Courtesy of Wally S., Wally's Urban Market Garden, Saskatoon SK
In part 1 of this blog I explained that SPIN turns a garden into a cash generator by showing gardeners how to value their production and set a revenue target. Now I'll explain how to turn that revenue target into a production plan.
As an example, let's say you've already got two or three different businesses going, and you want to start out farming your yard part-time. So you think if you gross $2,000 from your garden this year you'll be doing fantastic. Using the SPIN system, the first step is:
> decide the number of your marketing weeks Marketing weeks is the amount of weeks you will have crops for sale. You can make it easiest on yourself by choosing many weeks to sell, because that means you have to make less in any given week. $2,000 becomes more feasible, the more marketing weeks you have. So you decide to attend a 10 week farmers market, and average $200 in sales per week.
> use SPIN's mix and match pricing scheme of $3 per item, or any 2 items for $5
This way you are unitizing your produce and selling it all at the same price, with the average price being about $2.50. If you are targeting $2,000, that means you have to sell 800 total units of production. In terms of your weekly targeted revenue, if you have 10 marketing weeks, then that means 80 units of production per week, which, at $2.50 per item, will get you to your weekly targeted revenue of $200.
> decide on your SPIN crop repertoire
This is the complete range of crops that you plan on growing and marketing. The smaller your operation, the simpler your crop repertoire will probably be, but if you start targeting 10’s of thousands of dollars, you will need a wider range of produce to achieve your revenue target. Criteria for selecting crops includes demand, competition and growing conditions.
> plan production
Using the idea of units of production required to achieve revenue, and your crop repertoire, you plan like this, using 80 units of production per week and $200 in sales per week.
A spring market day would require something like this:
- 30 bags of spinach
- 20 bunches radish
- 20 bunches green onion
- 10 bags of pea greens
- 80 total units of production
Your weekly produce mix changes through your 10 week marketing period, but you are always aiming to have 80 units per week and sell $200 per week.
What makes SPIN-Farming different than gardening is you need to grow consistently, in significant volume at commercial grade, throughout the entire season. While this takes time to master, you'll get a lot further a lot faster if you put a plan in play rather than if you just play around.
To see a further explanation of these concepts and others from the SPIN Lexicon, watch these five 1 minute videos on our youtube channel: