Growing Better by Growing Smaller – Going From Half an Acre to 500 Square Feet with Alex Bertsch of Epic by Nature Farm (FSFS95)

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Today I’m going to be talking to another small-scale farmer who’s greatly benefited by growing smaller, not larger.

A few years ago farmer Alex Bertsch started farming on half an acre.  Not a ton of land, but enough to make it hard for one person to manage.  Add in the fact that half an acre was being farmed part-time, and that half an acre seems a little more daunting.  Then place that half an acre 40 minutes from where Alex lived, and you now have a hard farm to manage for anyone.  It was a situation that was further complicated by growing a large variety of crops.  

Despite these first-year challenges, Alex persevered and came out the first year ahead.  Then he did something wise, he accessed the situation and he scaled back.

He cut his farm down from half an acre to just 500 square feet and some indoor growing space, and he moved the farm from the remote location to his back yard.  Also, as part of his strategy, he dramatically reduced his crops selection down to just salad greens and microgreens.

It was a big change of going smaller and simpler that changed everything for Alex.  It made his life and his farm more manageable, and it’s one that he continues to grow today.

Growing Better by Growing Smaller – Going From Half an Acre to 500 Square Feet with Alex Bertsch of Epic by Nature Farm.

Notes from Alex:

  • Selecting microgreen seeds:
    • How easily does it drop seed hulls?
    • Can it be grown at a price that makes money and keeps the product affordable?
    • Is it recognizable?
    • Color – it should pop
  • Grows and sells microgreens live in clamshells using a sand and coir mixture as the media.
  • Asks most loyal, longest customers for valuable feedback.
  • “You have to really love you hobby.  You have to be willing to put 40 hours a week into your hobby.”
  • Hobby to business – how serious are you about this?
  • “When it comes to people buying from my farm, I want them to have the greatest experience possible.”

Connect with Alex:

Epic by Nature Farm

Epic by Nature Farm on Facebook

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