[Snakeroot Organic Farm logo]
 • HOME
 • What's New Here

THE BASICS
 • About Our Farm
 • Annual Farm Tour
 • Community Supported
    Agriculture Plan (CSA)
 •
Directions to our Farm
 • From a Run Out Hayfield to
    a Prosperous Organic Farm
    in Ten Easy Years

 • Get Real. Get Organic!
 • History of Our Farm
 • Pictures of the Farm
 • Where We Buy
 • Where We Sell
 • Our Yearly Work Schedule
 • Just Pretty
 • Subscribe to our e-newsletter.
     Now at subscribers!
 • Newsletter Archive.
 • What We Will & Won't Ship

OUR PEOPLE
 • Working Here
 • Our Apprentices
 • Our Farm Workers
 • Pictures of Us at Market

WHAT WE GROW
 • Fresh Vegetables
 • Fresh Fruit
 • Fresh Herbs
 • Perennials
 • Aloe - a magical plant
 • Our Bird Houses
 • Lupines
 • Rosemary Plants
 • Lovage, Tansy & Yarrow
 • Our Product Brochures
 • Dried Vegetables
 • Dried Culinary Herbs
MAPLE
 • Maple Syrup
 • Maple Syrup, p.2
 • Sugarin' Is Like Ice Fishin'
 • Our New Sugarhouse
TOMATOES
 • Tomato Seedlings
 • Tomato Seeds We Offer
 • Tomato Seed Production
GARLIC
 • About Garlic
 • Garlic for Sale
 • Garlic Year Round
 • Mulching Garlic
 • Growing Rounds from Bulbils
 • Whole Bulbil Cluster Method
 • Planting Garlic

MULCHING
 • Using Mulches
 • Combatting Quackgrass
    with Mulch

 • We Want Your Leaves!
 • In Praise of Chips

FOOD & FARMING INFO
 • Buying in Bulk for
    Storage, Canning & Freezing

 • Winter Storage Tips
 • Building Techniques
 • Our Outbuildings
 • Evolution of the Farm Table
 • The Story of Our Cooler
 • Prepping Veggies for Market
 • Crop Rotations
 • Drip Irrigation
 • Low Pressure Water
 • Planting with Spreadsheets
 • Greenhouse Vegetable
    Production

 • Let-tuce Begin
 • Recipe Favorites
 • Our "Remay Roller"
 • Gardening Class Notes
 • Your Most Expensive Crop

OPINIONS & IDEAS
 • Being Green
 • Digging Potatoes by Hand
 • Farmers' Markets in 2012
 • History of Pittsfield
 • Hybrids or Open Pollinated?
 • Making Websites
 • Open Source Software

FARM TRANSITION…
    Our Retirement Plan
 • How Should a Farmer Retire?
 • Impediments to the want-to-be     farmer
 • Reducing the Value
    of the Land

 • Who Will Farm Here When
    We're Gone?

 • Apprentice Terms and Stages
 • From Apprentices to Partners
 • Transferring Farm Ownership





…and now for something completely different…

At dawn
Canoe bow waves are quickly lost
    on the shoreside
But go on out of sight
    on the lake side.

-1986


The constant swish-swish of skis
    On a day long ski.
The constant swish-swish of wiper blades
    On a day long drive.

-1990


My dog, trotting barefoot
Steps on a garden slug
And thinks
Nothing of it.

-1999


Word spreads quickly
as I approach the pond.
All becomes quiet.

-1997


Hidden in the vines
a large warted cucumber
jumps out of reach.
A toad!

-1997


Delicate puffs
of marshmallow snow
carefully perched
on a branch,
await the trigger of my hat
to melt their way down my back.

-2010
Deep in the tomato jungle
Fruits of yellow, purple and red
Tell of their readiness
To go to market.

-2010
Sugarin' Chores
Snowflakes hurry through my flashlight beam,
As my boots knead new snow with spring mud,
On my nightly Hajj to keep the boil alive,
For as long as possible until the dawn,
To match the power of the flowing sap,
With my meager evaporator and will.
The prize at the finish line are jars of syrup
And Spring.

-2013
free counters
 

This document was begun in 2000 with major revisions and expansions made in 2008.


Snakeroot Organic Farm

Farmers' Retirement Plan
Thinking about farm succession . . .

(A work in progress)


Impediments for the want-to-be farmer.

Young people who are not already in a farming family have many stumbling blocks to overcome in order to start farming. Some of these include:

  • Finding good farm land. Even being able to know what good farmable land is, and knowing how to improve what is found.
  • The price of the farmland. Real estate values have little or nothing to do with the value of a piece of land suitable for farming. Since location, view, water access, coastal proximity, road frontage, housing demand, etc. are of less concern for farming than slope, soil type, mix of woods and fields, and existing farm buildings, the astute farm-shopper knows both what to look for and where not to bother looking.
  • The price of farm buildings.
  • The price of equipment. Buying new is more expensive, but can avoid headaches and delays resulting from having to stop and fix used equipment mid-season.
  • Knowing which equipment is needed. One needs to have a plan for how the existing soil needs to be worked to put it into the shape envisioned for the proposed farming operation.
  • Familiarity with production practices. Scheduling everything at the optimum time from seed ordering to weed management to harvest, preparation and handling of the crop. Knowing the different growing requirements of each crop.
  • Knowing markets. Wholesale or retail? What are the opportunities and how to get connected to them. How far away are they?
  • Knowing the existing farming community. Where are the local farm equipment dealers who can supply a needed part on short notice? Who is the local welder? Who are the other farmers in the community and what kind of farming are they doing?
  • Understanding the rigors, schedules and seasons of operating a farm. There is nothing like agriculture in it's total involvement of individuals in stewarding resources for the mutual benefit of the farm and the farmer, as well as benefitting the greater physical environment and public awareness of the food supply.




27 Organic Farm Road, Pittsfield Maine 04967
http://www.snakeroot.net/farm
owned and operated by
Tom Roberts & Lois Labbe
Tom: Tom@snakeroot.net (cell) 207-416-5417
or
Lois: Lois@snakeroot.net (cell) 207-416-5418

Gardening for the public since 1995.



top of page File name: Impediments.shtml
Version: Thursday 31 December, 2009
Creative Commons License This website is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.