Posts By Hana Lurie
Skinny Lane Farm, located 30 miles east of Austin, began as a backyard garden project designed to supply a single family with fresh produce year round. The farm’s founder, Bekki Callaway, soon outgrew the confines of her backyard and in short order she and her husband purchased 13-acres of land to start Skinny Lane Farm. Embracing sustainable practices and innovative business models, in just its first year operation, Callaway has not only found happiness, but has nearly reached a financial break-even point with Skinny Lane.
Laurie Thorpe, owner and creator of Tangleweed Farm in Tehachapi, CA, did not set out with the intention of turning her farm into a business enterprise. In fact, her agricultural endeavors began for the sole purpose of feeding her family organic, healthy food and instilling sustainable values in the lives of her children. However, her skill in and passion for growing and nurturing the land became so apparent that sharing the fruit of her harvest with others seemed only natural.
I recently spoke with Thorpe to find out about the story behind her farm, what motivated her to embrace sustainable farming practices, the challenges her farm faces, her future goals and more.
For Alexis Koefoed, a quest for purpose 15 years ago ended with the purchase of farmland in Vacaville, California. She is now co-owner along with her husband Eric of Soul Food Farm, a sustainable farm that raises pastured chickens for both meat and eggs. The Koefoeds farm full-time and live leanly off of the income they generate primarily from running their CSA. Lately, the couple has sought to diversify its product offering to lavender and other crops in order to increase the farm’s economic viability.
How does a Los Angeles-based techie completely disconnected from food and agriculture end up a passionate sustainable farmer? It’s really quite simple. The techie-turned-farmer in question, one Nathan Winters, strikes out on a 4300-mile bike ride across America’s rural landscapes to find inspiration. He works on a number of farms along the way and ends up with a passion for organic “bootstrap” agriculture that leads him to start Relly Bub Farm in southern Vermont.
I recently spoke with Winters to learn more about his embrace of agriculture, how his cross country trip shaped his philosophy on farming, his words of wisdom for new farmers, the challenges he faces and more.
In just six years, Justin Dansby and Paige Witherington have transformed Serenbe Farms in the sustainable Serenbe community 30 miles Southwest of Atlanta, Georgia into a thriving and economically viable certified organic farming enterprise. They have also launched a successful on farm apprenticeship program that has seen 85% of its graduates go on to become farmers.
I recently spoke with Justin Dansby to learn more about Serenbe Farms, why the farm values organic certification and sustainable practices so highly, the challenges that it faces and more.