In this episode, I talk to Stephen Ciancioso who’s in his first few years of market gardening in Hawaii. He reflects on how he got to where he is now, what advice he has for beginning farmers based on his experience, and how leasing not owning the land he’s growing on has been essential for getting his farm business off the ground.

In This Episode:

>> Why a caretaking scenario is a win-win situation to access land in a high-cost area
>> How landscape fabric and soil inoculants are helping alleviate fungal issues in his hot and humid environment
>> Strategies for growing in a tropical climate
>> How setting up a weekly routine has been a game-changer for running his market garden by himself
>>Why having high-quality products and keeping the long term in mind is crucial when selling at farmers’ markets
>> Why delaying buying land helps you stay flexible as a farmer

About the Guest

Stephen Ciancioso runs Buena Vista Gardens, a 1/3rd of an acre market garden on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. He is are in full production year-round and distributes through two farmers’ markets, one health food store, and one restaurant. Currently, he specializes in head lettuce, bunched greens, baby greens, and carrots. He’s going into my third year starting my own operation and he’s very excited to see where it can go!

Resources and mentions

Buena Vista Gardens on Instagram

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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.