160. Liz Graznak on Nourishing Community with Community Supported Agriculture

What is community-centered agriculture and how does one thrive within this structure?

 
Today on the Thriving Farmer Podcast we’re happy to host MOSES Farmer of the Year, Liz Graznak, owner and operator of Happy Hollow Farm located in Jamestown, Missouri, right along the Missouri River. Liz has made farming her primary focus in life. Feeding people in her community healthy nutrient dense food is the reason she gets out of bed every day! The easiest way to describe what she does is Community Supported Agriculture. Honestly, though, CSA doesn’t quite capture it. A better description is community-centered agriculture. Happy Hollow Farm is a USDA certified organic farm that uses a combination of highly managed cover cropping techniques, crop rotations, compost applications, and hay mulch to add minerals and nutrients. They aim to give more back to the soil than they take. Tune in for the historic and current methods Liz and her crew employ to accomplish their goals!

In This Episode:

What sales channels Happy Hollow uses the most 2:41

How Liz entered the farming world 10:54

What a typical Summer week looks like on the farm 14:26

How Liz manages time to ensure all primary tasks get completed 17:53

What Happy Hollow’s tunnel setup is like 20:26

The hardest thing Liz has done as a farmer 28:08

About Liz’ mentors throughout her farming journey 36:12

What systems Liz would’ve put in place sooner given the opportunity to do over 38:11

How the Happy Hollow team assigns tasks 41:14

About the Happy Hollow interview process 43:14

How Happy Hollow handles marketing, and how much of their revenue comes from farmers markets 51:41

What kinds of customers Happy Hollow’s online store attracts 58:39

The biggest mistake Liz sees newer farmers making 1.02:56

How Liz managed the early days/years when income was slower 1.09:04

Liz’ favorite farming tool 1.12:49

How Liz feels about the prospect of starting a farm today 1.14:18

About the Guest:

In November 2007 Liz & her wife Katie purchased Happy Hollow Farm. CSA farming has provided the opportunity to fulfill Liz’s long anticipated goal of growing beautiful, healthy food and sharing it with a community of people that share her enthusiasm and commitment to a local food system. With a nine year old and two and a half year old daughters, Liz has just wrapped up her 11th year of USDA certified organic production and has expanded to nearly 11 acres of veggies, fruit, eggs & flowers. Happy Hollow Farm sells through a 85 member CSA 32 Weeks a year, 50 Saturdays a year at the Columbia Farmers Market and to a number of local Columbia restaurants and grocery stores. Winter production has become a key component to the viability and financial success of Happy Hollow Farm.

Resources:

Website – https://www.happyhollowfarm-mo.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HappyHollowFarmMissouri

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/happyhollowfarm/

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.