Curtis Stone; well known as a successful farmer. He believes in high density and grows crops that will go to market. He is not the first urban farmer, but he works well with the community and encourages others to move to places with no urban farms and become pioneers there.
In Kelowna where he lives, he is well known for helping out neighbors when they have problems or questions and things farmers need to feed residents with knowledge as well as food. He believes his place at the forefront of urban farming is a great opportunity. As more urban farms are set up, the farmers are taking on the same role, and the hope is that it will help them financially.
Stone has written a book called the Urban Farmer and explains how wages can impact on profit, and it is good that he understands that the farmer needs a salary as well. He also understands the need to start up with as little outlay as possible.
Curtis Stone; If I can harvest one bed (75 bunches) of radishes in an hour, that task is worth $187.50 gross profit (radishes sell at $2.50 per bunch). I would train a person to do this task as fast as I can, but I will only expect them to do 75% of that (at least at first)… Paying an employee $15 an hour, it took two hours of labor ($30) to produce 56 bunches, which sold for $140; that means your gross profit is $110 on that particular task. That’s a 78 percent gross profit margin.
He has arranged his farm so well, that he works a 48 hour week – less than many other farmers will say they have to work – and also does not work during the winter as he talks to groups and catches up on writing.
While there is a growing trend for local produce, farmers shouldn’t be afraid to set up for themselves. He feels that $7000 is all that is needed to start, providing there is about a quarter of an acre owned. His book will give all the information that is needed.
Top photo of Curtis Stone by Andrew Bartman. Second photo of Curtis Stone (middle) by Katie Huisman. Radish photo (last) by Andrew Bartman.