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Start Growing! Part 4: Have You Considered SPIN Farming?

In previous parts of the Start Growing! series, we’ve talked about how to buy a farm debt-free, even without money, and how we should value our time if we’re going to be financially sustainable.

Did you know that’s what SPIN Farming is about?

When I first heard of it I falsely assumed it was something like square-foot gardening with a twist.

Nope. Not even close.

SPIN Farming stands for Small Plot INtensive Farming. But it isn’t a method of agriculture. It’s a business model.

Roxanne Christensen, co-founder of SPIN Farming, explains it like this:

It produces the net income levels of traditional farming, while eliminating much of its costs, complexity and uncertainty. — Scaling Up by Roxanne Christensen

Fantastic!

We all know that karma doesn’t pay the rent.

Since SPIN Farming is a business model, you can easily pair it with your growing method of choice — permaculture, biodynamic, rotational grazing, bio-intensive… it’s up to you. It let’s you get started on the cheap and gives you the recipe for how to earn $50,000 on half an acre on land that you don’t even own.

It gives you another reason to start today instead of tomorrow so we can quit the rat race and do what we love.

If you already SPIN Farm, do share your experiences below for the benefit of all.

Further Reading/Watching:

12 Comments

  1. I live in Queensland, Australia in a district with a Mediterranean climate. I have always been interested in permaculture and would now like to introduce such practices to my 32 acre property which already has a huge and fruitful garden, forests, ponds, a river frontage and a large accommodation complex.

    I am seeking to make contact with young couples who could occupy my 4 self-contained apartments as part of an ‘Intentional Community’.
    They would have an obligation to assist me to develop this farm in a permaculture manner, with me paying for any structural costs, but on a shared income basis. Initially this would mean I paid for earthworks, livestock etc. until the property generated sufficient income to pay each shareholder an income, plus provide organically grown meats, fruit and vegetables for the use of all residents of the community. Should they wish to do so, some of them might have skills that would enable them to earn personal income off farm in the interim years. For instance, there is seasonal work available on the district vegetable farms and fruit orchards every summer. There is a primary school ½ kilometre from my property.

    Firstly, I need to make contact with such young couples. So, if you are an Australian wishing to develop a permaculture property but lacking land, please subscribe to my website.

    1. Your plan sounds great. My partner and I live in Brisbane but plan on buying acreage in the future to leave the rat race and grow our own food. Where in Qld are you?
      Regards,
      Michael Currie

    2. Hi Fay

      That sounds awesome! I recently discovered permaculture and attending my PDC in December. I’m from South Africa, but had I been in Australia I would have definitely joined you!

    3. hello, my name is Angelica I’m 30 years old and my husband and Alex (36), we are very interested in what you offer, for many valid reasons.
      – We love the lifestyle of the farm
      we have gained experience in the cultivation and breeding pigs in our previous home for 7 years
      – Hard work does not scare us, if in return gives us the lifestyle that we want always the tranquility and relaxation of life in the midst of nature
      – We love and we want to move to queensland hot, to give life to our project of life
      I really hope to be able to give you contacted for further information about us and about our experiences and future desires
      soon
      Alex and Angie

    4. Hello Fay
      Have you filled your desire for on-farm residents to help you? My husband and I are about ready to move, looking at options including a MO not far from where we are now. I know the Granite Belt quite well and am keen to know how you are faring with this fabulous opportunity. Bright thoughts. Barb

      1. Barbara, I completed the Geoff Lawton PDC and have prepared a summation of what I can offer. It was published on this site earlier this week under the title an opportunity. If you open up that publication you can read my PDF etc. Yes, there is interest, but I am now going overseas leaving tomorrow and will not return until the end of August. Read what I have proposed in the PDF where my email address appears on the front page and send me an email with information about yourself, age, experience etc. and I will probably be able to reply. I am arranging to meet interested persons in September. Fay

    5. Hi Fay, Please let me know if you still looking for couple to develop your land, if yes please let me know, me and my wife are very much interested in living that lifestyle. I am 32 year and my wife is 30 year old and we live in Sydney and willing to relocate if we know more details.

  2. Hi there,

    I recently embarked on a new lifestyle and purchased a 9-acre plot in southeast US (South Georgia). I currently work in sales from my home office but my plan is to transition into a full-time small farm operation that will generate enough revenue to pay the bills and support an agri-business. We’ve got great soil and I’ve got all sorts of ideas running through my head of what to plant but very little experience. Can anyone offer advice as to what I should plant that might help maximize my revenue potential?

    1. Go to your super market or farmers market. Look for the most expensive produce. You will want to pick 7 or 8 different ones. Look up each one to determine its growing season and day to harvest. Figure out which best fits your season and conditions. You will want to have different season plantings. This allows you to harvest one and get the next one planted to maximize your income and your land. Next you will want to look for seed and best location to grow. You will want sell the produce just a little cheaper than the markets. This will help build a customer base. Start small…be sure to tell all your customers to let their friends and neighbor know about what you offer. Word of mouth can go a long way and it saves you on professional advertisement. Create a sign to market your product. Post it at a busy intersection CLOSE to where you are located. If you are not allowed to post signs. Find an owner of a business or property where you want to post your sign. Ask them if you can put a sign in their yard or in their store window. Most will let you post for free. If not offer $ or offer a cup of coffee or a sack of produce. It doesn’t always have to be money.

  3. Hello. We too have an opportunity for permaculture at our small farm property in Penrose, Colorado. It’s an old property that hasn’t been farmed in many years that is going back to nature already. Would love to lease out portions of the property to enterprising permaculture enthusiasts itching to try out their ideas in this part of the country. Please email harnett1958@yahoo.com with your interest and contact information. Let’s get growing!

  4. Since posting a reply on this site last August I’ve changed my concept a little. I have just completed Geoff Lawton’s Online Permaculture Design Course for which I prepared a farm design in a PDF format with my suggestions for how the farm could be developed to allow others interested in Permaculture to participate. If you live in Australia and would like a copy of my PDF proposal please email me on helwig113@bigpond.com

  5. Hi Fay im reading your informasion and it is very interesting,i am over 50 and with things the way they are sometimes u work sometimes they dont need u anymore so u out of work again.i live on an acer and this week i have been hamming and haring about to start a bit of gardening as a small business, i got about half acer or less that i can use,but i live in a colder aria close to Ballarat in Victoria my problem is that i m not shur what i can put in the grawnd because we have heavy frost ,and were to look to sell or do u need some sort of permit .Regards Phil

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