Figuring out how to use your existing property, or a brand new piece of land, and turn it into a homestead can be a daunting task. In this post, I’m going to share with you how we planned out our homestead on five acres over the course of five years. It’s so fun to see where we started when we first purchased our land, and then five years later, how everything turned out.
We’ll go over:
In my last few farm marketing posts, we learned how to pitch your farm’s story to local papers and how to share your products with online influencers to get great reviews.
In this post, I am sharing the surprising way I've gotten local papers, major podcasts, and online bloggers to seek me out, instead of me having to pitch my farm. This tip also has grown customer awareness for our local area for our farm and boosted sales. So what is my special ingredient that makes this magic happen?
It’s all about having a clear cause on behalf of your farm. Let's dive in!
No matter if you sell eggs, wool, hemp, pickles, or beef - you need reviews for your farm’s products. Why? Because a review is what we marketers call “social proof.” Having a well written review about one of your farm’s products gives website visitors or your social media followers proof that spending their money with you is worth it.
A glowing review proves to a potential customer that the investment they make in buying your products is a good and trustworthy one - even if it is for a $5 bar of goats milk soap! Seeing reviews is a psychological tipping point when someone is considering purchasing a product. They think, “If this person did it and they liked it, then I will most likely be happy with my purchase too.”
So why have an influencer write you a review for your farm’s products? Reaching out to a local influencer for a farm product feature is like the mother of all reviews. Typically an influencer will have a healthy-sized following that trusts them and their opinion on products.
Influencers also maximize your farm’s exposure when they write a review. They have the ability to do an Instagram post, Instagram story series, send out an email to their list, post to their Facebook Page, and even do a blog post - all for your farm.
When most of us farmers hear the word “networking” we get a little pang at the bottom of our stomach. The word sounds so modern, so glossy, so dare I say it - corporate. What this word has stood for over the last few decades in our culture is quite literally the opposite of why most of us farm. We farm to escape the rigidity of cubicles, the stuffiness of meetings, and the obligation of hard deadlines.
I want to reframe networking for you and your farm so it doesn’t make you want to turn tail and run to the back forty. Instead, I want you to see how networking is a powerful tool for you to get your farm featured in your local newspaper and beyond.
While screen-time might be the last thing you think you need when building a successful farm, it’s actually what you need the most.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by a child in my community. She was working on a project for school where she could choose anything she wanted to focus on, and she chose to study female farmers and how to open her own farmstand. So she chose me, a first generation female farmer who raises pastured chickens and produce through permaculture methods on five acres in Southeastern Wisconsin. To say I was touched was an understatement, I felt like I had won a ticket to the moon.
After a short tour of the farm, we chatted in my living room. Her first and most important question was, “How do you find your customers for your farm?”
I stopped to think about it. Then it hit me. We find all of our customers for our farm online.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Katelyn Duban of Wild Rose Farmer on The Rural Woman Podcast. This podcast is a collection of stories from women in farming, ranching, homesteading, agriculture and more. Each of these women are doing life in their own unique way and sharing their stories. Tune in each episode to be inspired by these amazing Rural Women.
In this episode:
The Female Farmer Project, The Podcast Interview: Mentors, Social Media, and Farming with Kelsey Jorissen
I recently had the honor of being interviewed by Audra Mulkern on The Female Farmer Project: The Podcast. Audra works tirelessly on The Female Farmer Project, a multi-platform documentary project that chronicles the rise of women working in agriculture around the world. From in-depth stories, personal essays, photographic portraits, a podcast, and in-development documentary film, the project gives a powerful voice to the fastest growing demographic in agriculture - The Female Farmer.
In this episode we discuss:
After taking the time to share what we learned in 2018, I figured we should also share what we have planned for 2019 at Green Willow Homestead, from farming to living sustainably. I’m a firm believer in setting big goals every year (like publishing a book!!). So without further ado, here’s what we have up our sleeves for the next year…
Here at Green Willow Homestead, it’s important for us to take the time to look back on the year. There were so many gains and pains we experienced on our farm and in life during 2018. I want to share them with you in hopes that you can learn from our mistakes and take joy in our successes. Living sustainably, farming regeneratively, and being a crazy chicken momma takes a village - so don’t hesitate to reach out if any of these reflections hit home for you.
We female farmers are a unique bunch. From raising heritage hens on pasture to milking dairy goats for artisan cheese, there are so many awesome products that are being brought into the market thanks to all my soil sisters out there. While there may be diversity in our farming styles, products, and ideas, there is one thing we all have in common - and that is the need for self-care. For me, this time of year can feel like an all out race. Planting, mulching, composting, caring for sick hens, managing a farm stand, etc - it’s so easy to let self-care take a back seat as you race the weather to get your crops in the ground. I am writing the post today as a lighthouse in the storm of your budding growing season. Don’t forget to take care of the most important part of your farm - you.
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to composting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we turn the 80 acres we call home into a farm that serves its community and a homestead that nourishes us throughout the seasons.
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Favorite Books of 2021
2. Braiding Sweetgrass
3. As Long As Grass Grows
4. The Small Scale Poultry Flock
5. The Zero Waste Solution