Ep 131. Sunshine Vortigern on Building and Growing Their Farm Through Customizable CSA

Have you and your spouse ever considered dropping everything to build a farm together from the ground up?


Today we’re happy to have Sunshine Vortigern of Round Right Farm on the show. Operating out of Cranesville, West Virginia, Round Right Farm is owned and operated by Sunshine and her husband, Steve. When they first bought the farm, it had no buildings or any other kind of infrastructure. Now a full and thriving farm, Sunshine and Steve are proud to be a part of the local food movement and to be living in such a beautiful corner of West Virginia. It was a rocky road to success, so listen in to hear how they plowed through the hard times and made it to where they are today!

In This Episode:

An overview of Round Right Farm’s operation 1:39

What Sunshine did before getting into farming 3:58

Sunshine’s biggest takeaways from building Round Right 5:40

What systems Round Right has in place to ensure integral tasks get done 11:34

What a day on Round Right Farm looks like 16:27

About Sunshine’s mentors throughout her farming journey 25:39

What systems/processes Sunshine would put into place sooner on Round Right given the opportunity for a do-over 35:40

How Round Right acquires new customers 39:43

The biggest mistake Sunshine sees newer farmers making 48:55

Sunshine’s favorite farming tool 55:03

What’s behind Steve and Sunshine’s decision to sell the farm 1.01: 15

About the Guest:

Round Right Farm is owned and operated by Steve and Sunshine Vortigern. They met while studying the arts in graduate school. Steve is a trombonist and Sunshine is a writer (and also a violinist). While in school, they fell in love and discovered they had a mutual curiosity about living more sustainably. After gardening for one summer (and having a baby) at Sunshine’s father’s farm in southern Kentucky, they accepted a farming apprenticeship in Oakland, MD at Backbone Food Farm. After six months there, they were ready to look for a farm of their own.

15 years at Round Right Farm has been an amazing adventure for them. When they first bought the farm, it had no buildings or any other kind of infrastructure. The first thing they did was to move their converted school bus, which would soon become their home, onto the farm. The second thing they did was to put up a high tunnel, which was immediately destroyed by a strong east wind during the night. Despite this inauspicious start, through lots of enthusiasm, hard work, faith, patience, trial, and error, they eventually turned their 41 acre field into an organic farm, the produce of which continues to amaze them.

Steward Resources:

Steward is transforming agriculture by equipping regenerative farms with the capital they need to grow. As a financial partner, we offer private commercial loans and the expert support services that sustainable farmers, ranchers, fishers, and producers need to expand and sustain their businesses. Through Steward’s user-friendly online platform, responsible lenders are able to join us in fueling this growth and participate directly in these loans, deepening their connection to agriculture while providing critical funds needed by farmers. Certified B Corporation. Get started at gosteward.com

Website: gosteward.com

Online Loan Application: https://lets.gosteward.com/farm-loan

Newsletter: https://lets.gosteward.com/join-our-community

Resources and mentions

Website – https://www.roundrightfarm.com/

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

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

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.