[Market-farming] when to hire

Burke Farm burkefarm at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 17:16:33 EDT 2016


Once I hired employees, the first question I asked myself was "WHY
DIDN'T I HIRE SOMEONE SOONER?"

Your mileage may vary (and does), but even very part time teenage
summer help makes a big difference.

I hired my first part time helper in 2010 and he was a terrible fit,
but it still allowed us to leave the farm once in a while.  I hired my
first okay part time help in 2011, and we had a record breaking year.
Since 2011 I have had 1 to 5 part time helpers in the summer.  In June
2015 we brought on a full timer who we still have. For us, the
decision to hire help has been both a profitability decision (we can
produce a lot more stuff with help; another person means another
farmers market) and a quality of life decision (it's really good to be
able to leave the farm once in a while.)

We have around 1 acre of produce and 4800 square feet of high tunnel
space.  We're increasing to 3 acres for 2017 and I'm currently trying
to figure out how much more help I'll need to hire, among other pen
and paper planning decisions.

Lisa Burke
Farming Engineers
central In z5b


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