Lean Farm Start-up, coming in Spring 2023

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Date: TBA. For market gardeners: How to farm on less than a 1/2 acre of land.

An exclusive two-day intensive with Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, at Clay Bottom Farm. 

Sign up for this workshop and receive focused training in efficient growing techniques and lean farm set-up, especially for start-up market growers or anyone wanting to lean up their farm.

When: TBA, Spring 2023, 9am - 4pm both days

Location: Clay Bottom Farm, 340 Hackett Road, Goshen, Indiana

Cost: TBA

Description: In 2017 we bought a large urban lot, sold our rural farm of 10 years, and started building a brand new farm, including a barn-house and a state of the art greenhouse. Our inspirations were the "connected" farms of new England, Japanese market farms, and the "Hof" that Ben's German ancestors used as a house and an animal barn.

In this two-day workshop I'll show you how we set up our farm and earn income from less than 1/2 acre of land. You will receive a deep dive tour of our farm, learn about the four lean design principles, and take away concrete ideas to lean up your existing farm or build a new one.

During this workshop, I will walk you through in detail:

  • what you need for farm infrastructure (greenhouses, processing rooms, propagation house, and more)
  • how to prepare new ground so you can start earning money from your first season
  • efficient no-till techniques for bed preparation
  • how to find those first customers and keep them for the long term
  • how to grow a wide range of high-value crops using lean methods and cutting edge tools - including tomatoes, spinach, spring mix, kale, fresh herbs, figs, plus a whole lot more. 

The workshop will be hands on, with field demos so you can try out my cutting edge tools such as the paperpot seeding system, paperpot transplanter, and greens harvester. We'll also have field demos on:

  • lean no-till bed preparation
  • how to build a germination chamber
  • plumbing 101
  • cutting edge tomato trellising techniques
  • efficient wash-pack flow
  • plus, a tour of our barn-house, including our building plans

All workshop participants will also receive a 50% discount for lifetime access to my Lean Market Growing Masterclass, a comprehensive online course in using the lean system to set up a high profit farm. 

Better design = happier farmers and more profitable farms. Hope to see you here!

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COVID protocols: The majority of the workshop will be held outside, and masks outside are optional. Masks may be required when participants are inside (e.g. processing room and house tours). We are following CDC and local health official guidelines, so the protocol is subject to change. 

Workshop includes catered lunch on both days, and participants arrange breakfast, supper, transportation, and housing on their own. Nearby bed and breakfast establishments include: 

Red Bridge Retreat

Inn on South 5th

Roselane Farm Bed and Breakfast

If you would like to sign up multiple persons, please check-out each person separately.

Meet your production and sales goals and still have time for family and friends.

Limit 20 participants. Previous workshops have all sold out, please sign up early.

Questions about the Lean Farm Start-up workshop? Contact our Assistant Farm Manager Nicole Craig at [email protected]

Join me 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

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Jeremy C., 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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Zach S., 2018 workshop participant

Ben gives me hope for being able to farm on a small scale and still have a life. Can't recommend enough.

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Ian B., 2019 workshop participant

If you are looking to make a good living as a small scale farmer while still maintaining a balanced lifestyle, look no further. Ben does an amazing job of laying out how to make that possible by using lean techniques.

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