How can you incorporate good fermentation practices into your farm business?
In this episode, we’re hosting Tom Ruggieri & Rebecca Graff, founders of Fair Share Farm, an organic farm located in Clay County, Missouri. Both Rebecca and Tom left their white-collar jobs in 2000 to find a way to promote community, sustainable agriculture, and healthy eating habits as their livelihood. Fair Share Farm is now operating on land that has been in Rebecca’s family for four generations.
Organic farming methods replaced conventional agriculture in the Fall of 2002. Soil health is their top priority. To grow the best tasting produce they can, they add organic fertilizer, grow cover crops, balance minerals and spread compost. When dealing with disease and pest pressure, they use products approved for organic production. To limit these pressures, they keep the plants as healthy as possible with daily attention.
Join us today to hear about how they have built and perpetuated this thriving organic farm from the ground up!
In This Episode:
Tom and Rebecca’s background before becoming farmers 1:49
When the fermentation facility came on board 9:37
What they prepare with their stoveless kitchen 12:06
Fare Share’s philosophy around crop production 18:19
How many of their crops go into fermentation compared to those that go to market 23:54
Size of the Fair Share team 27:19
How Tom and Rebecca manage tasks to ensure everything gets done 36:56
How Fair Share Farm goes about marketing 40:47
What they would change about how they started the farm, given the chance for a do-over 42:11
Rebecca and Tom’s advice they would give their past selves at the start of their farming journey 48:19
What brings Tom and Rebecca joy on the farm 57:53
Their favorite farming tools 59:58
About the Guests:
Fair Share Farm is a diversified vegetable farm located in rural Clay County, Missouri that supplies vegetables for a live-culture fermentation facility on the farm, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for market sale. Rebecca Graff and Tom Ruggieri farm 20 acres using sustainable practices within the 260-acre Graff family farm.
Crops include annual vegetables, strawberries, asparagus, herbs, a flock of 75 laying hens and a small flock of sheep. In 2020 we reconfigured the farm by constructing over 7,000 linear feet of berms and swales to better manage water on the farm and improve our resiliency. Hundreds of chestnuts, persimmons, hazelnuts, paw paws and elderberries were planted as a part of this project.
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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.
The Thriving Farmer Podcast Team would like to thank our amazing sponsor!
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