Increasing Farm Productivity and Efficiency with Michael Kilpatrick – Farm Small, Farm Smart (FSFS113)

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In 1999, the Kilpatrick family moved to Granville, NY to get away from “city life.” In Granville, they had enough land to garden, which was very exciting! After a couple of years, the garden grew, so much so that by 2002 brothers Philip and Michael began selling their produce to neighbors and the community at large.

In 2003, Philip and Michael sat down and decided to make it a business. Thus, Kilpatrick Family Farm was born.

By 2005, the farm was selling at multiple weekly farmers markets with a handful of wholesale accounts. Fast forward ahead to 2011 and the Kilpatrick Family Farm had grown to a staff of 12, with 14 acres of vegetable production supplying 250 families with CSA vegetables.

Today Michael will talk about what he learned running that farm and how some of the management ideas of large farms can help small farmers become more productive. He will cover topics ranging from how to market your farm better to what tools and processes can help you make your farm more profitable and more enjoyable.

Michael has learned a lot about farming the hard way, in reality, and despite the success of his vegetable farm, he eventually found himself looking for something different, and it’s that part of the story where we begin today.

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Notes from the episode with Michael Kilpatrick:

  • “Smaller the scale, the smaller the mistake.”
  • “What I think that farmers need to realize is look at the quality coming from California, 90% of the time they do have it better anyway.”
  • “50% of labor and expense of farmers usually spent after basically when you harvest beyond.”
  • “I say, you need to know what success look like in your business.”
  • “When the context changes, don’t be afraid to change.”

Connect with Michael:

In The Field Consultants

Dry Your Greens Course

Build a Better Bubbler Course

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Dry Your Greens Course

Why convert a washing machines to a greens dryer?

Converting to one of these machines can actually save you over a thousand dollars this year. Lets say you process 300 lbs of greens each week at 50 lbs an hour. Well, when we double your speed to 100 lbs an hour, that saves three hours a week at $15 dollars an hour for a savings of $45 a week. Lets say you farm 35 weeks out of the year.

That’s a savings of over $1500 in the first year.

Add to that better shelf life, and the peace of mind that its food safe? Priceless!

What’s in the course?

The course is 11 videos and 8 PDF’s that walk you through the easy process of turning a washing machine into a greens drying machine.

The videos are short, we know you don’t have a lot of time, and only put in what you needed to know; in fact, the total conversion can be done in as little as 1-2 hours.

  • We tell you what washing machine to buy or find (we’ve identified 10 models so far), the exact measurements to use when cutting the materials, and how to make it safe and easy to use.
  • There is a spreadsheet of every part you need, down to the tech screws and caulk, and links to where to buy them. (even a page about places to source the basket in Canada!)
  • We show the evolution of the different conversions we have done, and why we made them a particular way.
  • There is a private Facebook group for us to share information, see what others have done, and show our successes.
  • We only list models that we know work in North America. We can’t certify any models in Europe, but feel free to buy the course and see if the models are similar- we will refund if there are no comparable models.

Learn More and Purchase the Course

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Build a Better Bubbler Course

Why build a bubble washer?

The bubble washer washes greens by loosening dirt and bugs, mixing them thoroughly, and cools the crop, all without bruising or tearing!

What’s in the course?

  • Complete list of parts, supplies, and washing accessories
  • 13 value pack videos on how to build and use
  • Drawings so you can visualize what you are building
  • Training on how to use the bubble washer after you build it

You Will learn…

  • what crops do best in the bubble washer
  • the size  and quantity of holes to drill for best bubbling action
  • Which motor is the quietest and where to buy
  • what size bubble washer is right for you
  • best ways to make your bubble washer food safe
  • a simple $8 tool to clean your bubble washer

Learn More and Purchase the Course

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