Little Bunyip

The Urban Farmer

Hopefully we can turn our backyard veggie growing skills into an actual enterprise....
Hopefully we can turn our backyard veggie growing skills into an actual enterprise….

Chris recently enrolled in an online course on how to start a profitable urban farm. It’s presented by Curtis Stone and Luke Callahan and based on Curtis’ urban farm setup in Canada. We heard about both of these guys via the Permaculture Voices podcast which we’ve been listening to for a few years now. And even though sometimes it can be so American (the music and intro for the Urban Farmer series is especially cheesy), the people the host Diego interviews are generally doing interesting stuff.

The course has a wealth of video material which explains, in detail, how to do things according to the Curtis method. It’s obviously been developed by people who understand how reading a book can give you the general gist of how to get going but sometimes the detail is lost. This is pretty handy when you’re a total beginner. Once we’ve worked our way through the material I’ll publish a review of the course and how we think it stacks up for punters in Australia.

With any luck we should be a bit more certain about what we’re actually doing (and where we’re living) in the next week or so and we can start playing in the dirt and growing things again. I’m really looking forward to that!

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2 thoughts on “The Urban Farmer”

  1. Hi Ella!
    Just saw your profile in the latest PIP mag and thought I’d check out your website. If you haven’t found land yet, I’d definitely encourage you to check out the Fleurieu peninsula! There’s a bunch of small-scale, young growers starting up farms there (ourselves included ;)). I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on Curtis’s course – I’ve also been following his podcasts which are awesome, and just tossing up whether to take the plunge on the course (or maybe get his book first?!)

    Cheers,Nat

    1. Hi Nat,

      Thanks for getting in touch! We have actually just signed a contract on 40 acres in Watervale (south of Clare) – we checked out the Fleurieu but the Clare Valley was the place we both arrived and thought “yep – this is it”.

      Chris has been the main one getting into the course and his thoughts so far are: it is very business oriented so great for working out how to actually make a living growing food; there are a number of detailed spreadsheets for tracking yields and profitability which you get to download which are really good value; the main teaching format is videos where Luke Callahan interviews Curtis and this means there is a huge amount of detail and different techniques are really teased out and; the videos are a great way of actually seeing how Curtis does things and what tools he uses. Down sides are having to convert imperial measurements to metric and how the markets here want slightly things (like people wanting the roots on the their coriander which makes it harder to harvest). Chris has also been reading Jean-Paul Martin’s book The Market Gardener and Coleman’s The New Organic Grower and reckons that doing the course provides better information about how to actually get going even though both of these books are really fantastic resources.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Ella

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