CRAFT Farm Profile: Sweet Land Farm
Owners: Paul Martin & Evangeline Sarat
Address: 9732 State Route 96, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Main products, including value-added: Vegetables! Most all of them except corn, and brussel sprouts. We also grow strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, and apples.
Acres in crops, cover crops, pasture, forest, etc.: We have 34 total acres in cultivation - roughly half in cover crops and half in cash crops.
Facilities: We have 230 x 96 foot passive solar tunnels and one 20 x 96. We put up a 30 x 40 pole barn last year for distributions, washing, and storage. We also have a 3 sided pole shed for storage. (old and small). We have a little greenhouse on skids for our chickens.
Production system highlights: We produce on raised beds. All fields are on a one year rotation, with a year in cover crops, and then a year in cash crops, etc. The cover crop year includes a summer bare fallow.
Approximately how much capital have you invested in the farm at start-up and along the way? In terms of loans and saved cash, about 350,000. Then there is the amount that we put into the farm each year - probably about 250,000 total since we started (3 years of production).
How have you used debt financing, if at all? We used several FSA loans, several personal loans, and credit cards.
WORDS OF WISDOM FOR THE BEGINNING FARMER?
Seeds don't germinate in the packet, they do that in the ground.