More Common Reasons Why Many Farmers Struggle, and Practical Advice On How You Can Avoid Those Struggles – The Urban Farmer – Week 26

The Urban Farmer

[gap size=”75px”] [x_audio_embed][/x_audio_embed] [gap size=”50px”] [x_blockquote cite=”Curtis Stone” type=”center”]”Work to learn, not work to earn.” [/x_blockquote]

Common Reasons Why People Get Into Farming Fail

Taking on Too Much Land, Doing Too Much

  • Spending too much time catching up, versus really learning the process.
  • Consider the value of your time.
  • With too much land you might be growing too many low value crops that don’t justify your time in.
  • More land means you have to grow more stuff, and do it well, and then be able to sell it.  That can be stressful for a new farmer.
  • Look at your first year experiences as an investment in your education in farming.

Combining Too Much Land with Starting Farming on the Side

  • You need to think about what’s going to be the most sustainable path for you, thinking long term.
  • Ask yourself, what’s going to best leverage your experience so you can do this better in the future?
  • It’s really important the first year to start learning and paying attention to the subtleties of your plant species and your area.  If you are always trying to catch up, then you may miss some of these subtleties.
  • If you are starting a farm on the side, then realize that it is on the side.  And set yourself up for success by scaling the on the side to fit the time that you have so you can do it well.  Don’t expect to successfully do a full time job, part time.
  • Start with a small manageable piece of land.  Grow a select group of crops (5 to 10 crops) that you can sell.
  • Don’t take big risks the first year.  Go with what you know has a reasonable chance of working.
  • “You don’t want your entire life to be a grind, there’s more to it than that.”
  • Make sure that you are working smart.  Working hard just isn’t enough.  You need to be smart about the approach.

Chasing a Big Profit Your First Year

  • Don’t get too hung up how much you are going to make your first year.  Focus on your education.  Work to learn, not to earn.
  • You don’t want to go through life chasing a number.
  • Gain the experience first.  Invest time in your knowledge, then look to leverage that knowledge down the line into profits.
  • If your vision of success only involves chasing a number, then you may loose sight of learning and miss some of the subtleties about your biome and plant species which could hurt you in the future because you didn’t notice those things.
  • Don’t discount building social capital the first year.

Trying to Innovate Too Much

  • Start with something that works and iterate from there.  Go with what works.
  • To survive as a farmer, you need a farm that survives.
  • Allocate a piece of your property to experiment and innovate with different techniques and crops.  But don’t heavily experiment with your primary production, which you farm depends on to keep going.
  • Transition in new systems slowly after you know that they work.

Adding on Other Businesses onto the Farm Right Away

  • Get good at one thing first.  It’s very hard to advance several businesses in parallel.
  • Don’t try to go form A to Z in one move.  Achieve the grand vision over time, by going from A to B to C…
  • Focus on what you do best first.  Because that may be a better route towards your end goal than going right after the end goal now.
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Working with chefs can be intimidating and tricky for new an experienced farmers. Learn the proven keys to success with restaurant sales someone who has been doing it for over 5 years.

Selling to restaurants and chefs is one of the keys to running a successful urban farm that you will learn about in Curtis’s Profitable Urban Farming Course.



Curtis Stone Urban Farmer

A significant portion of the course is dedicated to helping you sell your farm products. Several sections cover the ins and outs of selling to restaurant customers, something which Curtis has done for over 5 years.

A word from Curtis about the course…

I’m here to help you.

Together with Luke Callahan, of Local Business Plans, we have filmed, written, edited, and provided a detailed step-by-step course aimed at one goal:

To make you profitable in your first year of farming. And every year moving forward.

Over the years, I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

I’ve lost money. I’ve bought bad seeds, wasted money on irrigation equipment, developed poorly worded land contracts, and been burned by non-paying chefs… and I’ve learned from it all.

These are all mistakes that you don’t need to make.

I recently ran the numbers and realized that I’ve spent over $54,400 and 5 years of my life getting my farm to where it is today: A Profitable Urban Farm!

This course is all of my experience condensed into a step-by-step path that you can follow to create your own success, in a fraction of the time it took me.

And it won’t cost you $54,400.

This course takes the feeling of overwhelm, fear, lack of knowledge, out of the equation for you and replaces it with the very best information to pair with your drive, to make a Profitable Urban Farm.

We can’t give you drive. You will need to find that within yourself. And when you do, we will help you to create a life that you love, while making money, and becoming an asset to your community.

Instead of struggling through your first year, working long hours, burning out, and wanting to quit while earning $1.45/hour, you can learn this system and become profitable in your first season.

No burn out. No wasting time in the field. And no throwing up.

But if you do trip up along the way, we are here for you.

You’ve got the drive, and we’ve got the step-by-step path for you to follow.

Let’s get started together.

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The course features 19 in-depth sections that cover everything that you need to know to get your farming journey underway. Unlike other courses the content isn’t static – it continues to grow and more content is being added each week.

The course modules are divided into two sections – Business Plan and Production.



Module #1: Getting Started with the Course

  • Unit 1 – Welcome to The Course
  • Unit 2 – Setting up Disqus
  • Unit 3 – Introduce Yourself
  • Unit 4 – Accountability Partners
  • Unit 5 – Quick Start Guide

Module #2: Your Customers

  • Unit 1 – Intro to Your Customers
  • Unit 2 – Restaurants
  • Unit 3 – Farmer’s Markets
  • Unit 4 – Wholesale Accounts
  • Unit 5 – CSA’s

Module #3: Your Products

  • Unit 1 – Intro to Your Products
  • Unit 2 – Greens
  • Unit 3 – Herbs
  • Unit 4 – Root Crops
  • Unit 5 – Summer Crops
  • Unit 6 – Microgreens

Module #4: The Weekly Sales Plan

  • Unit 1 – How Much Do You Want to Earn?
  • Unit 2 – What Products Will You Sell?
  • Unit 3 – Who Will Buy Your Produce?
  • Unit 4 – How Much Are You Earning Each Week?
  • Unit 5 – Create and Review Your Weekly Sales Plan

Module #5: The Planting Plan

  • Unit 1 – Crop Data – Yields & DTMs
  • Unit 3 – Creating Your Planting Plan
  • Unit 4 – Seed Buying Guide

Module #6: Branding

  • Unit 1 – Define Yourself
  • Unit 2 – Create a Simple Website
  • Unit 3 – Start Building Relationships
  • Unit 4 – Social Media

Module #7: Business Administration

  • Unit 1 – Register your business
  • Unit 2 – Bank Account
  • Unit 3 – Liability Insurance
  • Unit 4 – Taxes
  • Unit 5 – Accounting Options

Module #8: Marketing

  • Unit 1 – Farmer’s Markets
  • Unit 2 – Restaurants

Module #9: The Numbers

  • Unit 1 – Measure Everything
  • Unit 2 – Income
  • Unit 3 – Expenses
  • Unit 4 – Profit

Module #10: Your Team

  • Unit 1 – The Roles
  • Unit 2 – Methods of Compensation
  • Unit 3 – Attracting the Right People
  • Unit 4 – The Interview
  • Unit 5 – Make a Selection
  • Unit 6 – Hire your New Employee
  • Unit 7 – Letting Employees go
  • Unit 8 – Helping Employees Grow


Module #1: Get your Land

  • Unit 1 – Get the word out
  • Unit 2 – Identify the Prospects
  • Unit 3 – Qualify the plot
  • Unit 4 – Agree on the terms

Module #2: Infrastructure + Tools

  • Unit 1 – Bed Prep
  • Unit 2 – Nursery Equipment
  • Unit 3 – Planting
  • Unit 4 – Seeds
  • Unit 5 – Irrigation
  • Unit 6 – Weeding
  • Unit 7 – Harvesting
  • Unit 8 – Washing
  • Unit 9 – Drying
  • Unit 10 – Cold Storage
  • Unit 11 – Season Extension
  • Unit 12 – Transportation
  • Unit 13 – Market Prep
  • Unit 14 – Farmer’s Market Gear

Module #3: Plot + Bed Prep

  • Unit 1 – Plan the plot
  • Unit 2 – Prepare the Plot
  • Unit 3 – The beds and Walkways
  • Unit 4 – Turning Over the Beds
  • Unit 5 – Prepare the Beds to be Planted
  • Unit 6 – Fertility

Module #4: Planting

  • Unit 1 – Direct Seeding
  • Unit 2 – Transplanting
  • Unit 3 – Nursery
  • Unit 4 – Microgreens

Module #5: Irrigation

  • Unit 1 – When to Water
  • Unit 2 – Drip Systems
  • Unit 3 – Overhead Systems
  • Unit 4 – Examples

Module #6: Pests + Weeding

  • Unit 1 – Identify Your Pests
  • Unit 2 – Pest Prevention
  • Unit 3 – Pest Mitigation
  • Unit 4 – Identify your Weeds
  • Unit 5 – Weed Prevention
  • Unit 6 – Weed Mitigation

Module #7: Harvesting

  • Unit 1 – Harvesting Principles
  • Unit 2 – Harvesting Methods

Module #8: Processing

  • Unit 1 – Processing Principles
  • Unit 2 – Processing Methods

Module #9: Season Extension

  • Unit 1 – Season Extension Principles
  • Unit 2 – Season Extension Methods
  • Unit 3 – Overwintering
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The in-depth course covers everything that you need to know to become a successful urban farmer in a easy to follow step by step process that anyone can follow.


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If you are looking to farm for a career, then this is the course for you.


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Connect with Curtis Stone

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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