Say the name Eliot Coleman to a farmer and get ready for a spirited conversation about sustainable agriculture. Coleman is a pioneer in organic farming whose book The New Organic Grower has inspired countless farmers. He grows all year at Four Season Farm in Maine, where even the harshest winters can’t stop him for producing food for the community. Everything from peppers to artichokes flourish on his farm, and his farming inventions have inspired several generations.
ASAP caught up with Eliot Coleman at the Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, where he spoke to local farmers about the creative ways he’s found to run a successful farm. As he mingled with ASAP guests, we asked him for his advice for young farmers:
“It’s like any small business or any large business; the key is attention to detail. For example, we grow about 35 different vegetables on our farm, but some of those, in order to have successional harvest, we may be growing five different varieties of one of them. That’s a lot of details to keep track of,” he says.
“I’ve often said that someone who is successful running a small-scale farm, could probably move into the CEO chair of a medium-scale business and not miss a step,” Coleman adds. “So pay attention to the details things will usually run quite well for you.”
ASAP works with farmers of all ages and backgrounds, offering support to small-scale farms throughout the Southern Appalachians. Find out more at www.asapconnections.org