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Starting A Farm, a Podcast with Adam Klaus and Chris Stelzer  RSS feed

 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
65
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Hi everyone,
I was just interviewed by Chris Stelzer for his podcast, Agricultural Innovations. I discuss in depth how Bella Farm was established, and give a lot of personal advice on how to sucessfully develop your own farm. We discuss site selection, commitment, marketing, and the farming life. It's a good one. Hope it is helpful to some of you out there looking to start your own farms. If you have any follow-up questions, dont hesitate to ask.

Here is a link to the conversation, it is free for the next two weeks:
http://agriculturalinsights.com/adam-klaus-starting-a-farm/

enjoy!
 
Amos Burkey
Posts: 101
Location: Nebraska
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Thanks Adam. I will check it out.
 
Amos Burkey
Posts: 101
Location: Nebraska
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Great podcast! I will definitely check out Allan Savory's book. A lot of good take-aways. Thanks again.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5906
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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Wish I had heard this in my twenties...thanks, Adam...a wonderful success story!
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 715
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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will listen to see how far off course i am
 
Dan Grubbs
Posts: 528
Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Some great reality checks, Adam. Good on you to help us all avoid some mistakes and get started or advance our dreams. I loved the facts-of-life approach to what and how you shared. Many of us are vision people and many of us are execution people. We need a good balance of both and I clearly detect a great balance in your interview. Additionally, the part about our spouses being on the same page is such an underestimated consideration. I'm glad you brought it up.

I would push back just a bit on the advice against having an in-town job while farming. I can see that being the case if you're operating a market farm or similar. However, I'm taking an approach to convert our 10-acres of pasture into a food forest and doing all the early work while I'm working full time. So, I see it as having the luxury of having the time to get all the tasks done that support the foundation of what we're building while not having to make a living on the property. Can I get as much done on weekends and evenings? No. But, the trade off is financial security while we develop the property. I do understand there are some time pressures that force you to do things more quickly if you are dependent on the farm for income, but not all situations are the same and this way I don't have to have the farm make enough money to cover my overhead during a time I have expenses in infrastructure and other things that would more than eat up market income. So, for me, I am taking a more conservative, less risky approach.

Hope we hear more from you!
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 307
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Adam, talking about diversity you said you had 25 or more main revenue sources. Can you enumerate some of those?
 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Patrick Mann wrote:Adam, talking about diversity you said you had 25 or more main revenue sources. Can you enumerate some of those?


1- raw milk Shares
2- Chicken Eggs
3- Chicken Meat
4- Bull Beef
5- Bred Heifers
6- Pork
7- Trout
8- 15 var. Peaches
9- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
10- Apricots
11- Raspberries
12- Asian Plums
13- Bartlett Pears
14- Seedless Grapes
15- Hardneck Garlic
16- Smoked Garlic
17- Fermented Black Garlic
18- Spinach
19- Italian Kale
20- Culinary Herbs- Parsley, Basil, Sage, Rosemary, Tarragon, etc
21- Golden Chard
22- Herloom Tomatoes- Black Krim and Italian
23- Pickling and Japanese Cucumbers
24- Storage and Sweet Onions
25- Fresno, Serrano, Habanero Chiles
26- Heirloom Melons
27- Haricot Vert Green Beans
28- Heirloom Kabocha Squash
29- Rutabega
30- Carrots
31- Daikon, Turnip, Radish
32- Comfrey Skin Salve
33- St Johns Burn Salve
34- Arnica Muscle Balm
35- Cough Syrup
36- Tincture Blends- Stomach, Mood, Sleep, Virus, Lymph, Sinus
37- Garlic/Mullein Sinus Oil
38- Infused Honey- Orange, Rhubarb, Savory
39- Infused Vinegar- Rosemary, Lemon Balm
40- Saurkraut
41- Kosher Pickles
42- Fermented Hot Sauce
43- Pickle Pimiento Peppers
44- Dried Herb Blends
45- Cut Flowers
46- Rhubarb
47- Wild Mushrooms
48- Herbal Mouthwash
49- Okra
50- Tobacco and Smoking Blends

That's a start.............

Always looking to add more, right now tops of my wish list are oyster mushrooms, thanksgiving turkeys, artichokes, toothpaste, soap, lotion, and rabbit.

Strength in diversity!
50-
 
R Scott
Posts: 3351
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Thanks for that!

We lived in a tent, too--but we set our up inside a pole barn that was already on the property. It was hard and awesome at the same time. The biggest issue for us was actually the fear of a visit from CPS.
 
Amos Burkey
Posts: 101
Location: Nebraska
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R Scott wrote: The biggest issue for us was actually the fear of a visit from CPS.

^^^^^^
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 307
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Adam, I think you said you use very little mechanized equipment on your farm. Can you tell us about the farming equipment you use and what led to those choices?
Thanks for sharing - very useful information!
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 715
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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adam,
did you buy your property outright (no/very little mortgage)?
care to mention how much it cost? how were you able to afford the property at such a young age? (we are close-ish in age )

if no, how did you make payments on the property while building a house and setting up a farm?

seems i am sort of stuck in the predicament you mention. not able to afford to have a non mortgaged farm with good water in an area close enough to a supporting market.
i have been looking all over CO, NM and even into WY and i cant seem to find anything.

thanks for any feedback, i also understand if you dont want to post publicly some info.

 
Adam Klaus
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Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Well, I did buy my property outright. I cannot imagine paying a mortgage with the income generated from farming, unless you were operating a highly specialized business under extrordinary circumstances. That's a bummer.

Reality is, social mobility in America is one of the Great Myths of our culture. Upward mobility and the American Dream are tools to dupe the masses into working hard yet another day.

We live in a class-based society, though it is one of our great taboos to discuss it outright. There is an ownership class of 5-10%, and then there are the masses. Truth is, that's how it's just about always been in the world. There was a brief period, a historical anomoly, when the wealth gained from WWII allowed upward mobility and the emergence of a middle class. There was another brief period, after we disenfranchised and exterminated the Native Americans, where individuals were able to seize that newfound wealth and generate their own soical mobility. That era is long over. We're back to a divided class society of have's and have not's.

In no way am I pleased with this arrangement, so please, dont hate the messenger. I grew up in the dying days of the American middle class, and can see the bipolar American economic reality from both sides of the divide, from my own life's experience. I wish there was a way that I could tell young people, with honesty, that buying a farm is an achievable dream for a hard-working and industrious individual. Thing is, that would be a lie.

As the saying goes, dont hate the player, hate the game.

hope that helps, fwiw
 
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