He is tapping into the increasing demand for local food, and the desire to know where the food has come from and who grew it.
While Curtis grows using organic methods he has not needed to apply for organic certification, as his customers enjoy Face-Certification. This term, from the lexiconofsustainability.com, elegantly points to an increasing desire for a direct contact between farmer and consumer, which creates an environment for trust and a channel for communication.
Producers who put in the effort to build relationships and care for their customers, will build a solid customer base, and this is something Curtis has excelled at. It’s been a critical part of his ability to consistently make a good living off his farm. Farming in his region of Canada means he has an eight month growing season, which has given him time to develop means for sharing his experiences with existing and would-be farmers around the world.
Sharing the know-how
There’s a hunger for knowledge about how to make a good living growing food, and Curtis has been just this. Posting freely on his YouTube channel for years now, getting the details down in his book, and engaging face to face in talks and workshops around the world.
The approach taken by Curtis doesn’t take massive investment to get started, or even require ownership of the land. For years, Curtis ran his farm on various and multiple plots of suburban backyards he didn't own.
Curtis Stone's visit provides a great opportunity for those of us here in New Zealand and Australia, to learn how to profitably farm small plots of land.
200 years of industrialisation have had their impact on food production and agriculture, and while it's not all bad, neither has it been entirely good. There are issues that have an impact on our health, like the decline of nutrients in the food and an increase in the presence of chemical, though the extensive use of poisons to 'control' pests and diseases.
It's suggested, by those with vested interest in maintaining the status quo, that farming doesn't pay, unless done on a massive and industrial scale.
Contrary to what we often hear, it is not a lack of evidence holding back ecological alternatives in food systems. It is the mismatch between their huge potential to remedy the problems caused by industrial agriculture, and their much smaller potential to generate profits for agribusiness firms. How to Leave Industrial Agriculture Behind
However, the new wave of rockstar market gardeners is challenging that proposition and demonstrating that it is indeed possible to make a good living farming small acreage, as demonstrated by Jean-Martin Fortier - who was in New Zealand last year with Curtis Stone, for the Six Figure Farming NZ Tour.
While making six figures farming isn’t generally impossible—with enough capital, enough land, in the right situation, theoretically anyone could do it. What makes Fortier somewhat unique is that on his 1.5 acre vegetable farm in Quebec, for the better part of a decade, he has claimed that amount per acre. JM Fortier and the Rise of the High-Profit Micro Farm
Look what's happening at Roebuck Farm
As I detailed in this article, I have yet to come across any small scale production to compare with the gardens at Roebuck Farm, a well established bio-intensive farm run by Jodi Roebuck.
Jodi has been travelling the globe for years, learning from the best and has become world renown himself, in demand for his innovative approaches. He visited both Curtis Stone and Jean-Martin Fortier (The Market Gardener) in Canada earlier this year, and is now busy expanding his market gardens and building infrastructure in preparation for the 1-day Masterclass and the four-day field workshop.
Guest post by James Samuel