First Year Farmer: Backyard Farm Tour and Interview

First Year Farmer: Backyard Farm Tour and Interview

hey everybody welcome back to another
nature’s always right episode today we’re doing a really special farm tour
with my friend Brian and Brian actually apprentice with me for six months
learning all the different farming skills necessary to do a backyard urban
garden and now here he is with his own plot killing it and so I’m really
excited to show you guys what he’s been up to and we’re gonna sit down with him
after the farm tour and find out more about his personal story and how he got
into this and you know the avenues that he’s starting to sell into and I think
it’s be really valuable for other farmers who are super new to this and
people who were you know thinking about doing this or changing their job I think
it’ll be a really inspiring story for you so let’s go and meet Brian and he’s
going to show us all around his farm and how he’s growing everything all right
Brian here we are at your farm and it’s looking beautiful in here thank you yes
I just want to know so how many square feet are you working with on your small
farm here so here we got a little bit over 2,000 square feet of actual growing
space and then another thousand square feet in the corner by me which I’m using
for you know my processing and storage needs
very cool and curious what you’re growing it looks like lots of different
greens yeah yeah so as you mentioned like I apprenticed under our very own
Stephen cornet here and we’re both heavily influenced by the Curtis Stone
model so the bet the bulk of it is basically just the Curtis Stone model
I’m growing you know 60 days to maturity or less
leafy greens you got your radishes I’m doing carrots as well you know beets the
typical market garden stuff excellent yeah I’m trying out some little
deviations from from what you’re doing huh but uh we’ll see how that plays out
how did you start this plot off how did you develop it in the first place you
know or what was here yeah here in the beginning yeah you can see um my
Instagram account uh-huh at home to home farms but before and
after pictures like before it was just really overgrown dead brown just not
pretty looking grass so I had to come in here first with a sod cutter I take all
that out you know load it load up a giant u-haul truck pretty big one
figured out to the dump and then after that it was one use of a roto tiller
mm-hm and then I used the compost contact that you gave me and about about
twelve fourteen yards and I look help of help up with a couple of friends we just
lay that lay that out in in the beds and so that’s the bowls that’s the bulk of
my fertility is the that really good and high quality compost from a local grower
perfect around here perfect and looks like you’ve got are these 30 inch beds
what’s your walkway size now this is standard your 30 inches my walkways are
I’m pushing it down to it’s about ten inches or so on the walkways that’s nice
how I was able to fit the next show 55 foot bed in here mm-hmm
yeah it looks like you took it all the way to the fence there yep and I have
plenty of plenty of practice at Steven’s place and with really tight walkways
yeah I’m used to it yeah you know when were in these backyards it’s like we got
to just max it to as much as we can uh-huh so looks like he got irrigation
set up here you show us that irrigation set up and why you chose it yeah so like
half of what I know I learned from from you and the other half is like a mix of
like Curtis Stone and Connor cook more so this server kitchen system is
basically watched your videos on your channel and then based upon that I mean
I did follow your most recent advice and I have these companies that are
detachable so I can take off you know the entire manna Bowl little on the side
yep to prepare the entire pie without having to mess with each
individual dripline yeah and I see you at the you got the twist-off connectors
all along the way there to which I I like actually I think that was really
smart that you did that and I think I would have if I was gonna do it again
I’d probably do the same thing if you need to move it someday it’s really easy
to get apart and put it back together so we just checked out how your drip tapes
run now let’s check out how’s your how you connecting to the house and
everything so it’s similar to the system you have actually Steven hmm
where I’ve got one timer here this is a single port timer uh-huh and then a
separate timer here that goes the actual drip lines and what did I do this the
reason I did this was because we can’t have these filters under constant
pressure right yeah so I didn’t get change from yours where I bought this
brand of port it’s my part-time work to get Ian yeah I
found what do you like about this one yeah what I found with the orbit ones it
when it shuts off it shuts off way too abruptly right and it creates this issue
called a water hammer I think yes and that actually caused some problems with
his setup here where I was getting after I kept shutting off I would notice a
rattle in the PVC pipe here I got weeks here I got weeks here it’s a really big
headache actually yeah you’re the one who taught me about this you guys
probably seen my video about the water arrestor here so Brian’s the one who
taught me about that I got that on my new plot because I had the same problem
with my orbit timer shaking all the pipes and creating a leak
yeah so going for it I definitely use this water rester and this Gideon timer
and I think for that we’ll have a shredder with about shaking nice yep
very cool so then you’re running the Boogie brew filter chlorine field yeah
so I got split here so I use this chlorinated water ferrino my washing yep
just have that extra I don’t know saturation yeah oh yeah sure yeah – yeah
exactly I have the filter for the you know to be bio microorganism
friendly uh-huh right and then your typical four-way splitter mm-hmm I did
find out though that like I have one one valve I tried doing that for this entire
mainsail yeah yeah not even close well yeah I can do like two or three of
those beds yeah and I have to alternate it manually
sure now so if I were to do it again I’d probably look into this maybe some
custom PVC rape and then invest in like eight more valves or running
three-quarter inch poly something like that then you’re running the yeah just
the polyline to your drip tape mmm very cool these two carrot ads look really
great there are you getting close to harvest on these yeah so a little bit
deceiving because I’ve planted them seven rows with her earth way cedar
uh-huh I was following curtis’s advice in the seven rows he uses the the Jencks
cedar right so I think it’s just with the earth way and seven rows it’s just a
bit too dense mm-hmm or on fact what I’m finding is I can harvest the ones in the
perimeter of the bed the ones on the inside are just not close to being ready
mm-hmm so going forward I actually started
doing five rows okay nice Jarrell you can see some I had some issues with
something eating up my carrot saplings yeah might be cut worms or something
else right so for now I just interplanted with Hakurei turnips and
lettuce heads here and there nice that’s really smart yeah not the perfect
germination he’s coming in they’re still gonna finish out those carrots and then
he’s got some long growing turnips and some quick lettuce and that’s really
good so over here I’m trying five bills but I’ve been each roll I did two passes
with the earth way mmm just to make sure I got some some some sort of imagination
going on because I finally have some reason have pressure on this side of the
yard but not on that side for some reason so she’s saying this yeah the
germination looks really good here yeah this is two rows or two passes with the
earth way and then I felt this burlap on top to keep the moisture in
yep and so far it’s looking pretty good yeah
really good so then I noticed next to here I don’t know what these cups are
but tell us more about that so I mentioned I had cutworm issues I
mean I am truly a first-year farmer because four months ago I didn’t know
what columns were yeah so I mean I’ve had terrible luck with transplanting
beets this is like my last-ditch effort we’re trying to make it work
where so I have two transplants in and then I have these little rings made of
um cardstock just just a stapler yeah and so far that seems to have worked I’m
not sick anymore um cover him damage for that I still have them that’s that might
be an option going forward I think I’ll definitely use it with the kale and
chard there’s not too many of them and I can justify the labor right so these
yeah it’s just basically like a physical barrier so the cutworm can’t get on the
plant and chew it up yeah and over here I did on direct seeded beets three rows
with the earth way as you advise me and and I will see how that works out too so
yeah in this first year there’s a lot of experimentation seeing what works what
doesn’t work what your customers want yeah I got plenty of mistakes to show
you guys yeah but that’s the part of it you know especially the first season but
the second season also you know this is there’s so much to learn and experience
and then you just get so much better after that so but you’re doing a really
great I mean there’s so there’s so much good stuff so I also notice you’re
you’re staking your beds as well could you tell us a little bit about staking
and why you like to do it oh yeah I’m a fan of stakes just because it’s a
reference point I can rely on you know if you don’t have stakes and you might
find that your beds migrate left and right they get kind of wavy and with the
stakes I can just eyeball my my lines I find it helps me decrease my bed prep
time Oh because I can just not be super anal about straight lines but generally
get it to line up with the stage with a simple hand rake do you run a string on
it as well are you just using the kind of stage used to string their very
beginning when I was setting it up yeah but so far I have I’ve had no problems
just eyeballing it cool-kid mistakes as my basis point that’s good yeah that’s
good to know and it saves yourself a little more time too so tell us about
your lettuce production and higher you’re going
yeah so starting out I thought I’d try focusing more on lettuce heads as
opposed to your typical salad mixes I did because I was drawn to the to the
appeal of not having to you know manually go through your lettuce mix and
pick out your weaves and and rinse them and worry about keeping them fresh in
them in the bags and all that as much although I have started selling now and
I’ve found people just love their salad mixes don’t they they do yeah they just
love the convenience of it it’s just so easy for them yeah so I think I’ll
switch to salad mixes along with some heads and as you can see I’ve got some
nasturtium going along the side here which I plan to it’s sort of a fun thing
but also I plan to just you know throw in a flower into each of my individual
salad mix bags give it that personal touch yeah justify that extra dollar to
recharging yeah I think that little beautiful and they taste really great
too mmm I know a lot of chefs are really into the nasturtiums right now how are
you harvesting your salad mix starting out I am I tried to avoid these pretty
big costs with the tiller and the foot cut greens harvester I mean so far
starting out I’m not I haven’t started selling to a proper market yet so I’ve
been able to get by just hand harvesting with a knife and yeah lots of people do
that lets loose with the um I met a few people that grow Sal anova on my recent
Dallas trip yeah and they do it all by hand
they’ll come in and they hardly harvest it and then it’ll let it come again so
they’ll just grow the head and then it just keeps growing because I guess the
salad Nova is a little harder to use the greens harvester on home so yeah it’s
interesting seeing the different ways that people do it some people use the
harvester and some don’t and yeah I drink it by hand is still it’s still
efficient enough it seems that it’s profitable this is my first salad mixed bed of it
ever grown basically well I found that I left it too long I let it mature too
long I don’t know if you’ve seen this before where I get like its cover
rotting yeah gross stuff in the base of that
yeah if I’ve noticed that when I if I plant it a little bit too thick
especially we know you’ve gotten a ton of rain recently hmm yeah I think it’s
kind of an outbreak or some sort of fungus and then it eats
the roots and you should leave a little bit do you happen to me too actually
this season so even if you cut early on you still get that that right yes it can
still happen huh even when they’re kind of baby size it’s kind of a thing with
lettuce it’s like a root rot really easy it’s too wet for too long yeah so I’ve
kind of tried to back off on how many seeds I’m drawn or how many rows I’m
doing I kind of backed off back to like ten rows ten rows now rather than maxing
it like I was doing and I’m noticing the yields are about the same and there’s
like you know a little bit better airflow so I’m so you know I’m still
playing around with that stuff too so you have some slug pressure you’re
saying and tell me how you’re dealing with that for now I just literally
googled you know DIYs slug trap on youtube I found this nice little video
where it’s like you get a basic container that’s a container fill it
with like this solution of what is it water sugar flour and active dry yeast
then you just bury it with slits on the slugs will fall in and then go get like
eight slugs overnight whoa that’s what I’ll try that out today and we’ll see
how that works oh thanks for that tip that’s really interesting sounds like a
really good way to do it beauty of YouTube yeah and then you know
you’re not spraying anything on your plants and once a little trap you can
knock down their population so what varieties are you starting with here
with your so for your heads what are you growing and then for your mixes woody
view so the experimental varieties are pretty much the same
we got butter crunch we got oak leaf a little gem romaine
nice this was this red salad bowl and in the mix I threw in this on dive this is
green pearl dreck I like it because it adds a nice visual flair and variety
yeah yeah I try growing them as heads over here uh-huh
they’re just there’s taking way too long yeah 70 to 100 they said on the so I’ll
stop doing that as heads but keep them in the mix I like the way they but
interest to add yeah absolutely little different in there so then the pop of
color something that you know it makes it more unique so let’s talk about some
of the brassicas you’re growing what kind of radishes are you trying out so I
got your Easter egg your standard Easter egg uh-huh
then I’m also trying out these French breakfast radishes Mike them a couple of
times selling though I find they’re pretty popular at least around my part
like they’re unique enough to catch some people’s interest but they’re not to
four on where to be alien right there so radishes yes and the people like the
flavor of them yeah yeah and it’s really really the visual appeal that it gets
people I think yeah yeah it’s a nice gradient yeah I think white and they’re
striking to look good I think yeah that’s a great recommendation for people
yeah and what kind of arugula here this is as May arugula Esme’s awful high
mowing supposedly it’s got like more of a nuttier flavor and I like the the
leaves look really good I know the chefs like the leaves that look more like this
versus the rounded leaf from what I’ve experienced at least yeah now my
strategy was to get varieties that were different enough to be like I like it to
be interesting there’s still you know vegetables that people are familiar with
it’s still ready well it’s still spinach yes yeah that’s a great strategy
something a little extra special but they still know what it is mm-hmm you
meet me you can’t get in a grocery store but mmm that tastes really good so I see
you have some row cover here how are you how are you using it yeah I’m just
and this is again first time using grill cover
mm-hmm so I’m just throwing them on things where I’ve had issues with I had
an earlier planning of French breakfast radishes over there yeah I only got like
45% I’ve actually usable radishes because
half of them were just ravaged by some sort of bug but um it might be the real
cover here but I’m noticing I’m getting a better percentage of usable radishes
you guys so you’re using it as part pest protection and then you’re getting a
little bit more warmth here now because it’s we’re in middle of February right
now yep yep very cool yeah I love that I love that about recovery it’s got a
multi-purpose so how’s your weed pressure being in a backyard usually
there’s grass and you know like usually homeowners just let a lot of weeds go to
seed and things like that so how’s it been yeah it was pretty bad in the
beginning so as I mentioned before it was just
completely a blanket of dead grass and then when I used a socket I tried to
just throw away as much as possible to maybe minimize the amount of seeds left
over but I got pretty thick grow back of grass so in the beginning I just use
stirrup hoe so basically I ended up taking the Conner Creek more approach
which is something like just staying on top of your cultivation we are
cultivating rather than waiting after the fact right so I got this a little
plug free plug for Conner here I got the UM the mutineer oh oh I can show you
I’ll show ya I’ve never used it I like it because I’ve got this function here
we can just swap out the heads okay it’s really easy and I deal with this is that
you know you’re cultivating in between your crops
getting your weeds in your earlier phases of the development okay they’re
in that you know that call lead in stage uh-huh I use the stirrup hoe for the
rows uh-huh I just walk down the rows and yeah tear up the grass that grows
back and then in the rows using the wire I use these finer like a two inch or
whatever it is wire hose and then little you know I mean your hose that come with
this tool here I mean I think your your weed pressure looks really good honestly
especially inside of the beds it looks fantastic already so I mean
that’s like that’s just a testament to no-till and if you’re really vigilant on
staying on top of those weeds then you know the seed bank goes away pretty
quick it looks pretty darn good yeah I think also the the compost too acted as
natural barrier yeah I honest that too so good I mean when I first applied the
compost I mix it in with the stirrup o tis for a light mixture and then after a
few weeks of dealing with the weeds that came up from that and then on top of
that using your more finder or weeding tools
cultivating tools rather I’ve had yeah not too bad on the weed
pressure great yeah it’s great to see so it looks like you’re starting out some
microgreens – tell us how that’s been going for you what’s all about here’s
the visual representation of my learning curve basically like I mean pea shoots
there all right I’m trying to figure out how to get more height on the
microgreens I guess it’s a some sort of combination of not having enough depth
of medium growing medium maybe it’s not getting enough sunlight not really sure
about that but about trying to figure it out as I go along here yeah yeah is this
a huge learning curve with every single crop and you know microgreens are
something that I have barely done either so that’s I’m gonna be going through the
same process here real soon but I’m glad to see that you’re doing the microgreens
because it’s really it’s just such a valuable crop so nutritious for our
customers and another great little stream of revenue for us here in a small
scale and so now let’s go check out your propagation area this is as bare
Billings as it gets right got it looks awesome Craigslist lumber made into a
little table here perfect free yes I’ve got some free trays from you yeah oh
yeah yeah for the shout out to bootstrap farmer under a plug tracer good quality
plastic Oh for the soil mix I just use what you taught me basically which is um
like a 4 3 2 ratio of compost peat moss and then vermiculite yeah so far and I
just been dropping them to compact them but as you’ve been telling me recently
yeah we learned from Dawson and ready Tyler basically we just don’t have to
pack them apparently yeah and oh they come off fine I learned this trick from
Dawson on my recent trip and he learned it from me Tyler
you don’t need to pack as much soil in there as possible you just kind of drop
the soil in leave it real loose you know poke your seed hole and drop the seed
and then at the end when you’re going to plant them you can just pull straight up
and they’ll just pop right out and you don’t have to take that extra step you
know using a pencil or screw to knock them out we’re both gonna be trying that
out now now that we know that trick after I pack them I just cover them with
this sunshine propagation mix oh nice as my top cover I’m not sure how how wise
that is but it seems to be working alright for me so far yeah you’re
looking you got great germination rates on your stuff and what are you seating
right now at the middle of February what are you right seating
lettuce weekly I grow I grow a variety of the lettuce heads and a tray mm-hmm I
got some more chard coming up because again I’m dealing with cutworm pressure
right so I’m gonna try it again with those paper colors that you saw before
mm-hmm I had terrible issues with trying to
transplant beets maybe it’s just a variety of early wonder but some are
just it’s just been too cold recently where they all turn this reddish purple
like this and then even once I get them in the ground
I had the Cubs to deal with right right so it’s been not fruitful so far but one
time I was low on trays and I didn’t have a soil block maker so I just
handmade those soil balls basically and those turned out well at least two
transplants that yeah but I ordered some winched appraised nice so did I yeah I’m
excited try those constantly trying to get better at the propagation trying out
you know new types of trays and soil mixes and techniques trying to get
better so now we’re at your post processing center which is still in
development and just tell us kinda what you got going on and how you’re using it
yeah so again this is the bare-bones Curtis Stone model of your post process
station mm-hmm basic drying table music washing table mm-hmm I even have the
fans yet I’m not sure if I’ll use those yeah but um yeah again this is just
Craigslist wood I got off for free this is built using your video freshly
delivered today yeah I just built this I’ll have a video about how I built this
one here we got our free trial sand off of Craigslist actually ended up being
like 350 to pay for the u-haul truck to drive it down here but um yeah so
crossing off of Craigslist and then here it is the cool but the cool bot awesome
setup so the cool BOTS like went 350 AC was 100 and so far works great it’s down
to 36 38 no problem so cool so a little under surrounded 800 bucks and you got
yourself a fridge that you can fit a lot of produce in yep so it’s fantastic when
I bought my Charleston you know it was working I was like eleven hundred bucks
so it only worked for a year so this is such a better setup it’s perfect for us
small farmers so that we’ve seen his whole farm and how he was doing
everything let’s sit down with Brian and find out a little bit more about his
personal story and how he got started in farming so now I just wanted to sit down
with Brian and so you guys could get to know him a little bit in his story and
how you got involved in farming even farming now I guess for about a year or
so since you started with me yeah that sounds about right mr. farmer how did
you get into this and what got you interested and what were you doing
before so yeah basically I found myself with a master’s degree in computer
science of all things I’ve got my first entry level you know office job and I
found that I was just really not enjoying the work environment you know
and I’d always had like a soft spot for gardening I’ve grown to things growing
up I have always had this lingering idea back in my head like why don’t we just
grow things in her backyard this is before I found out about you know all
these urban farmers on YouTube and all that so it was this combination of being
pretty dissatisfied with my work life and at the same time discovering Curtis
Stone and then actually your viral video like up to like 700,000 videos some
hundred thousand views yeah epic gardening yeah yeah well it’s
really cool so in Stephen mentioned that he was in San Diego now I was like oh
I’ll go check him out at his farmers market see what he’s all about and then
I just randomly approached him at the Mesa farmers market I think it was yep I
remember I remember when you came up to me yes yeah and I said hey can I help
out on the weekends and I found out that I wasn’t just wearing rose tinted tinted
glasses that I actually enjoyed doing all this stuff yeah if I hey I’m only
20-something once in my life and I’m in a I’m in a fortunate position
where I can afford to take this risk so I thought there’s no reason no excuse
not to do it after six months at the pen to sing at your place I left the nest
basically tried this thing out for my own wow that’s so cool yeah I love
hearing that story of you know dissatisfaction I know a lot of us are
really I was just satisfied with my career field too and I knew that I
wanted me something I was gonna help people and give value to people and
farming is just so so great it’s I love seeing that you know Brian had the
courage to not only see if this was right for him but then once he felt like
he was ready he jumped into both feet and went for it so I just got to
congratulate you on that man thank you so and I love seeing what you’ve done
with your first property so I don’t know if you heard about this idea where it’s
like our bodies evolved for a lifestyle uh-huh like you know as hunter-gatherers
basically and it’s just you know we’re working in the office committing in a
car be going Facebook all the time yeah – means like the antithesis of a
lifestyle that were meant to live right of being human it’s the opposite of
being human right yeah so in my head I thought well you know I can’t go back to
being a hunter-gatherer exactly but um a nice medium the same light would be this
Market Garden lifestyle you know we spend our time outdoors we’re
interacting with nature and that segues into the second main reason why I’m
doing this which is because because I think we both believe in the ideal of
fostering you know strong self-sufficient communities where you
know where people are more engaged with nature and each other then you know I
supposed to looking at their smartphones all day yeah we’re trying to foster
local communities and relationships with other people and food is such a great
way to accomplish that yeah and it’s like you can have your opinions on
organic gardening this whole space in general but it’s I think you’d be
hard-pressed to find a really sinister underbelly in this industry as compared
to some other ones that could pop a good name yeah that’s very true very true and
yeah us being so close and intimate with our customers
it doesn’t really lend itself to becoming really gross like kind of like
the large-scale agriculture has become or you’re still cut off from nature so
cut off from your end customer and that’s what’s really special about
market gardening I think now that you’ve developed your first property yes um you
know experience under your belt how you have any kind of thoughts on it
now is that um has it been more difficult than you thought it would be
to start your own farm has been easier yeah the main thing would be just the
breadth of all the problems that I had to deal with it’s like no one thing is
not terribly difficult so it’s not an issue of depth but an issue of breadth
and the amount of house you have to wear like only half of the setup process was
actually gardening right I had to become a little bit of a plumber a little bit
over like electrician of a fridge repair yeah right a marketer you know a website
builder just all these little things you have to deal with so that was a
challenge and of course even the guarding itself even after working six
months – Stephen it’s still have a huge host of problems I have to learn and
deal with just overcoming all of the dozens and dozens of little issues that
pop up yeah yeah especially in the beginning it’s so there’s just so much
to learn and do and like yeah as you said this is like that’s what’s so crazy
about farming it’s such a complex business it’s not like you’ve all the
with all the things with growing plants that are super complex then you gotta
throw in all the other business stuff that all business owners have to do and
you’re left with this incredibly complex business that you have to run so it’s
but it’s cool because you gain and develop all these different skills that
you could apply anywhere no matter what what you do later in life yeah
especially in this stage where we have just a host of information and resources
to deal with or to help us deal with our problems on YouTube and the Internet in
general like my main or one of the things actually don’t like about about
farming is just the amount of time you spent alone hmm like I’m done I’m sort
of an introvert by nature but even still it’s a lot of time spent alone so just
having podcast and videos to listen to and watch and your
downtime one helps you deal with that being alone and also just helps you you
know troubleshoot all these different issues that we come across
yeah it’s a really great point and there’s a lot of time spent alone
definitely and that’s what’s so cool now about the internet is now we were able
to kind of network with these different people maybe in Facebook groups or get
advice from other people on YouTube and so yeah it helps us to not feel as alone
as I’m sure a lot of other farmers when they were just on their land they’re
just with their families and much more cut off yeah yeah it’s a great point I
hadn’t thought about before so if you were gonna give advice to someone who’s
looking into doing this or someone who’s just getting started what are some tips
that you’d give them in the beginning so that they could be more successful I
guess yeah so I would say if you happen to know a local grower in your area
that’s been doing this sort of thing just hit them up asks nicely if you
could help them on the weekends and see if you actually enjoy this lifestyle and
see if your see if your I’m wearing rose tinted glasses yeah that’s a great point
you know a lot of people they think that they would enjoy doing farming but you
know the actual the amount of work that it takes an effort and all of that is
quite a lit squad Ally it’s it’s definitely not for everybody but I think
that’s good advice to do it work an eight-hour day farming
all day long and see what that feels like if you find you enjoy shoveling
compost that’s a good sign that’s good is there any any teachers or books or
things like that that you found really valuable in the beginning yeah for me it
was Stephens YouTube videos of course thanks and it was 40 days book marketing
micro gardener yeah Curtis stones book oh yeah well I found his videos to be
equally as helpful maybe even more and then and encounter Creek more stuff and
those four guys for me absolutely where the
the bulk of my education so one of the trickier things about farming is selling
your produce once it’s ready harvest so what are you what are your strategies
right now what are your avenues that you’re looking into selling yeah so in
the beginning I was just giving away free produce here and there as it became
ready to harvest and then I ended up getting an opportunity to sell privately
a business office and right now I’m currently in talks with them to sell to
the entire building actually that’s a that’s a setting yeah yeah it’s a
five-story building I think so I’m looking forward to seeing how far
that’ll take me and it’s right there that’s like a private farmers market in
and of itself yeah totally and you’re probably really only grower I’m sure
that’s approach them so that’s excellent I need plans for farmers markets or
anything like that I think I’ll pursue this private avenue
first and then after I maxed out that one which who knows how long that’ll be
yeah I’ll definitely have farmers markets as well in the future
I’m just flip just for the the social context you know maybe contacts with
chefs who knows yeah yeah that’s really fantastic that he’s got this first
little little private thing I think that’s a great opportunity for a lot of
us especially in deeper into the city there’s a lot of these business
buildings and you know they need food everyday too right so I think that
hopefully they’ll be a really great Avenue for you yeah I’m excited to see
you know the different developments that go on as you start selling and people
start hearing about you you know people start contacting you you so you’ve got a
little over two thousand square feet and production right now and of course you
know you get your initial sales going what does it look like for home to home
farms going into the future yeah well for now it’s getting in
getting this plot doubt in because as you probably saw in the video I have a
bunch of things I can improve on like my carrot bed is producing a fraction of
what it should be right now so I think I’m only like at 50% really
but I could be outputting in total so once I’m comfortable with this property
it’ll be getting a sense of how much I can sell out this private business and
then from there I’ll be looking to expand and trying to catch up to you
that’s good so Brian is currently selling around the kind of La Jolla UTC
area of San Diego if you are interested in buying produce from him or if you’d
like to follow him on social media and Instagram where can they find you so
right now the best place would be just on Instagram that at home to home farms
and I’ve got my website home to home farms calm and right now I’m currently
working on you know setting up the digital infrastructure to handle sales
and all that stuff sounds good so yeah I’ll put a link down in the description
to his social pages and his website so you can easily find it well Brian I’m
really excited for you and I’m really proud of you all the you know
accomplishments that you’ve done already and I can’t wait to see the next step
for you and and you know how far you grow this thing so thanks so much for
taking the time to have me out and show off your farmers and give it advice to
all of the other people starting and yeah thanks and we’ll be back to do
another video in the future and we’ll see how Brian’s doing and everything
well that’s gonna be it for this episode of nature’s always right hope you guys
enjoyed it please leave any comments that you have and down the description
be happy to answer any questions for you guys and we’ll see you in the next video
bye everybody

64 Replies to “First Year Farmer: Backyard Farm Tour and Interview”

  1. TABLE OF CONTENTS: See description for more info!
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    00:33 Intro, what’s this video about?
    1:21 Let’s meet Bryan and his farm
    2:18 What did the land first look like? How did he develop it?
    3:09 What are his bed and pathway sizes?
    3:41 How is his irrigation set up?
    4:33 How did he set up his timer and main valve
    6:55 Direct seeding and how many rows to plant
    8:21 Dealing with cutworms
    9:43 Why Bryan stakes his beds
    10:27 Lettuce heads vs lettuce mix
    11:30 How Bryan reduced his start up costs
    12:17 Salad mix and root rot issues
    13:17 Dealing with slugs naturally
    13:56 What varieties of veggies are you growing?
    16:03 Floating row cover
    16:46 Dealing with weeds
    17:36 The mutineer hoe
    19:07 Microgreens
    19:55 Propagation and seedlings
    20:35 Best way to add soil to plug trays
    22:19 Post processing area
    22:55 Homemade commercial fridge with Coolbot: $20 off Coolbot:
    23:47 Sit down interview: Why did you become a farmer?
    26:06 Farming philosophy
    27:35 How difficult has it been to start your own farm?
    30:11 What is some advice for someone interested or getting started in farming
    31:42 How are you selling your produce?
    33:14 What are you future plans for your farm?
    34:31 Final thoughts

  2. I noticed what looked like an empty in ground pool? I have found that filling my in ground pool with wood chips, and having a flock of chickens and ducks inside are a great way to have a compost pile that provides awesome black compost after a year. Every cutting from my yard goes in the pool, every scrap from my food (coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit, etc.). I just have a simple hoop setup (kind of like a pvc greenhouse (but I actually used metal)). I got the idea from "". They are on youtube I think too.
    I have the deep end "dammed" off so that when it rains, a pool of compost tea fills the deep end with pure rain water. I then use a cheap electric bilge to water all of the gardens. Seems to work well.
    In his climate he might be able to raise tilapia in the deep end of the pool…..again, check out gardenpool.

    Good luck fellow introvert!

  3. Looks very good for a 1st year farm. I've been gardening 4 years and I have nowhere near the knowledge of you guys! Thanks for the video!

  4. This guy is rocking it in a short amount of time (rockstar status in my book). The one thing I did notice is he is growing very close to the house in some areas. The house was probably built in the 60s or 70s does he worry about lead from the possible house paint chips in the soil. Maybe he can make his walkway against the house to give The plants a little buffer between the house. This is a small nitpicky thing but sometimes that’s how my brain works. PS this is a great set up and I hope more people get on board.

  5. So cool to see a young guy like Byran into small scale farming. Wish more young people would do the same. I am impressed with his level of farm knowledge in such a short time.

  6. You both are awesome. I wish I could have volunteer at your farm while I was living in SD. You are very good at teaching, hope to take some classes from you in the future. Keep up the good work guys.
    God bless you🤗

  7. Looking good for your first year farming Bryan, Learn a new thing every day, and before long you will be teaching others 🙂

  8. hey guys i'm right behind you ! ! i'm in arizona and find scenario's you'll never dream of . rock hard earth and boiling hot water and wind gusts to name a few . i'm not quite ready to put up vids as my volunteers are out performing my well intentioned attempts ! this will be my first year of thoroughly prepped beds with seven loads of wood chips in my back yard composted down for a year with yard waste turned in . doing small areas with vermicomposting due to being in the desert and with the heat, earth and wind conditions. i'm waiting on my first large scale drip system and just today tilled all the soil and chips/compost and will be making orderly rows and will get something in the earth to see what grows ! as soon as i get consistent results i'll present myself to the world….. what do you think of some names to call my urban farm ' the underground' or 'ground zero' ? love , love ,love your work…. even thou i had the intentions first 'lol', looking how to do it ….you are doing it and i'm hoping to get to your level 'in arizona' . i put myself out here like this to push myself so keep an eye in your rear view mirror !

  9. Nice video I enjoyed looking at your mates farm. He's doing a great job already! You can shade out your microgreen more to make them leggy. I think they have too much sunlight. All the best

  10. awesome, farming need more young techies!

    I know steven thinks knf is the next step for market gardening, me on the other hand believe in iot/smart home devices…

    xiaomi plant sensor/plantlink + smart sprinkler controllers and other non-smart devices with a smart electric outlets.
    Something for Bryan to look into when mastered the basic growing 🙂

  11. Have you thought of running ducks through the garden to control the cut worms/slugs? They will eat the worms and typically don't harm the plants. Would this cause issues with possible fecal contamination or would your wash process take care of that?

  12. May not help but, leaves can turn from green to red when temperatures dip to freezing. This is not harmful to beets. Some varieties have naturally red leaves.
    If the leaf margins turn red, leaf tips die, leaves become crinkled, corky black spots in roots or roots cracked it's most likely a boron deficiency. Test the soil. If deficient, add 2 ounces of borax per 30 square yards. Boron deficiency is usually found in soil that is either too alkaline or too acidic so opposite ends of the spectrum. I don't think it would be boron as your growing in compost but if you are getting tests done you may want that testing too just in case as you can't get your time back. Thanks for the video.

  13. Cool. Farm looks good. I thought I had a cutworm problem years ago. I got up early one morning to do some planting and found it was birds doing the damage. A bird pecking at seedlings looks just like cutworm damage. Just throwing it out there. Good luck Bryan. I think you will fare well.

  14. This video is gold. Wonderful interview – loved the description of the almost philosophical, spiritual nature of growing food like this. It's something you find deeply satisfying if you're wired this way. Great work guys.

  15. Another really great video Steven ! And Bryan that is a nice garden and your doing a really good job ! I’ll follow you on instragram !!!

  16. If you put out small cups of beer the slugs will go in and die happily drunken in the cup, they can tip them over and waste the beer though so would recommend securing them in the soil a bit, I usually "bury" the bottom quarter of the cup

  17. For Micros, half a tray of growing medium then cover them with a tray that doesn't have holes till they're almost the length you want them uncover. I would probably do a small shade cover a couple feet above them so they don't burn in the sun when they first get uncovered. Check out Pepe Fassos on YouTube. He does both indoor/outdoor micros. Good luck, looks great.

  18. Yes I can testify to beer working for me and slugs as well. Trouble is getting it to cover a large enough area but smell attracts them and self alike. I either get slops from the local pubs and bars as well as looking out for out of date stuff being sold at local supermarket. Hope to see Bryan gain for an updater session.

  19. Interview part reminds me of John Kohler videos.

    I like how your channel and farming evolved, good job and "keep on growing" :).

  20. see if you can pick up some milk cartons for those cut worm protectors, they're waxed cardboard and wont break down in the water. A lot of the grape growers up here in the central valley use them to keep the rabbits off the vines before they harden up. The property looks great!

  21. The second you mentioned NOT packing soil when starting from seed, I looked over at a flat of seedblocked tomatoes with a sparse 12% germination….thank you for the knowledge

  22. As a former San Diego resident, I am curious, have you gotten into any issues with having this farm and chicken coop within city limits? Very jealous of your setup it's so awesome. Cheers!

  23. I love this, especially me being a beginner as well… It's all about finding your niche! One thing may flourish in one part of the garden and die in another part.
    Thomas Edison said, "I didn't fail. I just found 2,000 ways not to make a lightbulb; I only needed to find one way to make it work."

  24. Carrots take forever to grow from in-ground seeding to mature root vegetable. How can carrot growing be accelerated? 😊

  25. Nice-looking Garden unfortunately the city water will poison the soil filtration May reduce added toxins but you're not going to remove all the chlorine and especially the fluoride the molecules are too small not to mention what else they throw in there the government should be ashamed of themselves keep up the good work

  26. Awesome stuff man, I'm also an ex software turned first year farmer! I can relate to the 'breadth of issues' feeling a lot right now haha.

  27. Great job guys! I saw a vid that talked about using Beneficial nematodes to control the cutworms and other 'bad bugs' in the garden, they can be ordered online and mixed into the soil. Not to be a know it all lol, but the micro greens are actually getting tooooo much sun, which is why they aren't growing tall. Cover the flats for 3 or 4 days after sowing the seeds, then put them in a shadier spot so that they have to reach for the sun more. 🙂 Anyway, keep up the good work and TFS!

  28. can you get by without using a tiller? I have a small 10 by 10 garden for home use and I just "shoveled and hoed" garden soil into the "good ole North Carolina sand" (lol) and it seems to be doing pretty good. Just wondering if tilling is a must??

  29. Awesome work! I have been inspired by several people to start my own market style garden but has a ways to go. Good luck on your adventure.

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