We get it (and we can help). Whether you’re looking to take control of your own food supply or simply want to dip your trowels in a new hobby, here’s how to get started with your own fresh farm:
In this phase we’d suggest keeping a notebook handy and digging deep to learn what truly appeals to you. Are you after a small farm business, a simple hobby farm, or an all-out homestead? Really think about whether you’re ‘romanticizing’ this whole farming situation, or are you really wanting the long, hard days, physical labor, and uncontrollable factors that go into farming day in and day out? If after giving yourself a good talking to, you’re ready to get dirty, then hey—it’s time to think about your terroir. No matter how passionate you are about creating a boutique olive oil company, your home in Montana isn’t going to do you any favors. Think about where you are and what you want—and make sure the two can play nicely together.
The next step? Talking, listening, and learning! Find other farmers in your area, at your local farmers market, or even online. Ask to be an intern and maybe even offer them some free labor (trust us: no farmer will turn down free labor). You will learn so much by interning on someone else’s farm. Start to plan your small business and design your ideal farm, all while learning the tricks of the trade from somebody who’s done it all before. And don’t forget to talk with local grocers, distributors, and online retailers regarding the distribution of your products—that is, unless your plan all along was simply to fill your cupboards. Ask these potential customers about their interest level in your farm or products. All this networking will help you know if you are creating something that is filling a void in your local market (which will only help to reinforce your grand business plan).
Ok, now the fun begins. Set yourself some reasonable goals, and get started while keeping your expenses low. Let us repeat ourselves: keep your expenses low. Yes, you will have expenses, but don’t go crazy in your first year of business; farming can be unpredictable, and you’ll want to ease into your trade with reasonable goals and acquisition of debt.
Now, give it all you’ve got and then some! Welcome to the family of farmers who dedicate their lives to the forward momentum of quality wholesome food for all! (We’ve got to get t-shirts made; you deserve some swag!)
Throw it on Instagram and tag @diestelfamilyranch. We’d love to see what you’ve been up to!