Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Richard Wiswall: Making Money as an Organic Farmer

A few years ago at a New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference, Richard Wiswall (The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff—and Making a Profit) presented a talk on farm profitability with a fellow farmer, who opened the talk by saying, “Sometimes I think I should have listened to my parents and become a doctor or a lawyer—but you know, I don’t think I could take the pay cut.”

Some people are very resistant to the idea that one can go into farming with the idea that it is a business from which they can make money. But farmers provide a valuable service and product—the most valuable product there is, if you think about it. And they deserve to be fairly compensated, just like doctors deserve to be compensated.

No, people who go into farming don’t usually say, “I’m doing it because I want to make a lot of money.” But there’s nothing immoral or cynical about it. And you don’t necessarily have to break your back toiling from dusk till dawn to do it. Not if you farm smarter, not harder, as Richard Wiswall says.

In this interview on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Wiswall discusses the nuts and bolts of the business of organic farming.

Most people who go into organic farming do so because they love to get their hands in the dirt, or they want to play an active role in producing food. Making a lot of money or managing a budget doesn’t usually top the list.

Richard Wiswall is a longtime organic farmer and East Montpelier resident who says the business side of organic farming can’t be ignored.

Listen Now

Read the whole article here.

Photo: VPR/Jane Lindholm


Related Articles:

Fruit Explorers, Guerrilla Grafters, and Other Useful People

The editors here at Chelsea Green are constantly seeking out what’s new and important in the world of sustainable living. As part of an occasional blog series, our editors are sharing what they’ve been reading, researching, or just plain pondering. Below Senior Editor Ben Watson talks about “guerrilla grafters” and why the world could use a lot more of […] Read More..

Brew Outside the Box: Making Mushroom-Infused Beer

When thinking about drinking a nice cold beer, the flavor of mushrooms doesn’t exactly spring to mind. But for the adventurous brewer – and drinker – infusing mushrooms into brews is a great way to combine the medicinal benefits of fungi with one of the world’s most consumed beverages.The best part? You can grow mushrooms […] Read More..

50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solutions to Save the Planet

Tired of watching people spend so much time thinking up big solutions to big problems that it has a paralyzing effect on taking action? If you’re like author Courtney White, the answer is yes. That’s why in Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, he takes readers on a journey to show how low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions […] Read More..

Field Guide to Fall Favorites: Are you Autumn Ready?

As we bite into a banner apple season and put our gardens to bed, we’re already thinking about next year. There is no denying it: the days are shorter and unless you planned for season extension your garden is all about the root vegetables.But don’t let the looming winter get you down. There are plenty […] Read More..

9 Things to Consider When Building Your Own Greenhouse

Daydreaming of extending your growing season and building your very own year-round greenhouse? It’s easier, more affordable, and will provide you and your family with more food than you might think — thanks to one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers, Jerome Osentowski.In his groundbreaking new book, The Forest Garden Greenhouse, Osentowski provides growers of all skill levels in-depth […] Read More..
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By