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Next Steps

Laura and Adam have made great strides in the seven years since they caught the farming bug (Figure 54). They have gone from on-farm training to starting a farming business and buying their own land. They learned an enormous amount, established a quality brand of farm product, and are on the road to a financially sustainable farming enterprise. Ideas for the future include increasing the number of acres in production and the number of CSA shares, adding hoop houses, establishing perennial crops, and installing a certified kitchen for value-added products to be sold year-round. In recognition of how valuable their own early farming experiences and mentoring relationships were, Laura and Adam are now bringing the process full circle by sharing information and providing employment opportunities for other beginning farmers.

Laura and Adam in hoophouse

Figure 54: Adam, Laura, and Toblerone in their greenhouse on April 11, 2009.

Final Note

Remember the three-legged stool of farming? As you start planning your own enterprise, be sure your learning process incorporates all three components of a successful farm: production, marketing, and financial management. Go ahead and get some dirt under your fingernails with a hands-on learning opportunity. But be prepared to spend time tapping away at the keyboard too, as you explore the numerous planning and management resources provided in this case study!

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