The Hello Farmlife Podcast
EP13: Inherited a farm? How to know if you should keep it

EP13: Inherited a farm? How to know if you should keep it

July 21, 2021

Summary

In the final episode of The Hello Farmlife Podcast season one, Janice and Antonio talk about the always-timely topic on inheriting a farm. We discuss the challenges that come with inheriting a farm property as well as the goals and motivations that make heirs see the value of their inheritance.

 

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Timestamps:

00:24: This is our last episode for the season: How’s the journey been?

01:02: Introducing the main topic for the last episode: inheriting a farm

01:48: Why are there so many people inheriting farms and what are the challenges that come with it

03:30: The skyrocketing land crisis

04:15: How should people decide on what to do with inherited farmland

04:51: Goals and motivations that make people see the value of having a farmland

07:43: On resilience and self-sufficiency

09:50: On knowing what type of farm you have

11:03: On building a community and systems

12:23: On what infrastructure is available

12:53: On helping the environment and combating climate change

16:02: Looking back to Cavaleiro Farm’s story 

16:40: The opportunities for innovations

18:40: Inherited farm as an investment

20:27: Good farmland vs. shitty farmland

21:39: The farm is not just the land - it’s a whole system

22:19: The big takeaway

23:14: We’re passionate about helping people through farm property decisions

23:35: How to get in touch with Antonio for farming advice

24:05: Leave us a review and rate The Hello Farmlife Podcast - see you in season two!

EP12: Back to the family farm: My generation’s turn at farming with Sarah Dolomore (Mount Wolfe Farm)

EP12: Back to the family farm: My generation’s turn at farming with Sarah Dolomore (Mount Wolfe Farm)

July 6, 2021

 

Summary

This episode is an insightful conversation with one of our closest farmers, Sarah Dolomore from Mount Wolfe Farm. In this episode, Sarah shares her journey in transitioning to the farmlife by inheriting a family farm property and making it progress. She also shares some tips for starting a farm business and for creating an effective farm community. Moreover, Sarah discusses the programs and methods Mount Wolfe Farm applies to make their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) a success.

 

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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:

00:24: Introducing our closest vegetable farmer Sarah Dolomore (Mount Wolfe Farm)

02:38: Sarah shares background and history about their family farm property

04:32: Seeing an opportunity to create a possibility for the family farm’s ‘rebirth’

05:15: When Sarah started getting into farming and moving back home

06:00: The opportunity of access to land through family inheritance is an advantage

06:59: Mount Wolfe Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) business story

09:18: Developing several options for CSA members such as the Point System

12:00: Considering customers’ needs and providing people a good experience 

13:06: Eating vegetables, grocery dollars, the economy, and ecological integrity

13:40: Things that helped Mounte Wolfe Farm be progressive and profitable

15:45: What happened when COVID-19 hit

16:23 Sarah’s advice for farmers starting a business:look for opportunities that your land based provide in terms of how you can diversify your income streams

17:06: The family and team behind Mount Wolfe Farm

19:30: A farm is not just a place to buy produce, it’s also a place for relationship building with people and nature

23:02: Mount Wolfe Farm’s Work Share Program as affordable, interactive, and inclusive option for CSA members

26:22: Insights from community members: people want to feel involved in something bigger than themselves

27:45: The novel opportunity of having people from very diverse backgrounds get together and relate with each other

28:50: To be an effective farm manager: invest in people and communication skills

29:59: People’s perception of producing and consuming local food

31:42: Eco-anxiety, access to food, and self-sufficiency

34:05: Farmlife is not all rainbows

34:40: Transitioning to farmlife: how farmers can move forward and take advantage of opportunities

36:25: What a farm’ community members value: it’s more than just the vegetables, it’s the experiential element

39:20: Summarizing lessons and insights from Sarah 

40:05: Sarah acknowledges all the people who made Mount Wolfe Farm possible

41:33: How to connect with Mount Wolfe Farm

EP 11: Jacqueline and Noel (Toronto Black Farmers Collective)

EP 11: Jacqueline and Noel (Toronto Black Farmers Collective)

June 22, 2021

Summary

In this episode, our guests Jacqueline and Noel from the Toronto Black Farmers Collective share about their food and farming journeys. They discuss their experiences growing up in Jamaica to observing the differences in food quality, accessibility, and culture in Toronto. They also share why they got into growing food for their local communities, and provide some insights and tips for how they’ve engaged people to become more connected with their food. 

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Timestamps:

0:35: Painting the picture at Jacqueline and Noel’s farm in the city (Toronto)

1:50: Jacqueline’s farming experience growing up in Jamaica – sharing food with neighbours, eating in-season food, etc.

5:40: Differences in the food culture and availability that Jacqueline observed when coming to Canada

7:07: Noel’s farming experience growing up in Jamaica – abundance of food, village bartering aspect, no one went hungry

10:40: Noel’s experience eating food when coming to Canada and understanding the importance of food security

12:40: Jacqueline and Noel’s motivation for growing their own food and food for local communities

14:35: Their challenges accessing farmable land

15:45: What they grow!

17:50: The TFBC’s community food model, which includes gardening but also creating diverse products; building collaborative partnerships with other farmers; and food programming with community leaders

20:16: How COVID has changed the food shopping and eating culture for people – and the need for good, diverse food in Toronto

22:56: The TBFC’s recent partnership with the Black Community Consultative Committee from the Toronto Police Services and other community partners and leaders to distribute 185 food boxes to communities in need

24:42: Jacqueline and Noel’s experience searching for farmland

27:52: Their advice for doing a community food business successfully, including providing education to “animate” food

32:44: How the TBFC has gotten young kids (and adults) to love eating fresh, local veggies!

37:58: Jacqueline’s advice to all eaters: “Know your source” (including visiting farms)

40:57: Final words from Jacqueline and Noel (send your farmer a note of “thanks,” governments need to make land more accessible to farmers, etc.)

45:10: The importance of breaking down oppressive barriers so everyone can eat well

46:59: How you can connect with Jacqueline/Noel and the Toronto Black Farmers Collective

EP 10:  You Can’t Farm Alone: How to Get Community to Help

EP 10: You Can’t Farm Alone: How to Get Community to Help

June 7, 2021

Summary

In this episode, Antonio and Janice talk about what community farming is and why it’s ideal to build a community at a farm. They also share some tips on how to create a farm community and discuss how building good relationships brings value to the farm by having members share their skills and expertise.

 

Resources: 

Learn how to be part and get involved in our community at Cavaleiro Farm: http://cavaleiro.farm/get-involved 

 

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:

00:36: Farming alone is like swimming against the tide

02:05: Community farming and civilization

03:33: The current deterioration of rural communities and its consequences

08:07: How to cultivate a community at the farm

11:20: There’s different levels of communities – and it’s more than just the people

16:44: Reading nature, adapting with natural communities

20:36: Ways that members of a farm’s community bring value to the farm

23:41: Relationship-building plays a role in building the community

27:27: Other strategies Antonio used to create a community at Cavaleiro Farm

30:06: The formalized community farming system we use on our farm

35:46: How landowners can engage community members to help with doing farmwork and support their farm goals

39:20: The big problem of farmers accessing farmland: How can landowners help?

42:12: How do we actually get it done? Walk and talk.

43:41: Communities in the city versus rural communities

46:20: You don’t wanna burn bridges – make good with the people and build a relationship

46:55: So what do you get out of having a community? What are the benefits?

49:11: How to connect with us

 

EP9: From the Farm to Table to Farm with Ivan Wadgymar (Maizal)

EP9: From the Farm to Table to Farm with Ivan Wadgymar (Maizal)

May 19, 2021

Summary

In this episode, our guest Ivan Wadgymar (Maizal) shares his insights and experiences on the other side of farming: eating and the restaurant industry. He talks about how the pandemic has affected his own food business and what he sees as the role of restaurants in food security. Antonio and Janice also share how Cavaleiro Farm’s relationship with Ivan and his restaurant has impacted the farm and created a beneficial circular economy.

 

Resources: 

 

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Connect with Ivan Wadgymar and Maizal 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:

2:12: Ivan shares: What’s the current vibe in the city (Toronto)? 

3:10: What motivated Ivan to start Maizal, a restaurant in Toronto serving authentic Mexican cuisine (later named Libertad)

4:45: How market and demand shaped Ivan’s next venture: a tortilleria (Maizal) producing handmade tortillas made from farm-grown corn

6:17: How the pandemic has impacted Ivan’s restaurant

8:03: How Ivan works with Cavaleiro Farm and other farms to support his business

13:35: Why Ivan started his Zero Food Waste initiative with our farm (which has been recognized in the press and by the City of Toronto)

17:47: How food waste has positively contributed to our farm and farm animals

19:52: Current customer trends Ivan is seeing in the city in terms of local food, sustainability, and culturally appropriate food

21:47: What Ivan thinks works in terms of food businesses successfully connecting with their customers

24:13: The key thing Ivan thinks people need to know about food (and his intriguing perspective on restaurants being a luxury, not a necessity) 

25:59: How COVID has actually helped people reconnect with their food more

26:47: “Restaurants don’t fit into food security”: Ivan and Antonio’s differing perspectives on the role of restaurants in our food system

30:05: Ivan’s future projections on the role of restaurants and how eaters access food, given the pandemic

33:28: Why it’s been important for Ivan to connect to farms and food systems outside of Canada

37:00: Why Antonio has found interacting with farmers from different cultures to be a perspective-shifting and rewarding experience (and how Ivan has helped to bridge that gap)

39:48: What Ivan sees as the opportunity in urban businesses connecting with peri-urban farms or farmland 

41:30: How you can connect with Ivan and Maizal

EP8: Learn how to read nature and build a better farm

EP8: Learn how to read nature and build a better farm

May 9, 2021

In this episode, Antonio and Janice discuss why being able to observe and read nature are essential skills for landowners and farmers, and the challenges that come up when we don’t learn how to work in harmony with nature. They also share some strategies for how people can improve their nature-observing skills to increase productivity and efficiency on their farms, and examples of nature patterns to watch out for and what they mean.

 

Resources: 

 

Connect with us on:

 

Please subscribe + leave the podcast a review and 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts 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:

1:06: What does “reading nature” actually mean?

1:45: Why is reading nature so critical for anyone wanting to get into the farmlife and have self-sufficiency?

3:32: What are the obstacles we have to learning how to read nature?

6:36: Common pitfalls that result when landowners and farmers don’t know how to work with nature (or actually try to work against it)

10:11: Positive outcomes and life lessons learned being in harmony with nature (“What would nature do?”)

15:13: Strategies for how landowners and farmers can improve their skills in observing nature to increase productivity and efficiency on their farm

24:30: Examples of nature patterns you can observe, and what they mean

34:22: How you can connect with us

EP 07: You Don’t Need to Buy a Farm to Farm Successfully with Angie Koch (Fertile Ground Farm)

EP 07: You Don’t Need to Buy a Farm to Farm Successfully with Angie Koch (Fertile Ground Farm)

April 28, 2021

Summary

In this episode, our guest Angie Koch (Fertile Ground Farm, London, Ontario) talks about how she managed to get onto someone else’s farmland as a new farmer, and has since grown a profitable farm and market garden by building community, doing effective marketing, and helping people make stronger connections with their food. Whether you’re an aspiring farmer or someone who’s been in the game for a few years, you’re sure to gain a ton of insights and inspiration from Angie’s interview!

 

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 Angie Koch and Fertile Ground Farm on:

 

Timestamps:

1:55: Introducing Angie Koch from Fertile Ground Farm – and the sights and sounds on her farm

4:17: Angie’s life before farming: a blend of community development and urban agriculture work (and how she “found therapy” in the garden)

6:59: How Angie’s past, seemingly unrelated work experiences have helped her in the farmlife

8:47: Why Angie fell in love with farming and kept doing it (even though she started with the belief that she didn’t want to farm)

11:40: Factors contributing to our current problem of not attracting and retaining enough people into the farming profession

14:07: How solving the problem can be helped by people becoming more connected to their food and addressing the need for affordable farmland that is close to markets

16:25: Angie’s experience renting farmland versus buying – why and how she did it

22:45: Why starting a CSA was both brilliant and stressful as a new farmer

24:37: Tips for new farmers on how to begin growing and selling veggies

26:10: Challenges with vegetable farming, and the importance of asking for help from community

29:25: How Angie has used social media (and other marketing channels) to get community help on her farm (great tips for workday events!)

32:48: Why keeping it real on social media about the hard side of farmlife can be effective

34:51: How Angie uses storytelling to create a stronger connection between people and their food

37:14: What Angie does to help kids create stronger connections with their food

39:04: What keeps Angie wanting to farm after 13 years

41:08: Benefits of developing more landowner-new farmer relationships 

45:50: Angie’s answer to the question she always gets: “What is one of the most important skills a farmer needs?”

48:30: How you can connect with Angie and her farm

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 

 

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:

1:01: 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

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