Definition of Small Scale Market Gardening

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

First let me define what I mean by small scale market gardening. I am referring to growers with a land base of 1/2 to 5 acres of tillable land. They are growing for markets that are within a 100 km radius of their farms and include a mixture of retail, farmers market, farm gate and CSA customers. Small scale growers utilize appropriate scaled equipment and tools and rely on personal labour for a major portion of their production needs. They team or hire one or two more people to help with production. I higher percentage of growers are women than in the general farming population. Many growers start off farming part time and gradually shift to full time after gaining more experience and customers. Many of the farms include a mixture of vegetable, eggs, meat, fruit and honey as part of their operations. Smaller operations lend themselves well to this type of diversity. This also supports the opportunity for establishing a vibrant Community Supported Agriculture local customer base which is unique to smaller scale farms although there are some very large CSA’s across North America. The biggest advantage to small scale farming is the ability to have a personal connection to customers.