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:


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

Draft Power: The Life-Affirming Alternative to “Big Ag”

Farmers young and old are seeking new ways to shrink their carbon footprint and promote more ecologically friendly ways of getting chores done. So, what’s a modern farmer to do? For some, the centuries old approach of using draft animals—especially horses—is offering a very 21st century solution. Read More..

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More..

A Book for the Fruit Nerd on Your Holiday Gift List

Have a fruit enthusiast on your holiday shopping list this year? Then give the gift that Booklist calls, “a thorough investigation of one wonderful fruit”—The Book of Pears by Joan Morgan.Sure cherries, plums, peaches, and other fruits have their unique qualities, but nothing quite compares to the pear’s luscious texture, richness of taste, and fragrance reminiscent […] Read More..

Unlock the Secret to the Perfect Salad with Soil Sprouts

As the weather gets colder and seasonal produce only means root vegetables, we begin to dream about fresh greens and colorful salads. Without a greenhouse or expensive equipment, it’s hard to imagine a reality in which you can have fresh and local greens every day. Luckily, Peter Burke has a method: in his book Year-Round Indoor […] Read More..
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com