Emily Oakley owns and operates Three Springs Farm in Oaks, Oklahoma, with her husband, Mike Appel. Since 2003, they’ve sold their organic vegetables through a CSA and at a farmers market. They’ve chosen to keep their farm small, not just in acres but also in overall production, substituting tractors and equipment for labor on their three acres of vegetable production where they gross about $80,000 per year, with a net of well over half of that.
We talk about their choice to limit their acres, their work hours, and their growing season, and get into the way that their farm changed when their child was born three years ago.
With its unpredictable weather and biblical pest outbreaks, Emily says that if you can farm in Oklahoma, you can farm anywhere, so we also dig into how Three Springs Farm manages uncertainty and risk both in the field and in its business management processes.
Emily was also recently appointed to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), and she shares her perspective on organic certification and community service.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.