Clay Bottom Farm’s Ben Hartman is the author of The Lean Farm, a book on minimizing waste and increasing efficiency on the vegetable farm. He has farmed full time for the past ten years with his wife, Rachel, in Goshen, Indiana, where they’re both making a living on less than an acre of production, selling 90 percent of their produce within ten miles of the farm. Of course, we talk about applying the lean methodology on the modern market farm, including the basics of creating value, establishing pull with customers, and the 5S pillars of the lean cycle: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain the cycle. Plus, we get into some cool details about how Clay Bottom Farm keeps produce cold at CSA drop sites, how they design a CSA share, marketing and pricing strategies at farmer’s markets, and how a stupid little sticky note makes them thousands of dollars each year.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.