80. Carrie Chlebanowski on Looney Farming
What is The Looney Farm and what is their unique approach to the business?
Carrie Chlebanowski of The Looney Farm (a Certified Naturally Grown farm), joins us today to tell us all about her and her husband Joe’s farming operation. Located in central Oklahoma near Oklahoma City, The Looney Farm started their little homestead in February of 2015 learning to raise and grow as much of their own food as possible. After closely studying market garden legends, they transitioned their homestead into a very small, but functional market garden farm. Spring of 2019 brought a 4x expansion in their farming operations, and they are now growing a wide variety of premium produce for the greater Oklahoma City metro area. As you all know, every farming operation is different, and The Looney Farm is certainly no exception. Join us today to hear all about Carrie’s unique approach to the farm biz!
What’s currently going on at The Looney Farm 1:33
How much farmland The Looney Farm is working with and what kind of crops they are growing 2:24
Why Carrie decided to become a farmer 3:27
What the typical day looks like on The Looney Farm 5:41
Some strategies Carrie uses for handling the heat 7:57
How Carrie handles task management 9:21
The hardest thing Carrie has done as a farmer 12:15
How The Looney Farm communicates with their customers 14:01
About the various investments Carrie and Joe made before starting The Looney Farm 15:19
Who Carrie’s mentors in farming are 19:45
What systems Carrie would put in place sooner if she could go back in time 21:18
About Carrie’s team 23:48
What Carrie’s children’s roles are on the farm 27:10
About The Looney Farm’s key marketing tactics 29:28
The biggest mistake Carrie sees newer farmers making 35:11
How Carrie achieved the right mentality to start a farm 37:27
Carrie’s favorite farming tool 39:52
Where you can find out more about Carrie and The Looney Farm 45:03
About the Guest:
Carrie is a 44 year-old reformed suburbanite who moved with her family to their 10 acre farm in February 2015. In previous lives she owned an on-location portrait business and worked in special education. Initially set up as a homestead, her family dabbled in pastured pork and poultry before diving in full gusto to market gardening in 2018. In an effort to gain the knowledge of growing vegetables and building a new ag business, she invested in intensive trainings and workshops with internationally recognized market farmers such as JM Fortier, Michael Kilpatrick, and Ray Tyler. Since then, she has made it her goal to grow the best quality, most nutrient dense vegetables possible, and in that effort The Looney Farm became the first Certified Naturally Grown farm in the OKC metro in early 2019. She hopes to learn more regenerative practices to incorporate into their model of growing in the coming seasons. Building healthy soil is one of the top priorities. Carrie and her husband Joe look forward to working together full-time soon, and find even more avenues to serve the OKC metropolitan communities through the farm. The Looney Farm currently sells at the two OKC farmers markets, a Buyers club style CSA, and through a locally sourced grocery store.
Resources and mentions:
Website – www.thelooneyfarm.com
Facebook – https://facebook.com/thelooneyfarm
Instagram – https://instagram.com/the_looney_farm
And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!
We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.