Hey Curtis Great information!! Thanks so much! You are really helping me get my farm going! I’m Starting a market farm in Caballo NM about 75 miles north of Las Cruces NM its about zone 8a. They have a year round market that I’m signed up for. I’m also hoping to get into some restaurants and grocery stores in the Future. Thanks again and keep up the great work!
Thank you, this is awesome! It would be great if you could do a case study of crop planning for someone that is in year 1 and still does not know how much volume of produce is going to sell and where. For example, what would you grow? How much of each? With all your experience, what strategies would you use to minimize risk and maximize income in the first year? Thanks a bunch!
This really accelerated my crop planning process to the next level. However, in trying to demystify your local DTM’s and yield projections for the shoulder season, there is a lot of basic plant science that could be added to the discussion. I dug around various online sources and the concept of Growing Degree Days (a.k.a. growing degree units or heat units) came up a lot. This is what the big Ag folks use for their farms, so why not us? With a little data wrangling on the interweb and Excel, anyone can download their local daily climate averages (as if anything is average these days) as well as time series of previous years and calculate their local crop GDD’s. The calculation of GDD is simple math, you can google it but basically it is Daily (Tmax -Tmin) – (Some base temperature Tbase). The base temperature is the temp at which a crop does something awesome like grow or set fruit. e.g. Asian greens start growing at 5deg, lettuce use Base 10 etc. Then you can base your plan around the weeks where your crop’s GDD starts consistently going above 0 (GDD > 0). Eg. GDD-5 is greater than 0 for early greens, GDD-10 > 0 for lettuce and turnips, GDD-18 for tomato fruiting etc. I’ll post my local GDD charts to instagram. @smallcityfarm.
Do you have any examples of crop planning in the Southern Hemisphere in particular Australia? I know the idea of space over time will be the same but there doesn’t seem to be anyone producing content for extensive small scale market gardening in our context. Is there anyone I should be following as an example in our context.
Hi Curtis, GiVHaus. this is a very good idea. Thank you for all the valuable information. I’d like to suggest two topics:
1. Marketing – a deeper video about various market streams. Good way to start based on your experi
2. Pest pressure, control, reactive and proactive measurements to mitigate the damage. Mainly slugs/snails, and any other pests you might think of when it comes to leafy greens.
It’s a little dicouraging seeing these mega market gardens. My start up farm is very urban, more like your original content. Also, the more developed my farm is becoming the more my neighbors are starting to reseed their lawns. No one gave a crap about their lawns prior to me buying my property. The baby boomer resistance is alive and cracking lol.
Anyways, my question is:
Would I want single crop rotations such as tomatoes to be in my best beds as far as constant lighting is concerned? Or would it be more profitable to have high rotation crops? I live in Orange County California so I’m kinda lucky where I pretty much can grow anything anywhere during the summer. But some of my bed would get about 3-4 more hours of direct afternoon sunlight.
Really excited to be part of this community and movement.
Thanks again Curtis I’ve been following you for many years. It’s just taken so long because the resistance is pretty hardcore out here in Cali. I’m definitely the crazy neighbor :)