How the farm pays

Alright folks… lets get clear about something.

There are only two activities that generate value on the farm.. planting vegetables, and harvesting. These are the only two activities that your clients are actually paying you to do.

All the rest… I mean ALL the rest… is simply setting the stage for planting, or setting the stage for harvesting.


Setting the Stage for


Setting the Stage for


Planning Tillage



Green Manures

Stale seed-bed prep


Post Harvest tillage

Record keeping



Pest control





Record keeping

The things is, many of us are farming nerds… we love the intricacies of each of these stage setting activities. In the process we sometimes lose sight of the fact that all these activities are just here to support planting and harvesting.

What is one way you could streamline the stage-setting process?

Are all activities on the farm centered around supporting the planting and harvesting processes?

What would it look like on your farm in planting and harvesting were the primary activities?


PS: The title to this blog post is actually a (not so) secret shout out to one of my favorite farming books ‘How the farm pays’ from 1884.

2 Replies to “How the farm pays”

    1. Great idea! 🙂

      Are there any approaches you have tried at the farm? I notice that the seed production blocks are almost entirely covered in géotextile.

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