Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:

I have had a keen interest in farming since I was 13, and now, at 35, what I see as the future need for local, sustainable farming has instilled the urge to leave my desk job. I have three or four family members and in-laws who are interested in purchasing some land. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on resources for starting a 10- to 100-acre organic farm, specifically how to choose appropriate land and crop selection. I am most interested in vegetable and herb farming in the southeast. Thanks for your time.

Scott

 

DEAR SCOTT:

As you are probably aware, that is a huge and rather open-ended question. The stories in New Farm should serve as inspiration and education, our New Farm Forum is a great place to connect with other beginning farmers and to seek the advice of more experienced ones, and our online bookstore carries a great deal of resources for you, depending on what type of operation you are looking at. You can also try ATTRA (www.attra.ncat.org) for good information about organic certification--the materials are free.

Your ultimate resource is really the organic farming community around you. I suggest the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (www.carolinafarmstewards.org) and also looking into the sunstainable and organic programs at NC State (www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg) and Central Carolina Community College www.cccc.edu/Programs/Sustainable_Agriculture.html. RAFI USA (www.rafiusa.org) is another great organization situated in your area. Also, visit your local farmers markets to get to know the organic producers in your area; you will no doubt find them cooperative and helpful.

Best of luck,
NF

 

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