Julia Slocum

Field Day:       August 7, 2016 – Ames (2 – 5 p.m.)

Event Title:     Field Planning for a Beginning Vegetable Farm

County:           Story

How Many Years Farming?  4

Acres in Production?  3 rented, about 2 in actual production (the rest is pathways, etc.)

Approximate percentage of household income derived from farm in past 12 months? 

80 percent

CROPS

Crops Grown:  Vegetables and produce for a CSA

Equipment, Implements, Tools, Infrastructure Used to Raise These Crops:

  • I rent a nice 45-horsepower, four-wheel-drive Kubota tractor
  • I have a 5-foot Maschio rototiller, a 4-foot undercutter bar, middle buster plow, a 7-foot Perfecta that I use (owned by Prairie Bloom Farm) and a 6-foot deck mower (owned by Prairie Bloom)
  • An insulated trailer cooler with CoolBot and air conditioning for refrigeration
  • A water tank for watering in with fish emulsion
  • I have an 11-by-45-foot caterpillar tunnel for seed-starting in the spring.
  • I also rely heavily on my riding mower and 5-by-8-foot mesh trailer for moving supplies and harvested crops to and from the field.
  • I just had a harvest cart welded for collecting filled totes in the field down narrow aisles.

Production Practices Used to Raise These Crops:

  • Certified organic
  • Crop rotations
  • Cover cropping
  • Drip irrigation
  • I’m working on getting pollinator strips

LIVESTOCK

Livestock Raised?  None

FARM STRUCTURE & PROGRAMS USED

Any Farm Employees?  No (I had part-time employees last year, but this year only have work shares and a couple of volunteers periodically)

Farm Organizational Structure:   Sole Member LLC

Farm Programs Used:  None

BUSINESS & MARKETING PRACTICES

Special Business Software Used?   Quickbooks

How are Crops Marketed?

  • CSA
  • Some restaurants
  • Some through FarmTable Delivery