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.
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
for good information about organic certification--the materials
Your ultimate resource is really the organic farming community
around you. I suggest the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
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
Best of luck,
us with comments, suggestions and questions.