The Hello Farmlife Podcast
EP6: How to sell your food before you even start growing it

EP6: How to sell your food before you even start growing it

April 12, 2021

In this episode, Antonio and Janice talk about why marketing is so critical for farms these days, and bust 3 common myths that keep farmers and other entrepreneurs from doing this essential business activity. They also offer 3 foundational tips for marketing beginners to get started on their marketing journey, and share the steps they took to successfully market their farm’s vegetable box program.

 

Resources: Learn more about how we help other farmers and food business owners build their own marketing campaigns to promote their products and services: http://cavaleiro.farm/services 

 

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Please subscribe + leave the podcast a review and 5-star rating if you’re enjoying the show. It’ll help others who want to learn more about how to do farm life better find the podcast!

 

Timestamps:

1:01: The agenda for today’s episode

1:40: “I hated it” – How Antonio used to feel about marketing and why he now sees it as essential for his farm business

4:37: Janice’s love-hate relationship with social media and marketing and ultimately discovering that EVERYONE needs marketing

6:34: Why it’s so important for farms (especially new farmers) to do marketing

8:07: What direct marketing can look like for farms: wholesale to local restaurants, direct to customers (e.g., CSA program), farmers markets

9:27: How social media and having a website can help farmers gain more customers

10:21: Marketing myth #1: My product is so great that people are bound to find it and buy it. And the reality check …

14:13: Marketing myth #2: Marketing doesn’t seem to be very scientific or logical – it’s artsy and about nice packaging. And the reality check …

15:47: Marketing myth #3: There’s so many other important things I need to do to farm – the marketing can wait until later. And the reality check …

18:08: Where do farmers who don’t know anything about marketing begin? Tip #1: Look at who’s doing what, and what’s already working (i.e., start with the customers’ needs).

20:13: Tip #2: Build an ongoing relationship with your customers (i.e., send free, engaging content your audience wants to build trust).

22:15: Tip #3: Use storytelling to differentiate yourself from other farms (and also get YOUR ideal customers).

25:43: Example of marketing a food business: How we promoted our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program our first season

26:25: Step #1: Talk to people and learn their language.

29:10: Step #2: Create your marketing materials (e.g., website, videos, flyers) using tried-and-true marketing templates and processes.

32:52: Step #3: Communicate to your customers through the right marketing channels (e.g. mom groups, Facebook ads).

35:24: Getting feedback from customers can give you useful data for the next season.

36:05: Other things farmers can market and sell – and the challenges and huge opportunities of marketing your product or service online

40:05: How you can connect with us!

EP5: How to Balcony Garden and Eat Fresh Every Day (with Lara Mrosovsky, Miinikaan)

EP5: How to Balcony Garden and Eat Fresh Every Day (with Lara Mrosovsky, Miinikaan)

March 29, 2021

Summary

In this episode, our guest Lara Mrosovsky (a.k.a. “The Queen of Balcony Gardening”) (Miinikaan) shares tips and tricks for how to grow fresh food on your balcony in the city. She also shares some of the common reasons why people have been more and more interested in growing their own food, plus some great benefits of gardening at home (like gardening therapy!).

Register for Lara’s free webinar, HOW TO BALCONY GARDEN and Eat Fresh Every Day, to learn even more essential tips for how to grow an abundant, tasty harvest in your tiny space. "It's easier than you think!" The webinar goes live Thursday, April 8, 2021 (7 PM EST). Grab your spot here!: https://www.miinikaan.com/webinar 

Connect with us on:

Please subscribe + leave the podcast a review and 5-star rating if you’re enjoying the show. It’ll help others who want to learn more about how to do farm life better find the podcast!

Connect with Lara Mrosovsky and Miinikaan on:

Timestamps:

0:45: Introducing Lara’s upcoming free webinar: How to Balcony Garden and Eat Fresh Everyday webinar. Register here to learn Lara's top secrets for how to successfully grow a fresh harvest at home!

2:59: Introducing Lara Mrosovsky, the "Queen of Balcony Gardening," and her business Miniikaan

4:15: Lara’s experience shifting from teaching in-person to online due to the pandemic

5:55: The pros of teaching her first balcony gardening course online last year

6:38: How one of Lara’s participants went from no gardening skills to successfully growing fresh food on her tiny balcony

8:41: Common reasons people want to grow their own food at home (including how the pandemic inspired a lot of folks to think about food and grocery stores differently)

10:20: Lara’s personal motivations for growing her own food, especially in the city

12:02: Lara’s top 3 tips for beginner gardeners

14:30: Bonus tip: What to do if a plant dies...or you make a mistake in gardening...

15:50: Farmer Antonio’s top 3 tips for beginner gardeners

18:20: Bonus tip: What to learn from more experienced gardeners

20:17: Bigger-picture reasons for why people should participate in local food (hint: growing our own food can actually impact the environment)

23:35: Gardening therapy! Plant healing! How growing your own food boosts your mood and brain performance

24:49: How to approach turning your empty balcony into an abundant garden: “It’s easier than you think!”

27:30: What kind of tasty vegetables and herbs are in Lara’s beautiful balcony garden

29:34: Lara’s warning about when to harvest (before the squirrels get at your food first!)

30:49: How gardening in the city can help people bridge the gap between city and farm life

33:27: How building relationships with gardeners and former farmers in the city can teach you how to interact with plants and cultivate your food culture

34:09: The fun of learning different ways to eat the foods you grow

37:20: Wise words: “The hardest thing to grow is your attitude”

38:22: Sign up for Lara’s FREE upcoming webinar (April 8, 2021) to get inspired and excited about starting your own balcony garden! Grab your spot here: https://www.miinikaan.com/webinar 

39:43: How to connect with Lara on social media

EP4: Property investment: Have you considered farmland?

EP4: Property investment: Have you considered farmland?

March 10, 2021

Summary

In this episode, Antonio and Janice discuss some of the ins and outs of buying a farm, including the different ways people can use farmland (no, you don’t have to become a farmer) and what to look out for when visiting farms for sale. They also explain why farmland is such a good investment, and how some farms may bring you more value than others.

Resources:

Get our FREE Buying Farmland Checklist here so you know what to look out for when visiting farmland for sale.

Connect with us on:

Please subscribe + leave the podcast a review and 5-star rating if you’re enjoying the show. It’ll help others who want to learn more about how to do farm life better find the podcast!

Timestamps:

1:45: The agenda for this episode

2:26: Antonio’s experience of not having the capital to buy a farm, and why his family resisted helping him at first

4:42: What motivated his family to change their mind about buying farmland (including the financial gains)

7:41: Why folks from other countries know not to give up farmland

8:48: Weighing the options for buying land: Cottage or farm?

11:58: Want a farm, but don’t want to become a full-time farmer? The pros of buying farmland to become a homesteader

17:10: Why it’s so much work to start building a farm on “virgin land”

18:23: The benefits of buying farmland that’s already been lived on for many years

20:06: Cavaleiro Farm helps folks who are looking to buy farmland. The number one thing we do with clients to start off their search in the right way.

22:03: Good questions to ask when visiting farmland for sale 

23:45: Common problems that happen when someone buys the wrong kind of farm

26:18: Antonio’s story: An example of how to buy the right farm

29:24: How to “walk the land” (things to look out for) when visiting farmland for sale

33:34: Get our free Buying Farmland Checklist here

34:34: What to look for in a farm if you’re looking for self-sufficiency and sustainability

35:37: How to get your family’s buy-in when trying to move to farmland (and why it’s critical)

38:27: How your kids can help with the buying farmland process

EP3: The family farm dream: How Chris Krucker (Manorun Farm) achieved it

EP3: The family farm dream: How Chris Krucker (Manorun Farm) achieved it

February 10, 2021

Summary

In this episode, our guest Chris Krucker (Manorun Farm, Lynden, Ontario) talks about his experiences farming alongside his wife Denise and four kids over the last 25 years. He shares the well thought-out plan for how he and Denise weaned their kids onto farm work (and ensured they wouldn’t hate it), and how all four kids now play a role in running the farm business. Chris also discusses his journey moving to farmland, building a farm slowly, farming full-time, and now handing off the farm to his kids.

Connect with us on:

Please subscribe + leave the podcast a review and 5-star rating if you’re enjoying the show. It’ll help others who want to learn more about how to do farm life better find the podcast!

Connect with Chris Krucker and Manorun Farm on:

Timestamps:

0:20: What impressed Antonio and Janice about their conversation with Chris

1:15: How you can connect with us

2:06: Painting the picture: the sights and sounds at Chris’ farm

3:02: Introducing Chris and Manorun Farm

3:41: What Chris did before farming (probably not what you’d expect)

4:27: What inspired Chris to jump from his first career to farm life

5:19: Getting on the same page about farming with his spouse Denise

7:39: Slowly building from no farming experience to working full-time on the farm 

8:27: Chris’ experience starting farm life with young children

9:57: What shape Chris’ farm was in when he first got it

10:48: Growing from a 5- to 150-member CSA

11:16: Reality check: How having wealth can allow you to grow your farm slowly (or farm at all)  

13:08: Keeping strict hours for work and play when running the farm business with family

14:44: The meaningful “other” things that Chris gains from farm life in trading off making money

16:28: The flexible approach Chris took to involving his kids on the farm

18:07: Chris’ structured “program” for weaning his kids onto farm work

20:45: “Farms are a great place to break relationships and give kids a very negative farm experience” – how Chris created a different story for his family

22:15: The importance of giving his kids rich learning experiences

22:49: Why Chris’ kids kept coming back to work on the farm every year after they turned 18

24:09: Formalizing the kids’ involvement in the farm business + each of the kid’s roles on the farm

26:58: Next-level talks: How to go from being a seasonal-income farm to making money year round

27:24: Transitioning the farm business from “the older farm couple” to their children taking the reins

29:02: The challenge of dividing up the wealth of a farm among the kids

31:29: How Chris and Denise collaborate as partners (with different approaches) in running the farm 

33:05: Why Chris sees other farm kids never wanting to farm again

34:06: Chris’ sage advice: Key questions that anyone wanting to move to a farm needs to ask themselves

36:26: The challenge of paying for life’s expenses and incurring debt through farming

37:49: Big expenses that new farmers may have to shoulder when starting a farm (Chris gives dollar figures)

39:13: The pros of moving away from the farm internship model

40:49: Piggyback farming: the benefits of landowners inviting new farmers to grow on and animate their land

43:50: Considering a fair contract for piggyback farmers

45:09: Chris’ must-read educational resources and books for anyone wanting to farm

46:49: How to connect with Chris on his website and social media channels

EP2: Why do farmers keep farming if they don’t make any money?

EP2: Why do farmers keep farming if they don’t make any money?

February 10, 2021

Summary

In this episode, Antonio and Janice break down why it’s so tough for farmers nowadays to make money from farming. They share 8 big reasons why farmers are still attracted to the farm life anyway, including their own personal stories explaining why they wouldn’t trade it in for anything. They also discuss the very real challenges new farmers currently face in trying to make their farm dream a reality and how we can solve this problem.

Connect with us on:

Please subscribe + leave the podcast a review and 5-star rating if you’re enjoying the show. It’ll help others who want to learn more about how to do farm life better find the podcast!

Timestamps:

0:50: The agenda for this episode

1:56: Overview: why people dream of living the farm life

3:09: It’s not just older farmers wanting to live the farm life: who else is moving to farms these days

4:25: The big knowledge gap and loss between older and newer farmers

5:40: Our list of 8 reasons for why farmers keep farming despite its challenges 

5:40: Reason #1: Cash out or farm for life?

6:56: Reason #2: How farming keeps you in physical and mental balance 

7:49: How Antonio’s mindset had to change moving from the city to farm life

8:53: Learning the lesson of acceptance through working on the farm and with nature

10:02: How Antonio has gained more mastery over his body through farming

11:33: Reason #3: Artificial versus natural ways of being

14:38: Reason #4: Farmers are entrepreneurs – how that {helps} farmers design the work/lifestyle they want and not let age (or anything else) become a limitation to continue farming

17:33: Reason #5: The hustle versus the simple life

18:48: Let’s be real: sometimes farming is the hustle + how that changes over time

19:59: What Janice’s work break looks like after too much time on the computer

21:43: How Janice’s experience eating food has changed from her office cubicle to the farm

22:28: Reason #6: Variety is the spice of farm life

23:39: The different business ventures Antonio has tried on his farm over 6 years that have kept things interesting

25:25: Various ways that farmers provide value and make money outside of farming full-time

27:24: Reason #7: Possibly the most obvious reason why farmers live the farm life

28:45: Reason #8: The bigger picture of why many of us farm

29:30: How Antonio uses food to build relationships with people in his community who support his farm in turn

31:38: We don’t just grow on our farm: how Antonio and Janice work with other landowners and farmers to build better farms

32:54: Win-win: how landowners can help new farmers access the farm life while making their land better

36:45: How you can connect with us

EP1: Introduction: From never farming to living the farm life

EP1: Introduction: From never farming to living the farm life

February 10, 2021

Summary

In this episode, Antonio and Janice introduce themselves and The Hello Farm Life Podcast. Antonio shares about his experience working in the city and how he went from being an engineer building race cars and robotics for brain surgery to growing his own food and finally getting onto farmland. Janice shares about the life-changing events that took her from living in downtown Toronto and doing research in the criminal justice field to moving to the farm and becoming a freelancer. (You can read all about her farm adventures on her Nature Immersed blog!) Antonio and Janice share about the work they now do together along with their company team and community of farm members. They also give a sneak peek of what’s to come in Season 1 of The Hello Farm Life Podcast!

Connect with us on:

Please subscribe + leave the podcast a review and 5-star rating if you’re enjoying the show. It’ll help others who want to learn more about how to do farm life better find the podcast!

Timestamps:

1:03: Painting the picture: Welcome to our farm!

3:30: The agenda for this episode

4:05: Introducing Antonio Gomes: Antonio’s life and work in the city + wanting to live a life with more purpose

6:21: His family’s history with farming (and how they didn’t want to farm anymore)

8:25: The conversation Antonio overheard in Portugal that changed his whole perspective on how he was living his life in the city

10:15: How the pandemic has impacted people’s fears around food

11:50: How Antonio started the journey of growing his own food 

14:00: Why Antonio realized that growing food in his city loft was Plan B (and that Plan A was getting onto his own farm)

17:00: Antonio’s dream and challenges of getting onto farmland

18:49: The story of how Antonio mom’s schooled him when they visited a farm together

20:26: How Antonio’s farm has grown over the years + what we do on the farm

24:40: Introducing Janice Ho: Her life growing up in downtown Toronto + falling in love with nature through backcountry camping

26:08: Janice’s dream to live more of her life in nature and travel, but not knowing how to do it.

26:55: Her ups and downs of her first career + not being happy working to live

28:04: Two big life changes that happened for Janice in 2015 that set her on a new path

29:14: How Janice got connected with Cavaleiro Farm + falling in love with the farm life

30:30: Leaving her career and the city to move to the farm

32:32: Janice’s travels + her return to live on the farm during the pandemic

34:25: Janice’s freelance practice + how she works with Antonio and the farm

35:08: Cavaleiro Farm as a place for community and self-development

37:06: Shouting out the farm team – we don’t do this alone! (Also, how old Antonio and Janice are.)

41:59: The community of farm members Antonio has built – and how you just can’t farm alone.

44:00: Why the Hello Farm Life Podcast? And who is it for?

47:12: Topics we’ll be covering on the podcast this season

49:42: How you can connect with us

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