm somebody who preaches quality of life and you have to enjoy what you do. So how have you came to a balance here between the business needs to work and quality of life needs to work along with that?
Scott Hebert: [00:10:27] Yeah, that's a tough question because I originally knew that.
For the first couple of years while I was starting out my farm, that I wasn't really going to have the quality of life because I still had to work an off farm job. Originally I put in $23,000 to start my business. So I wasn't in debt for anything, but, I wanted to make that money back before I really invested in it any more money or any more time into my business.
So I was working. I felt like that I needed to. make that money back, before I was willing to start, worrying more about quality of life over the money side of it. and now I'm there, I'm at that point in time, my business right now is, has just become profitable overall.
it's cashflow positive, so everything's rolling on it. my whole farm is paid for itself. I feel like that I'm at a really good place now where I don't have to worry about the money so much. And now I can worry about like my quality of life a lot more. I don't think that I don't think that, I think quality of life work life balance is almost a myth because you're going to have different seasons of your life, where you're going to have to be working more or sometimes where you can hang out more.
Diego: [00:11:41] if you hadn't had that past experience, over the last two years. And you were starting out the farm today with your life context today, meaning your financial situation today, this market stream was is established. What would you say the goal is for the farm this year? it could be, we're going to be as profitable as possible.
It could be, I want to farm, but I want to enjoy my time. How would you say you would describe how you're approaching this now today going forward? Because it really sounds like it's a new rebirth in a way of the farm.
Scott Hebert: [00:12:22] Totally. I want to make the most money that I can long-term and I think that the way to make the most money that I can longterm is to hyper-focus on one thing right now. Establish really good relationships with, good customers and do that. So that's my focus this year. I'm going to, do my lettuce and spinach and a couple other crops. I'm not really going to worry about like tomatoes or anything this year. I'm just going to worry about establishing my market dominance as The guy to go for beta greens at grocery stores. and I don't think that like this year, I think I'll probably target to make about $30,000 working, or $30,000 gross for myself from my farm. and that's not going to be enough long-term but for this year, I think that. Doing what I'm doing, that would be a really good place to start.
And that would be a centerpiece to build, the rest of my business around. And then in the next couple of years, then I can add different products once I'm already, established and have a good reputation for growing quality produce and delivering on time and having good customer satisfaction.
Diego: [00:13:39] And if you think about life as an entrepreneur, a big part of succeeding as an entrepreneur goes beyond the business side of things. I think a lot of people focus on just the business. We'll make 30,000 gross or 60,000 gross, but there's also a financial component to you away from the business.
What you spend money on, how much debt you have, how much savings you have and in a recent YouTube video that you posted on your vlog, you talked about how you've done a lot of things in your personal life to change your own financial picture, which means I will say these words and you tell me if this is true, the business doesn't have to necessarily produce as hard to support a lower resource intense personal life.
Scott Hebert: [00:14:29] Totally. Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. Like originally when I first, so two years ago when I started. My finances, they weren't a mess, but they were not good. I was spending way too much money. Like just the amount that I was consuming, just in pure products and the amount of like my burn rate, the amount of money that I was spending was so high.
And now I'm sitting at a point in time where I have the most money that I've ever had saved up. And I have my lowest living expenses and my business is just in a really good place. And like the amount of it feels like there's like I had this huge weight hanging over me and now like it's lifted. I feel lighter.
I feel mentally more clear. it's really crazy. I, and that type of lifestyle works for me. Where I don't have kids and I don't have a girlfriend, so I can live really super lean and not have to worry about debts and stuff like that.
Diego: [00:15:25] What was the biggest game changer financially for you? What do you think took the most pressure off? Was there one move or one thing that you paid off, or one thing that you changed that really changed how finances affected really the stress in your life?
Scott Hebert: [00:15:42] Originally when I first started my farm, I had this truck and it was, but I needed money to start my farm, but I had this truck that was $20,000.
So when I decided that I was going to sell my truck and downgrade to a twenty-five hundred dollar car and use the money that I had got from selling my truck to start my farm, that was a really big game changer like that. Totally. I think about that. Probably multiple times a week still. That was a really big game changer because that was like the point in time when I was like, I don't care what people think about me, I'm going to do.
I felt like that was the point in time when I started living for myself a lot more. Whereas before, like I thought I needed external validation, like that's why I had that truck. I had that truck cause other people thought it was nice. I thought it was nice too, but I didn't actually care about having that truck.
Diego: [00:16:29] Yeah. I have a very similar story and I don't think I've ever told this before, but. When I got out of college, I started working as an engineer and, I was making a decent amount of money at the time for being 23 years old. So I went out and bought a Lexus. IS 300. I had. 500 and something, dollar payments a month.
And about six months later, I decided I'm going to go back to grad school full-time to get my master's. That means I'm going to give up my job, give up the salary that I'm earning. And it just goes to show the lack of foresight that a young person can have. And I remember feeling this car payment was crippling because if I'm going from making.
I dunno what the numbers were. Let's say $4,500 a month to making a thousand dollars a month working a part-time job. And 500 of that was going to vehicle. It was an immense amount of stress. So I went and basically fire sold the car just to get out from under that debt and downgraded massively and, cut my payment from five something to something around 210 and the pressure was off.
And it felt good to be out from under that burden, but one lesson is never sell something or never buy something when you're desperate because you will get screwed. And I know I got screwed in that deal, but. It did take the pressure off. And I think the more that you can do in your personal life financially, the more it's going to make business easier to run.
If your business only has to lift a burn rate of a thousand dollars a month. And I think Aja check who was on the show said something like that. It's a lot different approach to business, and it's a lot more of a relaxed approach and you have a little more freedom to maneuver. Then, if you need a business that has to produce $4,000 a month and it's not doing it.
Scott Hebert: [00:18:27] Yeah. Oh, totally. I totally agree. A hundred percent. Yeah. I feel so much, I feel so much loose and later, like if you want to talk about like this seem to lab, stuff, I feel like I have options now have so much more optionality now that I have, a low burn rate, no debt and money saved up. Like I pretty much am free to do whatever I want to do, which really is awesome because now I don't have to worry about making X amount of money off of my farm, I can just worry about what's good for my farm and good for me long-term which I think is a lot more effective of a strategy rather than just worrying about that I have to make $50,000 this year.
Diego: [00:19:04] You know, thinking along this theme, if you were going to start over your farming journey again, what would you do differently? And don't say nothing because some people say nothing. Let's I know you learn stuff. I know you're failing forward in those last two years and you learn things, but knowing what you know now with market streams, with farm running, with personal finances, how would you approach this differently from day one to not necessarily make it more successful, but just make it more manageable?
Scott Hebert: [00:19:37] I would have listened to myself a lot more. I feel like that I had really good instincts, but I did not listen to them. And there was certain points in time when I felt that I should have pressed the gas down, but instead I hesitated and pulled back a little bit. And I think there was certain points in times when.
That costs me, like I was tentative and I should have been listening to my instincts a lot more. I really feel, I feel like that the one thing that I've learned from doing my farm is that I'm a lot more capable than I ever thought possible. It's a really good feeling to have, but, yeah, I should have just been listening to myself a lot more.
That's what I would've done. I would've stopped listening to all these external. Things and looking for external validation on things. I would've just, pressed ahead a lot faster.
Diego: [00:20:18] What's an example of where you were tentative and you shouldn't have been, you should have pressed the gas.
Scott Hebert: [00:20:22] even things like, selling my truck and stuff. I knew that I should have had my, like the way that I was living my life. I should have had, my burn rate a lot lower. I didn't need to be carrying some of the debts that I was carrying. They were silly. Even planting wise, there was a couple points in time where I was scared because I thought okay, if the grocery stores are going to want X amount in six weeks, I need to plant that out.
But then I got scared because, I didn't really have anything tangible lined up with the stores at the very beginning. Like I didn't have a contract written or there was nothing like that. We just had a handshake agreement that I was going to sell there. So I got.
Scared that maybe this was all going to blow up in my face. And I got scared that, that maybe I was going to get left with a field full of lettuce. So I started selling to these grocery stores and then when they were ready to like, when we had a good relationship and they were ready to take more product from me, I didn't necessarily have more product because I had been hesitant on planting it out.
Diego: [00:21:24] Yeah, in here in that. While it's great to say, this is how I would have started over knowing what I know. Now you have to go through all that stuff to learn this stuff. So you could fictionally start over at the place where you are now.
Scott Hebert: [00:21:37] I don't feel like I made any critical, missteps. I feel like there was obviously there's obviously like little things where I'm just like, Oh, that was dumb.
I shouldn't have done that or whatever, but I don't feel like I made any, yeah. I don't feel like I made any really critical missteps that left me super vulnerable bull or vulnerable or anything like that. I just feel, I just feel like I could have executed a lot more efficiently and a lot more effectively.
Diego: [00:22:01] Over the past couple of years running the farm in this I'll call it the startup phase. You've worked jobs full time, you've worked part time in there. How has it been balancing full-time or part-time work with running the farm? You alluded to that you just took on too many markets initially, and that was a chore balancing that with your full-time job, but in general, how has that been?
do you think. If you throw the finances out, obviously you need to work full-time if you need the money, but do you think starting up the farm while working a full-time job puts you at more of a disadvantage than starting a farm working a part-time job?
Scott Hebert: [00:22:42] it depends on what kind of timeline we're going to measure this on, because if you, if I was going to start my farm this year and I quit my job.
And I just farm full-time. I could 100% definitely make more money if I didn't have to work off farm this year, but as a whole for my life, if we're talking like in terms of five years down the road, I think that keeping your job until you're at a point in time financially, ready to leave is a really good.
Is a really good idea. Like I'm, I would say that from two years ago to now I am an order of magnitude more efficient at working. I think I was, I don't think I'm a harder worker. I think I was, I think I've always been, I think I've always had a decent work ethic, but now I'm so much more efficient.
Then I was even a year ago and way more than I was two years ago, like I can get more done. It was really funny on the podcast that we did with Curtis. He said something along the lines of, you're going to find that you're going to be able to get things done, like so much more effectively, like yours will wave your hand and it will be done.
And that has been so true. I can get more done now in a week than I could've got done in a month before. And I it's just maturity. I don't know. it's just learning about how to do it, It just takes awhile to there's so many different variables and so many different pieces to running the business, to running the farm, to getting everything successfully from planting properly, all the way to harvesting to the sale. it just takes a while to figure out all those pieces.
Diego: [00:24:21] Would do you think that efficiency is more due to getting better at the stuff that you did from day one? Or changing your approach and how you did
Scott Hebert: [00:24:33] what you do both. It's also because I'm also had to be efficient because I worked an off-farm job.
that is one of the reasons why I had to be efficient because I would go to work from for last year I would take, one day off a week. So there would be like Monday to Thursday where I would be going to a day job. So I would have one task to do when I got home from work. And honestly, those were my hardest days working because I'd go to the day job and then I would come home and you don't want to, you don't want to go to work again, but you do, you go do one thing.
And then from Thursday afternoon to Sunday night, That was my farming time. So I had all my time blocked out on what I was going to do from like Thursday night to Sunday. And then that was how I was like measuring my week. So I was, I would try to be super efficient and schedule out my time and everything in that block of time.
So I learned how to actually be efficient because I had a limited space in time, but then you also get more efficient at what you're doing. Like even I had to go. So I was probably my beds. Couple of days ago and I was putting fertilizer in there. And I was just thinking before about when I first started, I didn't know where to get fertilizer.
I didn't know what type of fertilizer I should get. I didn't know how much I should put in, like how much is too much. If I put in, if I put it in 16 ounces, is that a lot? For 54 or for a 25 foot bed. If I put in, if I put in 32 ounces, is that way more, or is that barely going to make a difference? I don't know.
you don't know all these things. How am I going to apply it? I'm just going to. Am I just going to shake it out there, but now I have my system, so I know where to get the fertilizer. I know what kind I'm getting. I know what's in it. I have a container to put the fertilizer that I got from the store into.
I have my scoop there already. I know how many scoops to put on a 25 foot bed. I know that I'm going to put it in a diagonal pattern on my bed so that when I use my tilter, it all goes into the bed evenly. So it's It's there's so many things that go into it. You know what I'm saying?
Diego: [00:26:43] For sure, now here's a big question. You now don't have a full time job anymore, and you're entering the farming season. So this massive work commitment that you had in the past is no longer there. This can be a huge gift and this can be a massive trap because now you're suddenly swimming in all this free time that you didn't have.
What are you going to use the free time for, or what does the free time you have now enable you to do on the farm that you couldn't do before?
Scott Hebert: [00:27:17] definitely I can work with things now. So if it's going to be raining tomorrow morning, but it signed today, I know that I have to do all my outside stuff.
Today. Whereas before if I had, if it was Thursday and I was going to have tomorrow off, it didn't really matter what was happening. No aside, because that was the day I had off. So that is like probably the biggest thing. Just that I can quickly run out, do stuff, run back in. If I need to. do inside stuff.
So I think that right there just frees up so much time. And then plus too, last year I was last year, I was like trying to schedule my deliveries around when I was working, because I was working at this. I was working at a golf course, so I could actually set my own hours as long as I got certain things done at certain times.
So it was like, Each week was always running around, trying to figure out when I could deliver based on when I had to work and what I had to get done at the golf course. and now I can just do deliveries every Tuesday, Friday, like easy, no problem. Whenever I want to.
Diego: [00:28:26] Is there any worry of Parkinson's law coming into effect where work expands to fill the time available for its completion. So before you had to squeeze everything in really Thursday through Sunday, and now you have all this week and suddenly there's ton of time to do the same amount of stuff, maybe different days that you don't eat in, there could be a case where you don't even get as much done as you did before.
Scott Hebert: [00:28:56] yeah, I think that is definitely a, a real thing to think about, but I'm okay with that for this year because I've been working my tail off man for the past two years. I pretty much like I've pretty much just been working, honestly. I would go to work, come home and work more. So I'm okay with having that happen.
I'm okay with. getting the same amount done that I was getting before. As long as I get it, like a little bit more done. I'm okay with that happening. I'm okay with having a little bit of a slower pace of life. I feel like that I could use that right now, for my life and just for the whole context of my life.
Diego: [00:29:30] Yeah. It goes back to one of those things that you talked about, work life balance, and I'm somebody that is a big believer in that, but I'm also somebody that's a realist, and I realize that you can't have work life balance 100% of the time. And sometimes it will be skewed towards life and sometimes it will be skewed towards a work. And it sounds like you're entering this period where the balance is more normalizing away from work, where it was before.
Scott Hebert: [00:29:59] Oh, yeah, for sure. Like even so last October, my farm, or last October, November, the farm starts getting there's less stuff to do on the farm. And I remember it was, yeah, it must've been October, November.
It got to be like seven or eight o'clock at night, one night. And I was like, I don't think I have anything to do. I think I can just sit here and watch Netflix guilt-free and I actually, I didn't even, I didn't even have Netflix. Like I had to go, I had to text my sister, get her password for Netflix so I could watch something, but it was like this really strange thing where for the first time in a long time, I could sit there completely guilt-free and hang out.
And it felt wonderful, honestly, but, yeah, it was definitely, but now I'm feeling like that. I'm feeling like that. I don't have to be working quite as hard as I have been the whole time. I definitely feel like I'm entering a new chapter, like a new phase of my life and my farm.
Diego: [00:30:57] One thing I was thinking about when you get more time in life is don't be so eager to fill it up right away. Because if you have this time to enjoy life and expand, you're more aware of other opportunities or you can pursue other things that come up or things you might want to try. If suddenly you enter this season now thinking, Oh man, I have 32 hours. Now I can fill up on the farm and you start allocating that up.
And new opportunities arise, you have no bandwidth to start adding those things in the life. when you think about what you are doing on the farm, when you started out. I'm sure there was a bit of a honeymoon phase, it's exciting. But after a while of working a full-time job, running your farm and all those off-hours, and then I hear the Netflix story. Did it become something you did and lose some of the fun after a while?
Scott Hebert: [00:31:53] at the beginning of last season, it was not that fun. That was probably, I think the beginning of last season was probably the hardest, that I felt emotionally from my farm because so the first year I thought that I was going to go to that farmer's market didn't work out. So I'd already been burned by thinking that I had a sales outlet. And then the way that I had set up my farm for my second season was that I was going to be selling. Two grocery stores, but I didn't have any like actual contracts in place.
I just had like handshake agreements. So I felt like I was doing the exact same thing over again, where I was setting myself up to go into this revenue stream. That they could just completely not work out. Like I was only going to do a couple of stores. So if you only have a couple of stores say, no, it's only two people.
It takes this say no, and have it all blow up in your face. And then, last year we had a really aggressive winter, He just kept on going and going. usually we don't get snow here in March and we got snow in March. We got a lot of snow and then it was just like, the entire March was just rain.
And like it was raining so hard that the ground was completely oversaturated and it would be raining in buckets and there would be mist coming off the ground because it was just hitting puddles everywhere. And like the first couple of, lettuce transplants that I planted out. It was like, I was just transplanting into soup.
That's what it felt like. And then it would, they would just get hammered with rain for three days. And I would go out there and the slugs had eaten all of my lettuce and it was just like, I just felt like I was fighting so many battles and I was fighting to get all my lettuce going. And I was like setting everything up to sell at this grocery stores that I didn't know if they were actually going to take my products.
And, money's getting lower because I, sales were taking longer to go through. I thought I was going to start selling. I thought I was going to start having sales in may and I didn't have started having sales until June. So it was already like four weeks later than I thought that my business was going to be cash flowing. And it was just, it was a lot of stress. that was the least fun that I had farming so far.
Diego: [00:34:03] When you think about getting into this lifestyle, You hear all different sorts of numbers out there. And you said initially, you were chasing the numbers. Do you think, to get your farm, to quote, be successful, meaning it can support your lifestyle, it took or we'll take a blend of adjusting life and life expenditures and life expectations and growing the farm together? On one hand you can just try and crank the farm income up as high as you can go and earn a ton of money, but that's not going to work for everyone.
In fact, it's not going to work for most people where if you can get the farm to a certain level, I'll call it a more realistic level, and adjust life accordingly. That's probably where more of the success sweet spot is. What are your thoughts on that?
Scott Hebert: [00:35:00] Yeah, I'm working on figuring out what my sweet spot is. That's where I'm at right now with everything. I don't think that I need to chase, like before I was really thinking that I wanted to have a farm that made a hundred thousand dollars.
now obviously I would still like that if that was available to me, but I don't need that anymore. I don't need to make, I don't need to make that for someone to have a successful farm, like for me to have a successful farm. I just need to, I would like to have a farm business that, pays me an income and also allows me to expand my farm.
And, I haven't taken any money out of my farm yet. I haven't paid myself from my farm and this year I was planning on not paying myself from my farm yet. I was still going to keep all that money invested. And I was really thinking that next year was going to be the year when I would start drawing an income from my farm. If that makes sense.
Diego: [00:35:56] Does that mean this year, you have to just work on say consistent production, keep customers happy and then grow the income to allow you to get to a point where you can start pulling a paycheck out of it. Yes.
Scott Hebert: [00:36:10] I th I actually could. Pull, I could take the money out of it if I wanted to, but just the way that things have worked out.
I got another part-time job editing video on the side, so it's 10 hours a week. And because I've got my living expenses solo that pays. For everything that I'm doing that pays for all my living expenses. So I don't actually need to take any money out of my farm this year. So from my farm this year, I would like to, I would like to start next season.
with some things I would like to start by next season, I would like to have the paper pot, transplanter. I would like to have two, at least two, 100 foot Caterpillar tunnels, and I'm going to be expanding my farm. So I'm going to need to put in a well, and the Well's going to be, at least $5,000. I need to put some money back into my farm, but then next season, if I had all of that, plus my infrastructure, I'd have a pretty bumping farm.
Like I would have everything that I would need to be like really successful and I could really start pushing harder on the numbers then the next year.
Diego: [00:37:12] For people hearing this and wondering what might be possible in terms of cutting lifestyle expenses to make a situation like this possible, what are some of the things that you've done that are beyond just, Hey, I'm going to, I know you don't have Netflix or maybe you do, but besides canceling the $10 a month Netflix, what are the things that have really made a difference with lowering your expenses? So you can get by, on such a small income,
Scott Hebert: [00:37:38] because I was working so much, I didn't have that much expenditures in like entertainment, So I wasn't, I was never the type of person that was going out to eat food all the time. that was, that's just like never my thing. I'm not the person that goes out to movies. Like when I want to go do something fun, I'll go for like a hike or something.
So I'm doing something that doesn't cost any money. So right there, I think I'm saving. I was saving a lot of money. definitely who you're hanging out with. cha like originally when I started my farm. I was hanging out with other people who were high consumption. So that means we'd be going to the bar and we'd be going out and we'd be doing stuff.
And then over the past couple of years, as I've been focusing more and more on my business and some of those. I would say like shallow relationships have fallen by the wayside. that was a really good way to save money, honestly, because, I was just spending less money on things.
outside of that in 2013, I bought part of my parents' property from them. I was a minority owner in their property and, I was planning on expanding out. Into our backfield next year, but to go out into our backfield, I needed to put in a well, and before I put in that hard infrastructure, I wanted to have a talk with my parents about what our future plans were, because I wanted to make sure that everyone was on the same page before I started to do anything permanent.
what actually happened was. My brother was living at my parents' house and we started to discuss what would happen if he bought, my house from me and we had a talk about it and everything went through really quickly. And I ended up negotiating for control of the land. so I still get to farm here.
I still get to use the shop that I've been using to do all my post harvesting and store all my tools and stuff. But, yeah, I'm going to sell my house to my brother.
Diego: [00:39:32] And that's obviously going to bring in some cash and it's going to bring in less living expenses, theoretically. I don't know if you had a mortgage on that, but you're not paying
Scott Hebert: [00:39:43] I had a mortgage on it. My living expenses went down by three quarters. They were already low, but they went down like considerably low. Now my business is at a point in time, my business at a point in time where it's paying for some of my bills. So things like my cell phone, internet that all gets paid for through my business.
So the only things that I actually have to pay out of my pocket were food and then everything else was pretty much host related. So that would have been like, mortgage, life insurance on the mortgage, heating, taxes, garbage, things like that.
Diego: [00:40:20] Yeah. And this move is something I realized that not everybody out there can do, but I think the point here is if you're feeling stressed about finances, if you're under a lot of pressure, Sometimes making little moves isn't gonna change anything, and you're going to have to make a big move, a dramatic move that you might have to sacrifice a lot of things where I'm sure it wasn't, a hundred percent like all your emotions, all your feelings were for selling the house. There was probably some reservation there, but in doing that, it dramatically changes your situation now, and in a way allows you to take a little bit more control of your future and maybe build a different future than you would have had if you had kept the house.
Scott Hebert: [00:41:05] Oh, totally. I was actually, I was feeling really, I was feeling really conflicted about living here because, I have, I used to work with my dad and we have a really good relationship, but I could see the seeds of resentment had been planted in me.
And, I was I felt like I was trapped here because I was, I couldn't sell my house unless they want it to sell. Which was, I was okay with that, but I could, yeah, I could see the seeds of resentment. I would just felt like I was trapped and closed in, but I also wanted to farm.
I also really feel like that's something I want to do. So I couldn't see any way that I could sell my house and get to farm. It just didn't there was just no options for that. And then when I found out that my brother was going to be looking into buying a house, I was like, Oh, what if you bought my house?
But I got to farm there. And then from the initial conversation, we actually had everything worked out like super fast. We had a handshake agreement in three days, every, it was like the craziest, most surprising thing that pretty much has ever happened because for that to happen, there's three parties involved.
There's my parents, myself and my brother. And so many things had to happen and line up. Like he had to be willing to buy my house and let me farm. And then my parents had to be cool with it too. And the money had to line up. Like I just never even considered that. That was going to be a possibility.
And then, yeah, the whole thing happened like really fast and it just seemed like it was. It seemed it was like one of those things where, when I realized that was a possibility, and that was an answer, it was just so clearly the right answer and the right thing to do that. I didn't really have any hesitations about, selling it.
And that put me in such a good position where I was like, cause I was already. I was already building a nest egg. That's why I had a job still. I was trying to save up like a year's worth of income so that I could go, full-time working for myself next year. That was my whole plan go. Full-time working for myself next year, but now.
My bills are completely slashed. I have way more money saved up than I thought I was going to have saved up even after next year. And it's just I'm just at it in such a different place now. And this has only been, this has been really recent. This has been like a month that this has happened. So
Diego: [00:43:24] How does that feel from a pressure perspective?
Scott Hebert: [00:43:26] I've been looking through the world through Rose colored glasses for the past month I've been like on cloud nine. I feel completely. Like free, so yeah, I had my mortgage and stuff and it's just this weird kind of pressure, always lurking in the background. It's like I have to have $15,000 saved up just to cover a year's worth of host related expenses.
Like that kills me. That's not even my living expenses on top of that, like that doesn't include getting new clothes or eating food. that's just my house just to pay to live somewhere. And I was just thinking the whole time that like, man, I could live way cheaper somewhere else. and I just didn't think that it was ever going to happen though.
I didn't know how I was ever going to get out of that. And then, yeah, once it happened now, it's just if I feel so much less stress, like the level of stress that I experienced now compared to yeah. Even three months ago say is like 180 degrees difference
Diego: [00:44:23] So that moves bought you pressure from not having to necessarily earn as much financially in the near term. It's bought you some time. When you look at everything else that you're doing besides the farm, you have the podcasts, you do YouTube. How much do you look at growing, say other income sources or other forms of capital away from farming either just for your own interest and for your own fulfillment, or is just some strategy to make yourself more anti-fragile.
Scott Hebert: [00:44:58] I always have thought that I didn't care. so I want to make $60,000 take home, pay working for myself. That's like my goal of working for myself full time. And I don't care if 40,000 of that comes from farming or 20,000 of that comes from farming, or if all 60 of that comes from farming.
I was always open to the possibility of doing something else and with my personality, I have to do something creative. Or I'm completely miserable and useless to society to everyone. So I have to do something creative. I just have this little bit of an artist, openness, whatever you want to call it in me.
And I need that to be fulfilled. So by doing a podcast and by doing, my YouTube channel, that really fills that. And then hopefully I would like to, like this year, my plan is to. farm full time, try to get my farm up to a point in time where I'm making as much money as I can on it, but I'd also like to monetize being creative in some capacity.
And I don't really care how that broke down, but yeah, I would definitely like to have, I would like to be more anti-fragile in that sense. And I think that like, When I'm only having the one revenue stream right now on my farm that could change next year. But, when I'm only having one revenue stream on my farm this year, that's really important to have diversity, in revenue streams coming from somewhere else.
And so hopefully, you never know, could happen with YouTube could happen with podcasts could be something completely different.
Diego: [00:46:22] So really farming is just a piece of the pie from a fulfillment standpoint. And from an income standpoint, it's not the whole pie.
Scott Hebert: [00:46:29] Yeah, no, totally. I really love everything about the whole farming thing right now, but, I really feel like that I can start stacking everything together.
Like originally when I started the YouTube, my YouTube channel, I was thinking. That I was going to do recipe videos. This was my plan. I was going to grow way too much lettuce this year. And I was going to give as much away as I possibly could pretty much afford like at, like at the grocery stores, like doing like samples and stuff like that.
give away to people. Cause I know I have the best products, so it's more just like getting it in people's hands. So I was really thinking that with my YouTube channel, that I wanted to make recipe videos. So I was going to collaborate with local mommy, bloggers and chefs and stuff like that and give them free product.
I was hoping that they would make me recipes and then I could make those recipes into a video either with them or by myself. And so that way I would be like, Working with these influencers on the videos. I would also have a stash of reps, recipes using my products on my YouTube channel. And then, it would all integrate together.
You know what I'm saying? So I wanted to, that's what I was thinking about, like with my YouTube and, how it would all work together. it seems like that they're all separate, but like to me, everything integrates together.
Diego: [00:47:55] Sure, sure. And the great thing about doing that is you're diversified in terms of your emotional fulfilment in life or how you feel about things. I think a lot of us, if you're into this space or if you're just an entrepreneur, you can go head on into one thing and that one thing can become everything. And then inevitably everything that we pursue is going to have ups and downs. And if you're all-in emotionally and energy-wise into one thing, say the farm and the farm has a slow period or a down period, your life is inevitably going to go down with it.
I've had to learn the hard way as an entrepreneur. Like you don't put all your eggs in one basket, not necessarily just financially, but just to try and protect your own mental state. So you're not writing so much on one business. When a lot of times you can't control everything that's happening in that business.
Scott Hebert: [00:48:57] Totally. I think the one thing is that a lot of people take their self-worth out of what they're doing. So I'm really detached from. If my farm doesn't make money, that doesn't reflect on me as a person. If my YouTube channel doesn't get any views that doesn't reflect on me as a person. But the problem is that, you're building this business or you're building a YouTube channel or a podcast or whatever it is, and you're putting so much of yourself into it.
Like that is you, that business is you. That YouTube channel is you. So it's really hard to detach yourself and to. not see yourself in that. So when someone rejects it, whether it's, they don't want your product or they don't want to subscribe to your channel or whatever it is, it's hard not to take that rejection personally, right?
Diego: [00:49:41] Oh, a hundred percent. Yes, exactly. You'll in the less things you have, and I think the harder it is to detach yourself from that thing. Because look at it realistic. If you're spending 10 hours a day, grinding it out on the farm, sweating out there, going to the farmer's market, you believe in your product.
And then you do less than a hundred bucks at sales at that farmer's market, we can sit here and say, detach your emotions from that. But it's really hard in that moment to be like, Goddamn. This is what the week left me. Like I feel like crap, but then at the same point, if you're also doing some that there are things in life and I'm a podcast, whatever it is, odds are.
You're not going to get all of these things hitting lows at the same time. So the highs in one facet of your life, it can help buffer the all-in. Or the Lowe's and other parts of your life. So yeah, I'm with you. I try not to derive my fulfillment from stuff that I create and put my everything into. But a lot of times I definitely derive my fulfillment from those things.
Scott Hebert: [00:50:51] I know what you're saying. I know it's tough. I know it's tough. Cause you're like, you're trying to put as much of yourself into it as you can, but at the same time, like you just have to. Set it loose and let it be its own thing eventually.
And that's really tough. It's really tough not to take yourself out of it. one of the biggest things that's helped me has been, I think this came from, Brenae Brown. she said that just because you failed doesn't mean that you are a failure. Like I think a lot of times when, so when my farm was going bad at the beginning of last season, or actually it wasn't even going bad, it just felt like it was going bad.
Everything was taking forever and nothing was working out. And I was taking those failures, like really personally, like when my lettuce didn't grow, I thought that reflected on me as a person. Like I'm, I am a failure because my lettuce didn't grow, but that's not true at all. Just because my lettuce doesn't grow. It doesn't mean I'm a failure at all. That there's those two things don't correlate like zero. Exactly.
Diego: [00:51:49] If you think beyond lettuce and some of the other things that you're doing in life, one of the things that you do is the podcast, the stoic metal podcasts, what are some things that you've learned from your readings into stoicism that you think really applied to this audience? Entrepreneurs, farmers, people trying to do what you're doing.
Scott Hebert: [00:52:12] I think that the, probably the biggest thing is that you don't control what happens, but you do control how you respond. in-store CISM. So these guys, the ancient Stokes, and they believed that humans were primarily two things. They believe that we were rational animals and they believe that we're social animals.
So that means that in every situation that you have the ability to choose between a and B. Okay. And they also believe that we're social animals. So that means that in every situation. You should be choosing between a and B, but always aiming towards the greater good. So when something happens, whether it's positive or negative, don't control what happens, but you can choose how you're going to respond to that situation.
Diego: [00:52:58] Yeah. So if you have that bad lettuce crop that you talked about earlier, you can choose you maybe couldn't you maybe could have controlled how that led us turned out, but inevitably it turned out, however, it turned out when you see that failed lettuce crop. You can choose how you respond to that lettuce crop.
You can freak out, you can get pissed, you can get frustrated or you can say, what did I do wrong here? I learned from it. I'll do it better than the next time.
Scott Hebert: [00:53:27] Yeah. And you can, you need to look at all the things that were in your control to do so it's okay. Where are your transplants as good as you could have grown them?
what would have happened if you had put them under plastic? They would probably wouldn't have got rained on. They probably wouldn't have got washed out. So it's like all these things that are inside of your control that you can control. There was one thing that I learned from wrestling and it was like, control the controllables.
that was just a saying that people said, and it was like, you need, there's certain things that are way outside of your control, which is going to be like the weather and all those things. But you just need to focus on what you can control. And leave the rest to fate.
Diego: [00:54:01] That's huge, right there. For anybody in farm startup or really running a business at any stage, there's going to be this constant barrage of things that don't work. And especially when you're starting out, you're going to come up on a whole bunch of things that you try that quote, �fail�. They don't work as well as you expected.
And I'm a big believer that if you can't. Weather that storm and figure out a way to deal with how you respond to all those experiences that fail. Then you won't make it as a farmer or as an entrepreneur. And just adapting how you react, I think will enable you to outlast a lot of other people trying to get into this business.
Scott Hebert: [00:54:51] Oh, definitely. And anytime that you start anything, you have an idea for how it's going to go. And then it never goes like that. if you had to predict anything, like even how your day tomorrow was going to go, there's no way that you could predict accurately how it's going to go. So it's you think something's going to go one way and then it's definitely not going to go that way no matter what.
How you deal with the challenges that come up between, you starting something and the result of it finishing is everything,
Diego: [00:55:20] And going into 2018 and this farm season here, do you feel like at this point you have some ability to predict how things will go? Do you think that now two years in. You became a better grower, your skills are more finely honed. So in theory the year should go a lot smoother than it has in the past, because you've just gotten better in everything you've learned?
Scott Hebert: [00:55:44] Yeah, for sure. Definitely. I think that also my predictions. Are a lot more short term now, whereas before I would have projected the whole season and been like, I'm going to make I'm going to grow $30,000 this year, but now I'm just like, okay, let's get into June and try to be in three grocery stores by then.
And then we'll see how that's going once we're there. You know what I'm saying? Like I'm, I feel like that I'm a lot more I've. Yeah. I feel like that I'm viewing things a lot shorter of a timeframe. And that makes my, that makes it easier to predict because I'm making like, there's so many variables that happen. In six months versus what would happen in three months.
Diego: [00:56:23] Definitely. Definitely much easier to predict what happens a minute from now than 10 days from now.
Scott Hebert: [00:56:29] I think I'm just more, I think I'm just more realistic now, I guess like now, like originally when I first started, I didn't, I had no idea how much was too much that I think that was one of the biggest things is that you don't know how much is going to be too much, Like it's $20,000 a lot to do in a farm when you still have an off farm job. Is that a lot, I don't know is $10,000 is 15. Like, when's the magic number of if you're working in an off-farm job, how much can you expect to make before? It's like way too much work. And like, when I first started, I had no idea, but now I'm thinking that if you have an off-farm job, And you want to farm part-time, I think that $10,000 would be a really good place to shoot for growing veg. And I think that you could get to 15, if you had some good revenue streams lined up and things broke. And I think that if anybody could do $20,000. In a farm season working part time or working off farm, that'd be like amazing.
Diego: [00:57:31] Now with your time on the farm increasing, how are you approaching sales this year? Like you're going into the season with some amount of customers in terms of stores, I'm assuming. And then are you trying to increase the amount of stores that you're selling to?
Scott Hebert: [00:57:47] Yes, that was my plan for this year. So before I sold my house, My plan was, I was gonna just work part time during this season. And I was just going to keep my farm fairly small, try to increase the number of stores and into that was to be my plan, but I was only gonna, I did two stores last year. So I was kinda thinking that if I could do four stores, that would be pretty good. That would probably be Maxine out. my time commitment while still working a part time job.
But now that I don't have to have a part time job, Yeah, I'm I'm in a weird space right now where I had a certain plan for my farm. And now I'm realizing that I can be a lot more aggressive than I thought I could be just because I have so much more time.
Diego: [00:58:31] How's it been meeting demand for stores for you from a production standpoint? Do you get orders where it's something like, bring 50 pounds of this mix a week or is it, bring as much as you have this week?
Scott Hebert: [00:58:48] I did. So I was selling in cases. So a bag of. I would do a case, has 10 bags in it. And so my one store that was doing the most, they would do 12 cases of lettuce a week. So I would do five on Monday and seven on Friday. And that was just a standing order. My other grocery store that I was doing, they were smaller. So they were it would change a little bit depending on what it was, but they were only doing three or four cases a week type of thing.
So I knew what I was going to do, but last year, so last year in June, I started selling and they, the stores don't just take the full capacity that they could take right away. They'll take a little bit, they'll see how it sells and then. If they want more, they'll take more. So it's I was planting stuff out last year and I had no idea what kind of volume they were going to take.
I had zero idea. So I was just going to plant way too much. And then if I had to compost some, that was my strategy going into it. and then, it worked out that by the time that like, I kinda got a little gun shy, like I said, last year, I should have been more aggressive, but.
I got scared, like things weren't gonna work out. So I didn't plan out as much as I thought I could. And by the time that, I had some traction going and they were ready to ramp up sales, I wasn't ready. So then it took me another month to get up to a point in time where my lettuce was like coming back out to the volume that they wanted to get to.
So it, the first season was just. It felt like I was just throwing stuff against throwing mud against the wall and seeing what sticks, because I really didn't have any idea how much volume they were going to take. It was really hard to predict based on, cause I didn't really have anyone to talk to about like how much I could expect a store to take volume wise.
But now I have a big size store and a small size store and I know how much each of those takes. So now when I go into a different grocery store, I can see, I can make an accurate prediction. I feel.
Diego: [01:00:53] So it�s like really the only thing maybe that you could use in there some way to absorb the buffer, like if you over produced one week and had to move it. You don't have some outlet to dump the overproduction into. Because I imagine that's the tricky part, Is throughout the season with seasonality, you're Vancouver latitude. So you get massive swings in daylight from now till June. They produce a kind of consistent quantity the whole time. There's a lot of skill in that takes a lot of experience to do.
Scott Hebert: [01:01:27] well. Yeah. But that's why I only did the lettuce at first because the lettuce has more, the lettuce. The salad over lettuce, you can leave it for an extra week, say, and it's not going to get too big. Whereas if you left like a spinach, then you're, it's going to get way too big.
And you can't sell a baby leaf spinach when it's as big as your Palm. So that's why last year I said that I was only going to have lettuce and I was only going to guarantee lettuce because there was, there's a lot more play with the lettuce. So that was my strategy going in. And that's why I'm still hesitant on, Like really committing to having steady production on all these other crops.
I'm still just promising like lettuce and spinach. That's all I'm promising this year. And so this year, my plan is just, again, is just to plant out really aggressively and have too much product. And if I have to eat some of that, compost it or give it away for free as samples for a week. I'm okay with that. That's my strategy going in this year.
Diego: [01:02:20] I guess the good thing about that, there's not that much money in a bed that you just, till under, the seed cost is minimal, your labor into it is relatively minimal. There's not hundreds of dollars of input costs tied up in a bed that you don't sell.
And when you're trying to grow a market stream and service a good customer, a big customer, Better to have too much than not enough, especially when having too much, the downside of having too much, doesn't actually cost you that much money and you have the time.
Scott Hebert: [01:02:52] Yeah, totally. And yeah, I got caught last year, a couple of times with not having enough product and it sucks.
it's like you have these guys that are super stoked on everything that you're doing. They're just like, they're happy with how you're delivering. And it's just Nope. Sorry guys. Got nothing for you. They like, they want to give you their money. It's okay, no, sorry, messed up this week.
Didn't plant enough. And like that sucks. I don't want to go through that again. it was like originally, even when I was planting out transplants and stuff, I would aim to have 10% more transplants than I thought that I would need to be planting out that week. But because I'm so early in my farming career, I still have massive losses.
Like I still have catastrophic losses sometimes just with stuff, not going well, I forgot to water. didn't plant them correctly, whatever. I've now learned that for these first couple years that I need to plant out like 25% more. And I just have to, that's just part of, that's just part of starting out is that you can try to be as efficient as you can, but you're still going to have to deal with some of these catastrophic loss events where you're really going to wish that you had planted out way more than you thought you needed.
Diego: [01:04:01] It's a learning curve. It's tough to match sales with inventory. I get it, I'm going through it. I empathize. And I'm sorry to people out there listening to this, but it's just, it's hard to do. And there's some of the stuff you just can't predict and you think you got it figured out and then you realize, no, I don't have it figured out at all.
Thinking about predicting or at least let's call it a known. Now, if we were to have another conversation and come December of this year, Given where you're at right now. What are you going to say in December to consider this year a success?
Scott Hebert: [01:04:37] That's a really good question. I would like to have not missed any orders at my two grocery stores that I serviced last year. That's what I would really like that I would consider that a massive success. I would like to have product ready from may until December. and not miss any weeks at those two grocery stores. If I add more stores and I can't quite meet the demand at those ones, I think I would be okay with that because, I'm trying to push it right.
But at the stores that I service last year, since I already have their sales data and I'm going to be planting out too much, I feel like that would be a success. I would feel really good about that. I would really like to work on relationships this year versus, money.
I want to end this year. We are with really good relationships with all the grocery stores that I went to. I had such like the relationships I have right now are, I would say pretty fantastic. Like I, so I did I did 3000 bags of lettuce last year or lettuce and spinach and arugula. But, I had zero come back from customers zero, zero returns.
And I would, I don't think you can. I don't think you can try to keep that record intact. that's pretty hard to do, but I would like to keep it as pure as I could.
Diego: [01:05:56] Yeah. I love the idea of those things. I think they're great things to focus on. there's more. Ingest the money out there.
So if you're listening to this, think about your season. What would you say in December makes your season of success? Is it all about the money or is it about other things? Involve relationships, happy customers, not missing orders, those types of things for people that want to follow along with what you're doing, maybe learn more about stoicism or see what you're doing on your farm development on YouTube. Tell them where to go, where they can follow you.
Scott Hebert: [01:06:29] I'm on all Instagram at flavorful farms. I have a YouTube channel that she's under my name's Scott Hiebert and I run the stoke metal podcast. and that's just available on any podcast player by searching for stoke metal or stoicism
Diego: [01:06:46] there, you have it, Scott Hiebert.
If you want to follow along with everything that Scott's doing, be sure to check them out at the links that he mentioned or listened to his show. Stoic metal. Just search for that on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. That's all for this one. Thanks for listening. Next week, I'll be back with another small scale farm or making a go of it between now and then keep hustling and crushing it and stay tuned for another episode where it's all about farming, small in farming Smart
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