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2020 Trends and Who’s Setting Them

Here’s Backyard Riches Alphabet List of 2020 Trends to look forward to, culled from all the presentations at last year’s Member Meetups. Thanks to all of the forward thinking SPIN farmers listed below who presented their business plans, how they implemented them and the revenue they targeted and achieved.

Our online Member Meetups are THE place to get in on the latest entrepreneurial farming trends as they are happening and learn from the real-world experience of those who are using SPIN-Farming to create and develop successful businesses. If starting a farm business, or learning the business of growing food, is on your New Year’s to-do list, you’re welcome to join in. (see below).

Backyard Riches Alphabet of 2020 Trends

AirBnB – farm stays bring in cash and labor from those who want to experience farm life in the city;also think of
hosting yoga classes or fitness classes for those who are bored by they gym; the benefits of a farm lifestyle can be sold to those who can’t or don’t want to farm

Bring a Friend CSA – Double CSA membership by offering a $25 discount on both memberships if someone brings in a friend

Cooking clubs – hosting private facebook groups for CSA or buying club members creates a community around your crops and increases retention rate

Demographics – carryover from 2019 because it continues to be important to use this analysis to understand and target segments of the local food market because it’s growing bigger and more competitive

EBT cards – more markets and farmers are expected to accept them now, and more welfare recipients are buying healthy food, so local food is losing its elitist image

Food Safety – FSMA training certificates are starting to impress customers just as much as a farmer’s sustainable growing practices because they feel food safety can’t be taken for granted any more; the Produce Safety Rule (PSR)
is what is most relevant to SPIN farmers

Garlic – scale up plantings to produce your own seed stock, which can grow by a yearly 5x factor

Heirlooms – an entire business can be built on them in the right market; sampling is key to selling and the appearance and flavor attract a highly loyal clientele

Investment crops – can be a better investment than the stock market for excess cash because you can control the ROI with your own efforts; think perennials like any type of fruit, flower bulbs and herb plants – strawberries, raspberries, horse radish, sunchokes (note: permanent plots are a pre-requisite for this)

Just-in-time purchasing – buy supplies and inputs as you need them as you go through the season

K‘s – thousands, which is what SPIN farmers think in for planning their space (sq. ft.) and projecting their revenue

Long shelf life products – dehydrators are showing up on more investment lists to create teas from herbs like lemon balm, mints and raspberry for teas; snacks from fruits like blueberries and apples; and cooking ingredients from mushrooms like chanterelle, morel, porcini and trumpets

Middlemen – SPIN-scale farmers are now venturing beyond the direct marketing business model, as the demand for local food has opened up more sales and distribution channels willing to work with them

Nutrient dense – it’s starting to be understood by consumers, so it can be used as a selling point for certain crops; one farmer is using it as his tag line: Building Nutrient Dense Soil to Grow Nutrient Dense Food

Oil press – small batch oils made from canola, flax, hemp, mustard and sunflower seed are a way to keep pumping out product in the winter when you can’t grow

Payroll – it’s growing for some SPIN farmers are starting to do both; example: Reclaim Farm – 5.5 acres, $350k revenue target; 7 full-time workers, $90k payroll

Quantum theory – explains why plants are so nutritious, and it helps farmers grow better plants by optimizing conditions to allow plants to do their own thing; just ask Stefan Butler – he applies it to his farm and grosses $200k on 2.3 acres)

Revenue multiple – this is the formula to calculate a a crop’s ROI and make smart seed buying decisions:
Revenue potential – Cost ÷ Cost=Revenue multiple

Sorrel – used to be called spinach and Adam’s Heirlooms sells it for $80/lb.

Tinctures – this is another long shelf life product that attracts the heath conscious customer; can be made from herbs like holy basil and elderberry; flowers like spilanthes, or mushrooms like lion’s mane, maitake, turkey tail and yellow reishi

U-pick/pay what you can – farmers in food desserts set aside plots to offer to the community while developing other plots to build a business

Volume – some are growing one or two crops, like tomatoes, in larger volume to supply local food processors while also growing intensively for direct-to-consumer markets

Workplace delivery – more offices are offering wellness programs as an employee benefit; sell the HR director who administers them a CSA as part of it

Xpenses – controlling them is the key to staying in business; the SPIN benchmark is 10% to 20% of gross revenue

Yield benchmarks – farmers combine them with revenue benchmarks so they can look look at any plot and calculate how much it’s worth to them

Zinnias – great filler crop because it’s easy and fast to grow and harvest, can be planted any time during the season, makes a beautiful bouquet without any arranging, and is an easy sell at market

Stefan Butler, Nutrient Dense Farm, Squamish BC; Ryan Mason, Reclaim Farm, Pigeon Lake AB; Chanowk Yisrael, Yisrael Family Farm, Sacramento CA; Christine Hannon-Smith, The Taste and See Farm, Paonia CO; Martin Silcock, Walton-on-Trent, Derb; Brian Kowalski, Murray Meadows Farm, Portugal Cove NL; Lee Mcbride, Hickory Hill Farmstead, Falkville AL; John Greenwood, JNJ Farms, Macomb IL; Kye Kocher, Grand Trunk Veggies, Calgary AB; Dianna Diel, Adam’s Heirlooms, Mishicot WI; Tamara Knott, Bright Greens Canada, Saanichton BC; Adam Diehl, Adam’s Heirlooms, Mishicot WI.


Reviews Backyard Riches
5/5 stars based on 22 customer reviews

Seed to Cash enables you to earn a living on land you don't own. I grossed enough to replace a full time job in my first year, with no prior growing experience.