I’ve been hearing references to something called SPIN farming in relation to local food systems, and when I read the basic information on the site, I was astounded!
SPIN farming is a method of market gardening for all of us that have garden plots rather than a farm, and a way to add more local food production in cities that have more backyards than farmland.
Wally Satzewich grows food on 25 different garden plots, ranging from 500 square feet to 3000 square feet, a total of half an acre of land. They plant and harvest multiple times a year, selling their fresh organic produce at the farmers market in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
“We are producing 10-15 different crops and sell thousands of bunches of radishes and green onions and thousands of bags of salad greens and carrots each season. Our volumes are low compared to conventional farming, but we sell high-quality organic products at very high-end prices.”
Somerton Tanks Farm is a half acre farm in Philadelphia that sold $68,000 in produce one year using the SPIN farming model. They sell at a farm stand and at the farmers market, promoting the concept of the neighborhood-based farm as a viable business.
SPIN farming is a way to surmount the difficulties in traditional farming, which is getting the land and getting capital to begin. It’s low-tech, inexpensive and can be done in small plots.
Which means I better get to planting…