Farm and food

Local, ethical, and sustainable food is a subject near and dear to my heart.

Growing up, my grandparents both had careers, but they still hung on to the family farm.  It was who they were. My father always said it took three salaries to keep the farm.  My grandfather plowed by the headlights of his gray Ford tractor in the mornings before he dressed to go to work as the principal of a rural elementary school, and sometimes at night after work too.  My father was a high school teacher in town, but most weekends he was at the farm helping out.

Whether what we kids did could be called “helping “is a matter of debate.  But in addition to riding our ponies and eating all of my grandmother’s cooking we could hold, we fed chickens and weeded the orchard and gathered corn for the evening supper.  It was in our blood.

small-agripreneursAfter I grew up, I headed straight for the country.  As an adult, I’ve always lived in rural areas, growing a lot of my own food, keeping chickens, raising sheep and working them with Border Collies.  In 2009 when the cost of precious metals soared, I spent two seasons doing farmer’s markets with a line of home made chutneys, jams, and salsas.  And now my daughter is working in Boston, teaching and working in urban and community gardens.  I raised her right.

I took classes at the University of Vermont — graduate and undergraduate — in food systems and the social movements surrounding food.   I even have a permaculture design certificate (PDC.)  Not only is food production one of the biggest pieces of the environmental puzzle, but it’s central to developing strong local rural economies.

In fact, reading Bill McKibben’s book Deep Economy was one of the things that sent me back to college at a “nontraditional” age.

I can’t tell you about how to farm — that’s a whole different thing.

But if I can use my small business experience to help you get your small, sustainable local food business off the ground, I would feel deeply satisfied.

I can help with:

  • Building or optimizing your web site
  • Installing shopping cart software and setting up online payment solutions
  • Establishing your web presence through social media
  • Developing your sales literature, blogs, and newsletter
  • Setting up systems for managing your business

Microbusiness Toolbox also offers coaching to help you clarify your vision and choose an approach to your business which works with the person you are; consulting to help you start, manage, and grow your business on a practical level; and an array of services to help you start or grow your business. While we do not provide legal or financial services, we can also walk you through the process of finding reputable local providers for these needs.