Curtis Millsap farms raises two acres of vegetables, with 22,000 square feet under plastic, at Millsap Farms, just outside of Springfield, Missouri. He and his wife, Sarah, make a living from the farm with the help of their ten kids, a full-time farm manager, and another employee.
Curtis shares how his farm grew over the years – and then how it shrunk on its path to profitability and a more family- and faith-focused life, shedding most of its livestock and farmers markets in favor of production that they can stay on top of, and the addition of a major value-added enterprise with their pizza club.
We dig into the pizza club, why they’ve structured it as a membership program, and how that works on a farm that’s wired for community. Curtis shares how they have leveraged seconds and family labor – including Sarah’s skills as a pizza magician – to grow the enterprise and make it work.
Curtis also lets us in on how they’ve created a farm that allowed them to take five full weeks of vacation last year. We talk about the routines and management systems they’ve built to support Curtis’ quality of life goals, including the fundamentals of Curtis’ paper-based system to stay on top of tasks and projects. He also shares the good and the bad about the Chinese-style solar greenhouse they built.
Perennial support for the Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously provided by Vermont Compost Company and BCS America.