In this episode of Small Scale Life, Michael Bell and Scott Hebert return to discuss urban farming advice and best practices. Topics discussed during this podcast includes their farms, their markets, typical yields, watering crops, harvesting product, successfully marketing products and potentially expanding their operations.
For those of you don’t know who these gentlemen are, Scott Hebert owns and operates Flavourful Farm in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Michael Bell owns and operates Half Acre Farm in Dallas, Texas. Both have uniquely different operations, but they are facing some of the same issues. Both have been great guests on Small Scale Life, and I am thrilled to have them back on the show.
If you are currently an urban farmer or are considering starting a small business, you might want to grab a drink, a pad of paper and a writing utensil. There is a lot of good information and advice in this podcast. Michael and Scott have tried a lot of things and found out what does and does not work on their farms and in their markets.
As part of the discussion, Michael Bell, Scott Hebert and I provided some thoughts about a new type of urban farming and marketing recently discussed on Larry Hall’s YouTube Channel. Each of us had some comments (pros and cons) about this kind of small business, and there are some logistical and price point questions that will need to be explored. As Michael Bell puts it, “It hasn’t been done like this before, so why not give it a try?”
You can view the video here:
- 1 Urban Farming Advice and Best Practices
- 2 Putting It All Together
- 3 Links
- 4 Sponsors of this Small Scale Life Podcast
- 5 Thank you!
Urban Farming Advice and Best Practices
During this podcast, Micheal, Scott and I discussed the following topics:
Introductions – People, Urban Farms and Market
Urban Farming Advice and Best Practices
- Dallas Vegans and Social Media
- Curtis Stone Model
- Chilliwack Grocery Stores
- Urban Farming Advice 1: This is a relationship business; develop great relationships with potential Clients
- Urban Farming Advice 2: Bring samples to potential Clients
- Urban Farming Advice 3: What works in one market might not work in another market
- Urban Farming Advice 4: You have to learn from trial and error; the key is starting
- Watering Systems and Strategies
- Flavourful Farms – Wobblerhead Overhead Sprinklers and Cam Locks
- Dallas Half Acre Farms – Off Grid Solar Powered Pumps and Totes
- The Power of Mulch
- Weed Control – Landscape Fabric
- Time and Labor
- Climate and Farmer Technique
- Salad Mix Products
- Dallas vs. Chilliwack
- Scott does Common Core Math…..
- Buckshot Arugala
- Soil and Soil Amendments (Fertilizers, Compost and Manure
- Michael discusses Cover Crops, Roots in the Ground, No Till, Worm Castings
- Scott discusses Compost and Fertilizer (4-4-4 Organic Fertilizer), No Till
- Tom gets schooled on Compost vs. Manure
- Future Plans and Farmers Markets
- Michael discusses person-to-person sales, aggregator website and farmers markets
- Scott discusses maximizing current customers and farmer’s markets
- Larry Hall’s Farmer Market Concept
- Pros and Cons
- Harvesting and Washing
- Scott states that 4 heads of salinova is a pound of lettuce, and he gets a pound a foot of garden bed
- Cuts of salinova: 25 pounds for the first cut; 20 pounds for the second cut. No third cut
- Quality Control: Lady bugs, bugs and worms
- Growing Other Products, YouTube, Vlogging and Passion
- The Sweet Spot
- YouTube, Vlog and Passion
- Urban Farming Advice 5: Develop various income streams
- Urban Farming Advice 6: It isn’t how big, how much or what varieties you grow that defines you. Be a good person that farms.
- Urban Farming Advice 7: Maximize your farm to work with your life. As you progress through the seasons of your life, your farm should change with you.
- Urban Farming Advice 8: It will take some time before you feel like you are getting traction. Be patient.
- Urban Farming Advice 9: Develop multiple income streams and side hustles that work for you.
- Urban Farming Advice 10: Be content with your progress and efforts. It doesn’t matter what other people think.
- Curtis Stone, Changing Lives, Thank You!
Putting It All Together
There is a lot or urban farming advice and best practices to digest in this show. They both have carved out unique niches in their respective markets, and there is a lot to learn from both of these gentlemen.
I would like to thank Scott Hebert and Michael Bell for coming on the show. It means a lot for these two urban farmers to take time out from their work and their families to provide comments about what is working on their farms.
Michael Bell came up with the idea of this show, and I just had to schedule them both for this discussion. I love the fact that the Small Scale Life Podcast is connecting people in different places, states, and countries so that ideas and best practices can be exchanged!
I think that is what makes podcasts so powerful, and I will have more of these kinds of shows. The next panel discussion type show will be the Why Homesteading with my friends Captain Lumbersquatch Greg Burns and Jay Dolan. This is a big, two-part show that you do not want to miss.
If you have any comments or urban farming advice and best practices to add to this podcast, feel free to leave a comment below this post or use the contact us page on Small Scale Life.
For more information on Scott Hebert and Michael Bell, please see the following links to their other platforms and podcasts.
You can find Scott Hebert on his Flavourful Farms Instagram Page and his YouTube Channel (where he has a regular Vlog). Scott also hosts his own podcast called Stoic Mettle, and you can find his podcast here.
Scott has also been a previous guest on the Small Scale Life Podcast, and you can find links to those podcasts below:
- BellCast: Profitable Urban Farming
- BellCast: Winter Urban Farming Blues
- Healthy Lifestyle Advice from Michael Bell
- Urban Farming in Dallas with Michael Bell
Sponsors of this Small Scale Life Podcast
I have been approached by some of you who are wondering how you can support Small Scale Life. You can support our work by purchasing products from our affiliates. Keep in mind that some of the services and products discussed below are affiliates, and Small Scale Life will get a commission when someone purchases these products.
Today’s episode has three sponsors:
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Are you a gardener or urban farmer and looking for a sturdy, yet affordable, greenhouse solution? I am in Minnesota, and I know a greenhouse would help extend my season in the Spring and Fall.
My friend Jonathon and his friends have started a company called Sunsavor Greenhouses that builds custom-sized greenhouses that are perfect for your backyard or urban farm.
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Thank you to Scott Hebert, Michael Bell and to our sponsors. Make sure you check out their platforms and services. Remember, when you purchase items using Small Scale Life links, you are supporting our efforts. That is a great way to make sure you get even more content and interesting