Ep 95. Sarah Conley on Mastering the Art of Garlic

Located on just shy of 10 acres in Kaneville, Illinois, the Conley family has been an integral part of the community for generations. Sarah Conley, the owner and operator at Conley Farms Inc, is passionate about growing the best possible garlic products with integrity and hard work. She dedicated her farming journey to mastery of the single crop she deals in, and boy does it show!  She is a retired police officer who currently works as a firefighter/EMT. Conley Farms Inc sells prepared garlic-centric foods out of their drive-through window and prides themselves on their locally famous garlic grilled cheese sandwich. Join us today to learn all about how Sarah and her farm keep her community healthy and vampire free!

In This Episode:

How Sarah got started in farming 1:21

How Sarah learned to grow garlic 4:31

What equipment Conley Farms uses on their farm 8:03

What time of year they plant their garlic crops 9:44

How Sarah ensures her garlic beds are fertile 11:56

When Sarah pulls her garlic scapes 15:54

How Conley Farms started the ready-to- eat/drive-through side of their farm 17:42

How Sarah is advertising the ready-to-eat foods at her farm 20:46

Why Sarah was initially averse to using social media 21:40

How Sarah makes sure all the vital tasks on the farm are prioritized 24:15

The hardest thing for Sarah about starting Conley Farms 25:26

How many cloves Sarah planted in the first year 26:18

What Sarah would do differently in her first year in garlic farming 28:29

How Sarah promotes the farm 32:40

What Sarah thinks is the biggest mistake newer farmers typically make 35:16

Sarah’s favorite farming tool 36:00

How Sarah’s nonprofit got started 37:45

How Sarah feels about starting a farm today 42:02

Where you can find out more about Sarah and Conley Farms Inc. 46:25

About the Guest

Sarah is a retired police officer and current volunteer firefighter/EMT who loves to keep the town vampire free with her small organic garlic farm in northern Illinois. Run by Sarah, her wife, three kids, and mother, they grow several varieties of hardneck garlic and pride themselves in creating the first Garlic Grilled Cheese and Cheesy Garlic Bread farm drive-thru! When they’re not serving up their bodacious garlic, they’re running their not-for-profit, Harvesting Hope Project, that provides a safe place for vets and first responders to find hope and healing while battling PTSD, addiction, depression, and anxiety.

Resources and mentions

Website – conleyfarmskaneville.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/conleyfarmsinc, https://www.facebook.com/harvesthopeproject

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

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.