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A key element of any lean farm is the ability to stay agile and continuously improve (called kaizen in Japanese). This year we put our top kaizen focus on growing hemp, integrating cannabis into our micro-farm. Our conclusion: there are incredible opportunities (and pitfalls) in hemp. The learning curve is steep but surmountable. Hemp grows well alongside lettuce, tomatoes, and other crops, and can even benefit those crops. The most lucrative hemp, and the best suited for small farms, is hemp grown for medicinal oil extraction.
This is the first year for legal hemp in Indiana. At this workshop we will share what we’ve learned, including seed sources, growing knowledge, processing options, and marketing strategies. Workshop participants will be invited to share what they know as well. This grower-to-grower event is geared toward small-scale farmers in the midwest (less than 10 acres), ideally with some experience growing hemp, though anyone is welcome. Join us for this Lean Farm School event!
This is truly unique, high-value workshop, and one that we wish we could have attended when we were starting our hemp enterprise.
What others are saying
Ben leading workshops at Ray and Ashley Tyler's Rose Creek Farms in Selmer, TN, in 2017
Calendar of Events
- June 22-23, 2019, Lean Farm Design: 2-day Intensive Course at Clay Bottom Farm
- Ocotber, 2019: 1-day Intensive Lean Farm and Cutting Edge Tools Training in Chicago, IL (pending, details coming soon)
- Dec 10-12, 2019, Grand Rapids, MI, Greenhouse management and lean farm training, Great Lakes EXPO, Michigan State University
- Jan 22-25, 2020, Eco-Farm, Pacific Grove, CA, Keynote (Pending)
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.
The Lean Farm Online Course
Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, is the nation's leading expert on lean systems thinking applied to the farm, and Clay Bottom Farm is recognized internationally for its sustainable and profitable farming model. Join our growing list of students in our lean farm school online course.
What makes our course unique?
This is the only online farming course teaching the art and skill of market farming using the lean system, a Japanese invention to reduce waste, so that you hit the ground running with your farm start-up.
Your time is valuable so our courses are full of summary sheets and slides so you learn fast and have the info you need at your fingertips.
- 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, hard work. Our online courses gives you precise information--about spacings, varieties, timing, and must-have tools--so that you remove risk at the start of your farm career.