The Profitable Mini-Farm – Perfecting Paperpot Beets and Not Comparing Against Others (E19)

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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, Diego starts off the conversation about perspective and learning to appreciate where you are on your own farming journey. Afterwards, farmer Jodi Roebuck jumps into the show with the nuances, economics, and logistics of growing, harvesting, and selling paperpot beets.

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 Paperpot beets (00:08) 
  • Farming is like swimming (00:26)
  • Check out Paperpot Co.’s farm tools! (11:40)
  • How popular are beets in America vs. New Zealand? (13:33)
    • Selling beets to restaurants and to retail (14:40)
  • The most common root vegetables for market gardens (17:23)
  • Making money on beets (18:32)
  • How Roebuck Farm grows their beets (19:30)
  • Growing different beet varieties all year round (21:01)
  • The economics behind managing beets to sell for 10NZD/kg (21:57)
    • Squeezing more yield to increase profits on a beet bed (24:04)
  • Increasing planting density to grow similar-sized beets (27:02)
  • Hardening off beets later in the day (30:06)
  • Treating beets as light feeding crops (30:33)
  • Which are easier to grow: beets or carrots? (31:06)
  • Roebuck Farm’s timeline for paperpot beets (32:18)
  • Germinating and transplanting paperpot beets at 20 days (33:23)
  • Putting up crop protection over newly transplanted beets (35:09)
  • Pinpointing boron as an issue in growing beets (37:01)
  • Check out Paperpot Co.’s Low Tunnels & Crop Protection Fabrics (38:20)
  • Trialing growing beets for two seasons (39:32)
  • Tips to evaluating when to harvest root vegetables (41:43)
  • How Roebuck Farm harvests beets to order (45:17)
  • The process of harvesting beets from the field (48:00)
  • Packaging beets for restaurants and retail (51:02)
  • It’s important to taste your crops (52:07)
  • The decision to add beets to the roasting mix (52:57)
  • Know how your customers are using your crops (55:32)
  • Trying new crop varieties to keep things fresh (57:43)
  • Growing more beets in the coming year (01:02:05)
  • Which to grow more: beets vs. salad mix (01:03:45)
  • Selling crops by presenting them with recipes (01:05:09)

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