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 talks about how a market garden can substantially increase its income by 30% without adding more land. Afterwards, farmer Jodi Roebuck breaks down the nuances of winter growing: what winter growing in New Zealand looks like, how they keep up with their demand when the crops grow slower, mitigating the challenges of growing in constant rains, among others.
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.
In this episode of Farm Small, Farm Smart
- Making more income on the same amount of land (00:18)
- Increase income by adding more rotations in your beds (01:27)
- What winter growing can mean (03:00)
- Consider planting empty winter beds with crops that will survive (05:16)
- Winter growing keeps your customers engaged (06:49)
- Shorter crop cycles mean more rotations (08:15)
- Check out Paperpot Co.’s ultradurable low tunnel system: Kwik Hoops! (09:01)
- What winter in New Zealand looks like (10:35)
- How much more slowly do crops grow in the winter vs. summer? (11:37)
- Winter demand vs. winter demand in other farms (13:10)
- Can the farm run on just summer production? (15:07)
- Crop selection & crop planning into winter (17:03)
- Longer days to maturity of field crops in the winter (21:51)
- Growing crops under cover in the winter (23:21)
- The biggest challenge in the winter: constant rains (26:11)
- Light to the plant vs. microclimate around the plant (27:48)
- Cold-hardy crops that are minimally affected by winter (30:24)
- Bed turnover in wet winters (32:42)
- Landscape fabric and harvesting in the rain (34:49)
- Check out Paperpot Co.’s Crop Protection Solutions! (38:17)
- Microgreens keep winter production going steady (38:55)
- Averaging 6 crop rotations in a greenhouse per season (42:03)
- Maximizing small windows of time to do tasks on the farm (44:04)
- Setting up the farm knowing the amount of rain the region gets (46:26)
- Why Roebuck Farm’s soils have good infiltration (47:58)
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