Lean Farm Start-Up 2-Day Workshop

Saturday, May 3 - Sunday, May 4, 2025

$600 regular price - register here
$400 student/limited income pricing

Learn how to earn a living on less than a 1/3 acre of land.

An exclusive two-day intensive with Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables, and The Lean Micro Farm (2023).

Sign up for this workshop and receive focused, practical advice on setting up a high-profit micro farm with a lean system approach. Especially for start-up market growers, in urban or rural settings--or anyone looking to lean up their current operation.

This intensive 2-day workshop will provide you with useful knowledge that you can go home and apply right away. Less but better farming.

When: Saturday, May 3 - Sunday, May 4, 2025

Location: Clay Bottom Farm, Goshen, Indiana

Cost: $600 regular price; $400 student/limited income registration

Description: In this two-day workshop we'll show you how efficiently set up a farm so you can earn a comfortable income from less than 1/3 acre of land. 

Lunch will be provided Saturday and Sunday, as well as a light breakfast. 

All workshop participants will also receive:
-A 50% discount for lifetime access to the Lean Market Growing Masterclass, a comprehensive online course in using the lean system to set up a high profit farm
-A free copy of Ben's new book, The Lean Micro Farm (given to you at the workshop)
-One-on-one consultation time with Ben during the workshop
-Access to thousands of dollars worth of discount codes for tools and supplies that we use at Clay Bottom Farm (see more at bottom of this page)

Better design = happier farmers and more profitable farms. Hope to see you at Lean Farm Start-up!

Limit 20 participants. Previous workshops have all sold out, please sign up early. Fully refundable up to 30 days before the workshop; non-refundable after that time, except in case of emergency. 

Questions about the Lean Farm Start-up workshop? Use this contact form.

Receive a FREE copy of The Lean Micro Farm when you sign up for this workshop

Ben's new book, The Lean Micro Farm, tells the story of how we set up our 1/3 acre high-profit micro farm, explains the "get small" approach, and includes guides that complement the workshop. You'll receive your copy of Ben's book at the workshop. 

What you will learn in this workshop:

  • how to use the DEEP MULCH METHOD for no-till/no-dig land preparation
  • the lean system approach to setting up a nimble farm (the 7 mudas, kanban farming, and more)
  • what you need for micro farm infrastructure (greenhouses, processing rooms,¬†propagation house,¬†and more)
  • how to find those first customers using the Genchi Gembutsu method¬†
  • how to earn money in year one by growing high-value crops with less work - including innovative methods for growing tomatoes, spinach, spring mix, kale, fresh herbs, figs, and more¬†

Accommodations in and around Goshen

Workshop participants are responsible for finding their own accommodations. There are several affordable Airbnb options in and around Goshen (such as this one near the farm, or the Half-Moon Cottage a few miles away) as well as hotels. In addition, we recommend the Red Bridge Retreat, the Inn on South 5th, and Roselane Bed and Breakfast.

2022 Workshop Participants

The workshop will be hands-on with field demos... 

  • on cutting edge tools like the micro farm greens harvester and paper pot transplanting system
  • on how to build a germination chamber
  • on¬†setting up low-cost micro farm irrigation
  • on cutting edge tomato trellising techniques
  • on setting up an efficient wash-pack¬†station
  • and much more
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Join us at the farm

Learn how to meet your production and sales goals on your small-scale farm and still have time for family and friends

$600 regular price - register here
$400 student/limited income pricing
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Daniel M., 2024 workshop participant

Ben’s book and workshop have made me feel like I can finally start my dream farm without it completely overwhelming me and taking over my family’s life. The workshop was wonderful, and Ben and his crew could not be more kind and helpful.
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Laura M., 2024 workshop participant

I am so grateful to Ben, Nicole, and Rachel for a workshop that far exceeded my expectations. I learned so much, both practical and theoretical. The thought, effort, and care put into the workshop were uplifting and inspiring, and well worth the cost and travel. My husband hopes to attend next year!
 
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Nirit T.Z., 2024 workshop participant

Thank you again for the well organized weekend. It was very educational and inspiring!
It feels wonderful to be a part of a community of growers. We even got to experience the Goshen local scene, what a treat!
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Jeremy B., 2018 workshop participant

The amount of information I received from this workshop is amazing. Ben is a wonderful teacher, sharing all his knowledge from his years of farming. This workshop has shaved 10 years off my new farm startup.

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Tamara B., 2022 workshop participant

The workshop was dynamic, switching between presentation and field and taking breaks in between. I also appreciated the transparency and openness to share knowledge and information. And the food was great!

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Annabelle, 2022 workshop participant

Learning all the tools and processes is super helpful and seeing the farm in person puts it all in perspective. I also appreciated connecting with the other participants. These opportunities to connect, with other growers, especially during the growing season, is critical to continued learning.

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Our Favorite Tools and Supplies

Here are retailer links to some of the tools and supplies that we use on our farm. My book The Lean Micro Farm describes most of these in detail. We recommend these products based on our independent research and testing at Clay Bottom Farm. Purchasing tools and supplies using these links helps to support our farm.

Join us in the Lean Market Growing Masterclass or at our Lean Farm Start-Up Workshop and receive discount codes for many of these products. Discount codes are only available for Masterclass students and workshop participants. 

Orisha Automation This is the best control system for small farm greenhouses. 

Seedtime calendar Get free early beta access to their farm planning calendar and receive $5 in free seeds

Farmer's Friend
Quick-cut greens harvester - $750
Silage tarp (cut to width of two growing beds) - $233-491
Silage tarp repair tape - $36
Ground cover 6'x300' - $258

Johnny's Selected Seeds
Bed preparation rake - $109
Narrow collinear hoe - $53
Harvest bucket - $34
Curved grape and tomato shears - $15
Jang seeder - $519
Jang rollers - X-24 (baby Asian greens), LJ-24 (spinach), and F-12 (carrots and baby lettuce) - $31.20 each
Trowel - $22

Hoss Tools
Wheel hoe - $250
Fixed blade sweeps - $60

Tilmor
E-Ox electric wheel hoe - $1750+
Cultivator teeth - $113
Side knife - $133
Light duty flat shank ripper (x2) - $110

Gardener's Supply Company
DeWit half moon hoe - $80

Webstaurant Store
6" stainless steel produce knife - $7.50
Choice Prep 5 gallon greens spinner - $95

Irrigation King
Parts for 2 X-cel Wobbler head riser assemblies - $11 ea

Orbit
Orbit 1/2‚ÄĚ zinc step spike base¬†- $11 ea (use with 4‚Äô length of ¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ steel pipe and Xcel-Wobbler head for farm-built overhead irrigation; see p. 177 of¬†The Lean Micro Farm¬†for more information)

Lee Valley 
Clarington Forge digging fork (40") - $72

Local hardware store or online retailer
3/4"x100' garden hose - $230
Aluminum scoop shovel - $70
Adjustable-width rake - $35 (best to have one piece handle to avoid breakage)

Amazon
Mars Hydro TSL2000 grow light - $260
20,000 BTU weed burner torch for landscape fabric - $40
18 gallon Rubbermaid totes - $43
Inkbird digital temperature controller for germination chamber - $35
50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank for washing greens - $200

Vermont Compost Supply (or source locally)
Fort Lite Potting mix

Uline
Plastic bags for food packaging

Local thrift store
Used slow cooker for germination chamber - $10

Use local leaves, food scraps, spent grain, etc. to make compost or purchase locally

Starter hoophouse options:

Nolt’s Greenhouse Supplies
Quonset Greenhouse, 12’x48’ - $1400

Farmer’s Friend
Gothic Caterpillar Tunnel, 16’x50’ - $2400

Greenhouse Megastore
1000 Series Hoophouse Frame, 16’x48’ (does not include plastic or baseboard) - $2200
1000 Series Hoophouse Package, 16’x48’ - $3000

Bootstrap Farmer
DIY Greenhouse Kit, 12’x60’ (kit optionally includes a bender for you to bend your own pipe; top rail and wood for hip boards, baseboard, and end walls purchased locally on your own) - $1100  

Available Now: A Model for a High-Profit Urban Micro Farm

In this new book, I tell the story of how we moved our farm from country to city, shrank it to just 1/3-acre, and focused our efforts so that all of our food sells within 1 1/2 miles of the farm. This is a step-by-step start-up guide for the new urban grower who wants to make comfortable living from a tiny piece of land, based on our 16 years of professional growing experience.

Lean Farm Start-up Workshop participants will receive a free copy of The Lean Micro Farm at the workshop. 

The Lean Micro Farm at Chelsea Green Publishing

The Lean Micro Farm on Amazon

The Lean Micro Farm at Barnes and Noble

 

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