The Lean Farm School, founded and run by Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, and his wife Rachel Hershberger, offers on-farm workshops and online courses. Ben is the nation's leading expert on lean systems thinking applied to the farm, and Clay Bottom Farm is widely recognized for its unique application of the lean system.

CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT ONLINE COURSES.

CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT WORKSHOPS.

What makes our courses unique?

First, they are the only online farming course teaching the art and skill of farming using the lean system, a Janpanese invention to reduce waste and elevate value at the same time.

Second, our courses are uniquely practical, down to earth, and accessible. Our courses are not bankrolled. They are filmed by Rachel, and our kids run around in the background. While they might not be fancy, but they give you top notch, pinpointed information about the cutting edge tools, techniques, and management practices you need to make a living on a small farm. They are comprehensive but also practical and to the point.

The courses include 5 monthly webinars with Ben over the winter. The first cohort begins in October, 2018. There are also discussion forums and other community-building options. The courses are about your success. Ben will put your and your unique goals at the center of your learning experience.

Your time is valuable so our courses are full of cheat sheets and charts so you learn fast and have the info you need at your fingertips.

  • We're not perfect but through ten years of farming we have learned a lot. The courses and workshops transfer that knowledge to you. SAVE YEARS OF START-UP HASSLE AND WASTE, CROP LOSS, AND LOST MONEY. START YOUR FARM RIGHT WITH THE BEST INFORMATION AVAILABLE.
  • To enter into farming as a career is no small decision. It involves a lot of risk and a lot of commitment--for the farmer and for family members. Success is about details and, yes, some hard work. Our online courses and live workshops give you precise information--about spacings, varieties, timing, and must-have tools--so you save years of start-up hassle, waste, and money.

Who is The Lean Farm School for?

  • We offer two tracks in our online courses. Our Lean Farm Foundations course is for any size and type of farm--from cattle rancher to microfarmer. It brings lean concepts like heijunka, muda, and kaizen to life, showing how any farm can apply lean thinking to boost profits with less work.
  • Our Lean Market Grower course is geared toward beginning vegetable growers. It is covers in detail our growing systems, and shows how we've eliminated waste to earn a comfortable living from a one-acre plot. The courses don't replicate Ben's books. They build on them, add flesh to them, and go way beyond them.

CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT ONLINE COURSES

CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT WORKSHOPS.

THE ONLINE COURSES WILL ROLL OUT OCT. 15, 2018. PRE-BUY SPECIAL: ENROLL NOW AND TAKE $100 OFF THE PRICE OF EACH COURSE.

What others are saying

Ben Hartman is a true innovator for the small farm.
— Curtis Stone
Farming is not JUST a business, but it’s still a business, and Hartman’s application of Toyota’s efficiency principles to the farm is nothing short of profound.
— Joel Salatin
Everyone strives for efficiency in vegetable farming, but Ben Hartman has actually achieved it.
— Lynn Byczynscki, author of Market Farming Success and founder of Growing for Market magazine
Ben Hartman is diversified farming’s Dean of Lean. He walks the talk ... Lean is the epitome of efficiency an essential ingredient of any successful farm.
— Richard Wiswall

Ben leading workshops at Ray and Ashley Tyler's Rose Creek Farms in Selmer, TN, in 2017

Calendar of Events

  • Sept. 7-8, 2018, Lean Farm Design: 2-day Intensive Course at Clay Bottom Farm
  • Oct. 22-26, 2018, Market Farming 101: 5-day Intensive Course at Rose Creek Farms in Selmer, TN
  • Nov. 2-3, 2018, all-day workshop at keynote at the Spokane Farm and Food Expo, Spokane, WA
  • Jan. 25-26, Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum (pending)
  • Feb. 1, 2019, 1-hour presentation for the Northern Indiana Grazing Conference, LaGrange, IN
  • Feb. 15-16, 2019, all-day workshop and seminar at Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Dayton, OH
  • Feb. 23-24, Eco-Farm Day in Cornwall or Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (pending)
  • Feb. 26, InTents, San Diego, CA.
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Who we are...

Clay Bottom Farm is located in northern Indiana. The farm's owners, Ben Hartman and Rachel Hershberger, grow specialty vegetables on less than one acre of land, and the farm has twice won Edible Michiana's Reader's Choice Award.

Ben is the author of the The Lean Farm (winner of the Shingo Prize) and The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables, and in 2017 was appointed to the Grist 50, a list of emerging green leaders in the United States.