holistic planning

Ear to the Ground 329: Weather Whiplash

Climate change may impact a vegetable producer and a livestock farmer in different ways, but the result is the same: uncertainty, stress…and a deeper desire to connect with community. More Information • Ear to the Ground 299: Road to Resilience • LSP’s Soil Health page • Prairie Drifter Farm • Early Boots Farm You can find LSP Ear…  Read More

Talking Through Tough Choices

Transforming a Wish List into a Viable Farming Operation

There’s a bit of a disagreement over how many enterprises were originally on a certain wish list when Hannah Frank and Justin Thomas were considering launching a farm. “Didn’t we have, like, 40 different enterprises on our goal sheet?” Thomas asks Frank on an overcast day in July while the couple stands next to a…  Read More

A Home Away From Home

When Melissa Driscoll Climbed Down the Ladder, She Reassessed Sustainability

Every living thing needs a home — even ginger, tomatoes, and garlic. And southeastern Minnesota farmer Melissa Driscoll sees written contracts as handy and efficient vehicles for getting her produce to their final destination. An extensive use of forward contracts isn’t just good for business — it gives Driscoll the kind of peace of mind…  Read More

Thinking Like a Tree

Soil, Cicadas & Spreadsheets: Playing the Long Game in Farm Country

There’s farm planning. And then there’s long-term farm planning. Figuring out what kind of rotation to use the following growing season is one thing; picturing what the entire farm will look like in a decade or so is quite another. Abbie Baldwin and Mitch Hawes are well aware that when the enterprise you are undertaking…  Read More

Ear to the Ground 306: Tough Choices

In the Middle of Somewhere

Carrie Calvo's Long Journey to the Heart of Farming & Local Food

Owl Bluff Farm is tucked away in one of those Driftless Area coulees where cellular signals go to die. In fact, when contractors were constructing a building there recently, they sometimes climbed half-way up an abandoned silo on the farm to use their phones. It has a sense of being an isolated, if beautiful, little…  Read More