The Profitable Mini-Farm – Determining Crop Profitability and Growing Amazing Carrots (E17)

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Episode Summary

The Profitable Mini-Farm is a new series hosted by Diego Footer and Jodi Roebuck to take a deep dive into the technicalities of farming—from designing your farm’s layout to crop planning to treating your soil.

In this episode of The Profitable Mini Farm, Jodi and Diego talk about maximizing precious farm real estate by evaluating which crops make the most sense to grow profitability-wise and marketability-wise. They also dive into the economics and logistics of growing and selling one of the fan favorites on any farm: carrots.

Today’s Guest: Jodi Roebuck

Jodi Roebuck is the main farmer behind Roebuck Farm and is a John Jeavons alumnus. He has been teaching sustainable bio-intensive growing techniques all over the world for over 20 years with the aim of creating sustainable food systems while bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.

            Roebuck FarmWebsite | Instagram | Facebook

            Paperpot Co.’s Jang Grower’s Notes

In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart

  • Diego introduces the episode on the business of selling carrots (00:08)  
  • Making the most out of the space you have on your farm (02:53)
  • Soft & hard metrics to consider when choosing which crops to grow on the farm (03:33)
  • Check out Paperpot Co.’s Kwik Hoops—now qualifying for NRCS low tunnel grants! (15:46)
  • How important are carrots to Roebuck Farm’s business and customers (16:35)
    • Where carrots rank on the farm (17:25)
  • How profitable are carrots compared to other crops on the farm? (20:29)
  • Why focus on the dollars per day when it comes to evaluating crops? (21:37)
    • Increasing profit: more rotations vs. higher priced crops (25:13)  
  • More profit through more rotations: season extension, faster DTM varieties, Paperpot transplanting (28:52)
  • Zucchinis: the lowest dollars-per-day crop at Roebuck Farm (30:48)
  • Trialing a new potential crop to evaluate its profitability (33:24)
  • The crops that produce the most dollars-per-day (38:14)
  • What makes carrots successful? (40:19)
    • Soil needs and bed prep for carrots (42:25)
  • Counteracting carrot diseases (46:52)
  • Signs and symptoms of carrot scabs (49:34)
  • Direct seeding carrots became a game changer for the business (51:16)
  • Check out Paperpot Co.’s fabrics: Greenhouse Plastic, Frost Blanket, & Insect Netting (54:19)
  • Roebuck Farm’s Jang JP-5 settings for direct seeding carrots (54:51)
  • Ensuring direct seeded carrots get to germinate (58:00)
  • Tips to getting the best possible carrot crops (01:00:17)
  • Ideal sizes for carrots for different market streams (01:04:26)
  • Strategy for harvesting carrots (01:06:13)
  • To keep or not to keep carrot tops (01:09:25)

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