SF photo Brian Kowalski at market straw hat garden hero

After a rocky startup in 2012, Murray Meadows Farm is on solid ground but the business keeps changing. Like, really changing. A common question asked of entrepreneurs is, Where do you want to be in five years? “Still around” is about as specific as a farmer can get. Through a mix of hand and tractor production, and learning how to use hoophouses to extend his incredibly short growing season, Brian still is. In fact, he’s even promoted himself to senior management and is hiring a farm manager this year.

He’s gone from $35k in his first year to targeting $120k this year on about an acre. It’s an admirable achievement, but what makes it really noteworthy is, he is doing it with only 26 marketing weeks where the summer temperature top out at 60 degrees. No wonder he is proud of his tomato production. Most other farmers in his neck of the woods grow the island’s staples – cabbage, carrots, potato and rutabaga. But consumers and chefs have been way ahead of them, and they eagerly bought Brian’s classic SPIN repertoire from the beginning. The local foodie scene has allowed him to pick and choose among sales channels, and his farm has even created its own, by opening up an on-farm café. Did he foresee any of this when he first started? Nope. But he’s gotten a lot better at getting better.

Use the same learning program Brian Kowalski used to start his farm here.  If you’re not ready to go all-in just yet, get a taste of what starting a backyard-scale farming business is like from our members with a month-to-month membership here.

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