Strong families, with thriving family economies, are the foundation of our freedom in America. Fundamental to this foundation is our agricultural heritage.
This past week our family enjoyed time together by attending the Family Economics Mega Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. We heard many great speakers sharing their vision and wisdom in how to build strong families and strong family businesses. One of our favorite speakers was Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms—and pastured poultry fame. It’s always a fun time to hear Joel speak and his presentations at the conference were no exception. The kids really love his country humor. We modeled our small scale pastured poultry operation of several years ago after his system.
There were also several small farm vendors at the conference. One particularly interesting family farm operation was Homestead Hill Farm & Nursery. Besides selling plants at the conference, they were promoting the SPIN Farming system resources. This was the first time I had come across this system and it was very intriguing. So I bought the books. Purchasing the books also gives access to their extensive online support group.
SPIN is an acronym for Small Plot Intensive farming. Although designed mainly for suburban growers, it can be applied to country areas as well. The advantages it claims include: proximity to markets, micro climates, minimal capital expenses, lower overall expenses, minimal outside labor needs and the ability to work with, rather than against, nature.
The SPIN system provides a thorough business model focused on profitability, complete with plant recommendations, bed sizing, detailed planting schedules and small scale irrigation design. I’m anticipating this system will be a great addition to our other growing systems supporting our mini-farm family business. I’m looking forward to working the SPIN system into our operation and see if we can reap some benefits of their claim of grossing $24,000 on ½ acre on the low end.
Do you have experience with the SPIN system?